Conflict Prevention and Sustaining Peace
The first Open Debate of 2017 had many firsts: first with new UNSG Antonio Guterres, first with new Italy Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano, first for this mandate of Italy on the UNSC, along with Bolivia, Ethiopia, Kazhakistan & Sweden. The debate was chaired by Margot Wallstrom, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden, President for the month.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Angelino Alfano
Peace and Security in Africa Boko Haram activities in Niger, Nigeria, Chad
Italy fully supports the idea of UN mission & stand ready to support the efforts of UNOCHA. Following the developments in the region very closely, Italy recently opened a new embassy in Niger. During the debate, Italy pointed to numerous human trafficking networks and transnational organized crime activities, calling upon the international community to do everything possible to put an end to them. Regional organizations had an important role and the Council’s visit to the region would send a strong signal. Boko Haram continued to commit sexual and gender-based violence. Also concerning is the rising number of internally displaced persons, and current instability had created an environment conducive for smuggling and human trafficking. It is crucial to increase economic and development assistance and to support institution-building.
Open Debate on the Middle East
the situation in Palestine
If not properly addressed and reversed, facts on the ground would lead to more hatred, intolerance and violent extremism in Israel, Palestine and the region. “The erosion of the two-State solution may leave room to a sort of dangerous ‘one-State illusion’,” Ambassador Cardi said. The parties must take substantial steps to demonstrate their genuine commitment to re-establishing a political horizon that would in turn lead to direct negotiations. The Ambassador expressed appreciation for the efforts by the outgoing Secretary of State of the United States, adding that he was confident that the next United States Administration would invest the same political capital — and deploy the same efforts — to resolve the conflict on the basis of the two-State solution. Turning to Lebanon, he said parliamentary elections in that country this year would mark a significant step towards strengthening its democracy and consolidating its State institutions. All countries, especially those in the region, must shoulder their responsibilities in that regard.
Briefing on Mali and MINUSMA
Italy remarked during the debate that the crisis in Mali has a regional dimension that goes way beyond its national borders. As one of the members of the Council closer to the region as especially invested in the crisis, an Italian representative called the Council attention on the need to quickly implement the 2015 peace agreement and to contrast illegal people trafficking originating in Mali and, more broadly, all criminal activities.
Briefing on Non-proliferation agreement Iran
Ambassador Cardi serves as facilitator and briefed the Council on the advancement of the Iran deal.
Italy said that the comprehensive Plan of Action showed how diplomacy could resolve nuclear non-proliferation issues. Full implementation would enhance the non-proliferation architecture. The Plan of Action was working for everyone, Ambassador Cardi said, adding that he was confident that all parties would continue to respect their commitments. Good faith implementation of the Plan of Action and resolution 2231 (2015) would strongly contribute to regional and international peace and security. He encouraged all stakeholders to continue to resolve any possible issues through dialogue, and noted the key role being played by the Council within its competencies and responsibilities. The international community should continue to ensure that the Plan yielded benefits for all and remained a success story.
Adoption Resolution 2337 on elections in the Gambia
Italy voted with conviction in favor of the resolution, in the belief that the Council must make its voice heard in crucial hours for the future of the Country and the stability of the region. We fully support the preventive diplomacy efforts which the International Community has been engaging in.
On a joint initiative from Italy and France the UN Security Council condemns the terrorist attacks against Cultural Heritage in Palmyra.
Alarmed at destruction in Palmyra, Security Council reiterates need to stamp out hatred espoused by ISIL
Amid the destruction of cultural heritage in Syria, including that of the famed tetrapylon and parts of the Roman theatre in Palmyra by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da'esh), the United Nations Security Council has reiterated that the terrorist group must be defeated and that the intolerance, violence, and hatred it espouses must be stamped out.
In a statement today, the 15-member Council also expressed alarm at reports of executions in the historic theater of Palmyra and expressed deep concern for the safety of thousands of residents inside the city as well as for the protection of the World Heritage site of Palmyra.
It also expressed concern that ISIL and other entities associated with Al-Qaida “have generated income from engaging directly or indirectly in the looting and smuggling of cultural heritage items from archaeological sites, museums, libraries, archives, and other sites in Syria, which is being used to support their recruitment efforts and to strengthen their operational capability to organize and carry out terrorist attacks.”
Security Council Press Statement on Destruction of Cultural Heritage, Executions in Palmyra
The members of the Security Council were alarmed by reports, including from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), of the destruction of cultural heritage in Palmyra, Syria, including the tetrapylon and parts of the theatre, with satellite imagery by United Nations Institute for Training and Research-Operational Satellite Applications Programme (UNITAR-UNOSAT) confirming the destruction.
The members of the Security Council strongly condemned these ongoing terrorist acts by Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh) in Syria.
The members of the Security Council reaffirmed their grave concern for the protection of the World Heritage Site of Palmyra and the systematic campaign of destruction of cultural heritage in Syria by ISIL/Da’esh.
(Find full statement here below)