ROME, JANUARY 9 – Europe should invest “lots of money” to stop migrant departures from Africa as it did with Turkey, the Italian minister for Foreign Affairs Angelino Alfano said in Rome, ahead of his trip to New York to take part to the first ministerial meeting of the UN Security Council with Italy as a non-permanent member. “Europe must be aware that lots of money must be pledged to make agreements with countries of origin and of transit”, Alfano said during a meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The head of Italian diplomacy is expected in New York later today: “Today we access the Security Council”, Alfano said: “Our priority is the Mediterranea. Italy can play an important role to strengthen the intensity of this dossier”. On Tuesday Alfano will speak at a meeting on sustainable peace and conflict prevention convened by the Swedish rotating presidency of the Council. Italy joined the Security Council on January 1, as a non permanent member for the year 2017.
While in New York, Alfano will meet UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and the other Security Council members. The Italian priorities for the UNSC mandate, the situation in Libya and Syria, the fight against terrorism and religious fondamentalism and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals will be on the agenda. He will also visit the he exhibition “Pillars of Cooperation” co-organized by Italy and the Netherlands.
Focus of Tuesday speech, according to a note of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will be the strategies deployed by the United Nations for conflict prevention. A particular attention will be given to the UNIFIL mission in Southern Lebanon, its political and civil dimension and the special commitment to respect and defend cultural diversity.
Margot Wallström, Sweden’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, is expected to preside the Security Council session. Guterres will be the sole briefer: his speech will be his first to the UN Security Council. Ahead of the meeting Sweden has circulated a concept paper in preparation for the debate.
The concept note describes the “conflict prevention and sustaining peace” debate as an opportunity for the new Secretary-General to outline his vision for a renewed focus on conflict prevention. It says that the debate will offer member states the chance to discuss how the Council can support the sustaining-peace agenda. The concept note further says that the discussion will explore how the Security Council and the Secretary General can work together more productively on conflict prevention. (@OnuItalia)