NEW YORK, JANUARY 10 – “As a Mediterranean country, Italy is bringing to the Council its natural disposition to ‘build bridges’ across all sides. We believe that inclusivity is key to effective multilateralism and to address our common challenges”, the Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs Angelino Alfano said today in Italy’s first high-level open debate in the Security Council as a non-permanent member.
“Together, in Libya and Iraq, we must spare no effort for reconciliation and supporting legitimate institutions. In Syria we need a greater investment in inclusive dialogue among all the Parties. Italy also attaches great importance to the successful outcome of the Cyprus settlement talks. Let’s not forget tensions in Africa, as in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. If we truly want peace, conflict prevention and diplomacy must prevail – without question – over military solutions. We must preserve the “primacy” of political will over the “misery” of military might”, Alfano said.
Convened by the Swedish rotating presidency for the month of January, the meeting had conflict prevention and sustainable peace on the agenda. United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres made his first address to the Security Council at time when the 15-nation body says the need for a UN that can fully deliver on the promise of its Charter to “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war” is perhaps greater than ever.
Italy is splitting the SC seat with the Netherlands: “We are sharing the UNSC mandate with our Dutch partners in best spirit of European unity and solidarity”, Alfano said, a concept that was reiterated in front of the Council by the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Bert Koenders who aligned himself with the Italian colleague’s speech.
The Italian minister called upon the international community to focus on root causes of instability: from climate change, to food insecurity and migrations. “We are determined to build peace for tomorrow”, said Alfano who met later with UN Secretary General Guterres: “An opportunity to reaffirm Italy’s commitment to UN values”.
The Secretary–General welcomed Italy’s enhanced engagement in multilateralism through its seat on the Security Council and thanked Alfano for Italy’s continued support to the UN-facilitated political process in Libya. Today the new Italian Ambassador, Giuseppe Perone, presented his credentials in Tripoli to Prime Minister Fayez Mustafa al-Sarraj, the first Western diplomat to do so in two years.
Guterres expressed his appreciation for Italy’s longstanding support to the United Nations, including through the Global Service Centre in Brindisi. The Secretary-General and the Foreign Minister discussed large movements of migrants and refugees, and the need for long-term and sustainable solutions including strengthened commitments to development assistance.
To read the speech of Minister Alfano click here (@OnuItalia)