NEW YORK, JANUARY 17 – “Settlements, which have expanded considerably in the last year, are dangerously imperilling the viability of the two-State solution based on the 1967 lines” but “are not the only obstacle to peace”, the Italian permanent Representative to the UN Sebastiano Cardi told the UN Security Council open debate on the Middle East, underlining Italy’s deep concern over the risk of growing terrorist violence and incitement on the ground. “The recent motorcar attack in Jerusalem reminded us of the extreme fragility of the situation. Immediate steps are required to prevent those acts, that must be condemned by all the Parties, as we did, including with active rejection of incitement”.
Opening the debate in videoconference from Jerusalem, the UN Special Representative Nickolay Mladenov called upon all parties to avoid any unilateral action that can imperil the two States solution. “Facts on the ground threatening the viability of the two-State formula: this is not what Israeli and Palestinian people deserve”, Cardi said, reiterating the outcome of last Sunday Conference in Paris attended by over 70 nations (Italy was represented by the Minister for Foreign Affairs Angelino Alfano) for a negotiated solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Expressing Italy’s appreciation for the work put forward by the outgoing US Administration in the pursuance of a just peace, Cardi stated his confidence “that the next US Administration will invest the same political capital and deploy the same efforts for a resolution of the conflict based on the two State formula”.
The Palestinian reconciliation process is an important element for reaching the two State solution, the Italian Ambassador said: “Poverty, high unemployment rates especially among the youth, a persisting stagnation of the economy: all indicators show that the daily life of Palestinians is characterized by countless emergencies. Italy believes that only by addressing the root causes of instability can we “build peace for tomorrow”. There are priorities for socio-economic development that are no more deferrable, such as for example access to water and energy resources: “This underscores the urgency of dialogue and concrete cooperation in these fields between Israel, Palestine and relevant neighbouring countries, beside and above political considerations”.
A special mention to Lebanon: a country that Italy considers crucial for regional stability. Welcoming the recent election of President Aoun, and the formation of the Government led by Prime Minister Hariri, Cardi stressed Italy’s commitment to upholding stability: “UNIFIL’s strategic review is a key opportunity to ensure the effectiveness of the mission, including its essential civilian and maritime components. Weakening them would create dangerous voids”, the Ambassador said, adding that strong Lebanese institutions are indispensable to extricate Lebanon from regional crises and ensure full respect of UNSC resolutions, with a view to enabling sustainable peace and effective security in the entire region”. (@OnuItalia)