NEW YORK, APRIL 20 – “Any solution to a sustainable peace in the Middle East will need to address promptly and pragmatically, based on the pillars of security and solidarity, the plight of people on the move in the Middle East” , the Italian Permanent Representative to the UN Sebastiano Cardi told an open debate of the Security Council chaired by US Ambassador Nikki Haley.
“Being at the forefront of the migration emergency in the Mediterranean Sea, and deploying countless resources to provide migrants and refugees with life-saving assistance, Italy appreciates the immense efforts by those countries in the region, such as Lebanon and Jordan, that bear the burden of hosting hundreds of thousands of refugees and that, consequently, need the unwavering support of the international community”, the Italian ambassador said in a speech that spanned from the Israeli-Palestinain peace process (“a just and lasting peace needs to be based on the two State solution, as the only achievable objective of direct negotiations”) to Lebanon, where “UNIFIL has managed to provide its area of operations with peace and security” providing “an example of how valuable UN work in the Middle East can be”, and to Syria.
Regarding Syria, Cardi stressed that “it is our collective responsibility” to revitalize the chances for peace. He observed that the G7 discussions last week, and then in the G7 enlarged to some key regional stakeholders, were particularly timely. In both occasions, convened by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Angelino Alfano, all countries conveyed a strong message of support to the political process and to the efforts of the UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura, calling for a swift implementation of resolution 2254. The G7 meetings also welcomed efforts aimed at establishing a nationwide ceasefire but expressed concern at its violations: “An effective cessation of hostilities, as well as full humanitarian access, must be pursued as a matter of priority as they feed into the Geneva process, by creating an environment conducive to the political talks”, Cardi said.
The meeting was opened by Nickolay Mladenov, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process: “Today, a perfect storm has engulfed the Middle East, and continues to threaten international peace and security,” he added, noting that divisions within the region have opened the doors to foreign intervention and manipulation, breeding instability and sectarian strife. Reporting on the dire situation across the region, marked by the largest refugee crisis since the Second World War, fractured societies, proliferation of non-State actors and unbelievable human suffering, Mladenov reiterated the need for a surge in diplomacy for peace to ease the suffering of innocent civilians. “Let us not forget that behind the images of savagery [there] are the millions [struggling] every day not only for their own survival but for the true humane essence of their cultures and societies,” he said.
To read Ambassador Cardi speech in full, click here. (@OnuItalia)