NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 18 – The 72nd General Assembly begins with good news: “The Trump Administration is still on board on the process to reform the United Nations started by Secretary General Antonio Guterres”, the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Angelino Alfano, said at the conclusion of the special event hosted this morning by the United States delegation.
Both President Donald Trump and Guterres spoke during the one-hour meeting convened to announce that 128 nations “and counting” agreed on the document which represents the starting point of the reform process. “Someone recently asked me what keeps me up at night”, Guterres said: “My answer was simple: bureaucracy. Fragmented structures, byzantine procedures, endless red tape”. The 10-point Declaration for support for UN reforms aims to simplify procedures and decentralize decisions, with greater transparency, efficiency and accountability, according to Mr. Guterres.
Meeting the press at the GA stakeout, Alfano outlined the Italian priorities for the world leaders summit which officially kicks off tomorrow. The crisis in the Mediterranean and North Africa and human rights are the common thread of a dense agenda which includes over 20 bilateral talks, plus special events on Somalia, the protection of cultural heritage, migrations, the role of women in mediations and how to manage the power of Internet so that it does not fall in the hands of terrorists. “Solidarity and security are the two words that characterize our action”, said Alfano, stressing that “there should be no antagonism between strictness and human rights”.
Italy, who is member of the Security Council for the year 2017, is a key player at the UN and in 2019 will step up its role passing from the current eight to the seventh contributor to the ordinary budget: “This on top of being the largest western contributor of troops to peacekeeping, the host country of the food and agricolture agencies of the UN in Rome, of the logistic base of Brindisi and of the UN training centers in Turin and Vicenza”. (@OnuItalia)