ROME, JANUARY 10 – The UN Security Council non-permanent seat, which Italy and the Netherlands shared in 2017-2018, was “an excellent demonstration of the great friendship and alliance between the two countries”, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Enzo Moavero Milanesi, and his Dutch colleague, Stef Blok, agreed today today in Rome.
The meeting, a follow up on the frequent encounters that Moavero and Blok had last year, namely in the Hague on 17 September and during EU Councils and NATO and OSCE Ministerials, culminated in the signing of an ad-hoc and innovative Memorandum of Understanding. For the first time in the history of diplomatic relations between the Italian Republic and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the MOU introduces a methodology for joint activities, with scheduled meetings and debates. The MOU provides for an annual meeting between the Foreign Ministers and regular quarterly consultations between the respective administrations.
A special round table will be organized every year, involving politicians, entrepreneurs, scholars, media operators and artists. The conference is dedicated to the great Dutch painter Gaspar van Wittel, a.k.a. Vanvitelli, who was naturalized as an Italian. He worked as an artist between the two countries, bringing together both cultures and sensitivities in a remarkable way.
The meeting also provided the opportunity for an exchange of opinions on several prominent issues in bilateral relations and multilateral and European themes that involve both countries. The two Ministers discussed the necessary reforms for a well-functioning European Union, the financial resources for the EU budget, the security of citizens, migration flows and related repatriations, a more impactful action to promote economic and social growth in migrants’ countries of origin (Africa, in particular), the protection of Europe’s values and founding principles, climate change and international initiatives to protect the environment, and opportunities to improve the effectiveness of EU common foreign policy.
Italy and The Netherlands proposed on Tuesday splitting a two-year term on the United Nations Security Council after the U.N. General Assembly was deadlocked on which to choose following five rounds of voting for the final 2017/18 seat. “It will be an honor for Italy to serve in the Security Council in 2017 and to cooperate with The Netherlands serving in 2018,” Gentiloni told the General Assembly. Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders said it was important to show unity during a complex time for Europe.
According to Security Council Report, a New York-based research group, it was common in the 1950s and 1960s for countries to split terms on the Security Council, but the agreement between the two European Countries was a first in recent times. (@OnuItalia)