NEW YORK, MARCH 24 – Climate change and the Sustainable Development Goals were the main themes on the agenda of the High Level event convened by the UN General Assembly. The adoption of the 17 SDGs in 2015, and the Paris agreement signed in 2016 are two important milestones in the framework of international relations, and UN member states are now discussing a further implementation of the actions to follow.
In his remarks, the Secretary-General Antonio Guterres affirmed that “We are dealing with scientific facts, not politics. And the facts are clear. Climate change is a direct threat in itself, and a multiplier of many other threats. We face serious risks across the whole of the 2030 Agenda. Food security is under threat around the world due to more droughts. With food insecurity, we must add economic insecurity as scarcities of staple crops cause price surges”.
Guterres underlined that the countries that supported the Paris Agreement are the same that adopted the Sustainable Development Goals, and the reason for this consensus, for the Secretary-General, is clear: “All nations recognize that implementing the 2030 Agenda goes hand-in-glove with limiting global temperature rise and increasing climate resilience. Every month, ever more countries are transforming their pledges into national climate action plans”.
Giovanni Brunelli of Italian Ministry of Environment, Land and Sea outlined Rome’s commitment on the issues, and explained that Italy, as a priority, is engaging through bilateral and multilateral cooperation with several partners such as African countries and Small Island countries to promote mitigation and adaptation oriented on the ground projects. “The transition towards a new agenda for global action, environmentally and socially sustainable, therefore must be seen as the best answer to make our economies and lifestyles more equitable and sustainable and more effective in reducing poverty”, said Brunelli.
Italy adopted last year a decree that foresees the elaboration of an annex to the Economic and financial document which includes the trend of indicators on equitable and sustainable wellbeing on the basis of the economic measures envisaged, and submitted last October its candidature to present Voluntary national reviews of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and has started to develop a national strategy for sustainable development to achieve greater coherence and synergies in all sectors involved.
Climate change is on the agenda of the next G7 summit of Taormina (26-27 of May 2017): various aspect of the Paris agreement’s implementation will be discussed, such as necessary reforms, support, and G7 countries’ full engagement for long-term low greenhouse gas strategies. Climate change and SDGs will be high agenda of the Bologna G7 environment ministers’ meeting as well in June.
“Trying to understand what environmental pollution and climate change effects may mean for the future of our economies is daunting. It is not simply the case of coming up with a point estimate of what it might cost to world economy – affirmed Brunelli – but a nuanced understanding of how it impacts sectoral and regional economic activity, how it propagates through our economic system, and what the downside risks are to migrations, health and social wellbeing. If we do not start taking additional action now – continued the Italian officer – we will witness a growing number of people hit by hunger, poverty, illness and conflicts, as proved by the refugee crisis in Europe, that has sharpened the world’s focus on these concepts”.
Peter Thomson, President of the 71st Session of the General Assembly, said that he believes that the new strategic partnership that are being forged to drive the SDGs implementation must be leveraged to promote climate action. “The scaled-up resource mobilization efforts which are drawing public, private, blended and alternative sources towards SDG implementation can also simultaneously pursue regulatory reforms that help economies transition to inclusive, low-carbon models. And the innovative and disruptive technology that is already driving the transition towards cleaner, renewable energy sources – continued Thomson -must also be harnessed to drive action on SDG implementation”.
For the President of the General Assembly “the United Nations has a critical role to play, and under the leadership of Secretary-General Guterres, the organization is already reviewing its structures to ensure that it is able to respond coherently, efficiently and effectively to the emerging challenges of our time, including to support SDG implementation”. (@OnuItalia)
This article first appeared in Onuitalia, independent news site on Italy’s contribution to the life and ideals of the United Nations
NEW YORK, MARCH 7 – The Permanent Mission of Italy to the United Nations hosted an informal meeting of the High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, with the 15 members of the Security Council. The Italian-born UN refugee chief recapped about his latest missions in Syria and Lebanon in early February, and focused on his priorities for 2017. “This is an opportunity to say how much I appreciate your commitment in peace and security”, said the High Commissioner, appointed in November 2015 by former Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
Filippo Grandi leads the UN Refugees Agency in a context of unprecedented humanitarian crises involving 65 million displaced persons and 21 million refugees worldwide. Among Grandi’s top concerns are the progress of the Global Compact on Refugees, and possible synergies between the work of the UNHCR and the Security Council.
Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi chaired the meeting, recalling that for 2016-2017, the strategic priorities of UNHCR include the protection of women and children, the eradication of statelessness, and the integration of refugees and host communities in a long-term perspective. Cardi emphasized the theme of minors, who represent almost half of all refugees in the world. Most of them are unaccompanied, and they are particularly vulnerable to every form of abuse and exploitation. “The UN Refugees Agency focus on children well-pointed as they are vulnerable to abuse”, said Cardi. (@melonimatteo)
This article first appeared in Onuitalia, independent news site on Italy’s contribution to the life and ideals of the United Nations
ROMA, 1 MARZO – Si rafforza la presenza delle aziende italiane tra quelle più apprezzate e riconosciute a livello mondiale. Secondo la Global Reptrak 100, la classifica del Reputation Institute che misura la reputazione delle aziende tra i consumatori, Ferrero, Barilla, Giorgio Armani e Pirelli sono tra le prime 50: un dato importante che dimostra, ancora una volta, lo spiccato interesse del pubblico verso il Made in Italy.
Ferrero, la multinazionale dei prodotti dolciari, registra due record: è la prima azienda alimentare della classifica, e guida l’Italia tra le società presenti nel ranking delle 100 realtà con maggiore reputazione nel mondo. “Siamo orgogliosi della fiducia che i
consumatori di tutto il mondo ci hanno confermato anche quest’anno posizionandoci in termini di reputazione al primo posto assoluto nel mondo come azienda alimentare oltre che come azienda italiana. È la conferma che ‘la qualità prima di tutto’ è la vera chiave del successo”, ha affermato Giovanni Ferrero, Amministratore Delegato della società piemontese.
Barilla, produttrice di pasta, sughi e prodotti da forno, raggiunge la 23° posizione. Il gruppo Giorgio Armani si piazza al 28° posto, migliorando di 4 posizioni rispetto allo scorso anno e primeggiando tra le aziende italiane dello style. Pirelli passa dal 40°al 32° posto, ed entra nella classifica la FCA, piazzandosi al 98° posto: realtà di innovazione e automotive, che raccontano tanto di un panorama economico come quello italiano, fatto non di soli food e moda.
La classifica 2017, guidata dalla Rolex, vede tra le prime 10 aziende con la maggiore reputazione LEGO Group, Walt Disney e Canon. Google, al quinto posto, perde due posizioni rispetto al 2016. Bosch e Sony, rispettivamente al 6° e 7° posto precedono Intel, che rientra nella top ten dopo un anno. La casa automobilistica Rolls-Royce si colloca al 9° posto e chiude i primi 10 la Adidas.
“Le prime dieci aziende del ranking mondiale 2017 provengono da diversi settori e investono continuamente per rafforzare e proteggere la loro reputazione. Questo – spiega Michele Tesoro-Tess, Executive Partner di Reputation Institute – testimonia quanto la reputazione sia diventato un asset fondamentale nelle strategie di business, indipendentemente dal settore in cui operano: l’impatto concreto della reputazione sulle performance economico-finanziarie è finalmente riconosciuto”.
This article first appeared in Onuitalia, independent news site on Italy’s contribution to the life and ideals of the United Nations
NEW YORK, 1 MARZO – Il Consiglio di Sicurezza delle Nazioni Unite ha respinto martedì sera la risoluzione presentata da Stati Uniti, Francia e Regno Unito sull’uso delle armi chimiche in Siria in seguito al voto contrario di Cina e Russia, membri permanenti dell’organo dell’Onu con diritto di veto. L’Italia, membro non permanente del Consiglio di Sicurezza dal primo gennaio, ha appoggiato la risoluzione, patrocinata da altri 42 Paesi.
Il voto sulla risoluzione ha provocato il primo scontro politico tra l’America di Donald Trump e la Russia di Vladimir Putin. “Mosca e Pechino hanno preferito difendere i loro amici nel regime di Assad piuttosto che le esigenze della sicurezza globale”, ha tuonato la neo-ambasciatrice americana Nikki Haley. Intervenuto dopo l’esito del voto, anche l’ambasciatore italiano Sebastiano Cardi ha espresso rammarico per il risultato finale e per la mancata unità all’interno del Consiglio di sicurezza su questo tema. Cardi ha auspicato una ripresa immediata delle attività del JIM (Joint Investigative Mechanism), lo strumento di indagini delle Nazioni Unite. La risoluzione, ha detto l’Ambasciatore, intendeva assicurare un seguito significativo al lavoro del JIM.
Il Permanent Representative italiano ha evidenziato tre ragioni principali per le quali l’Italia ha appoggiato l’iniziativa. La prima è la “storica posizione italiana sulla non-proliferazione, che dev’essere tenuta separata dalle altre questioni politiche”: “Condanniamo con forza – ha spiegato Cardi – l’uso di armi chimiche o di materiale tossico da parte degli Stati o altri attori. Oggi più che mai è necessario sostenere i valori e i principi dell’architettura del sistema di non-proliferazione, evitando il suo indebolimento, che incoraggerebbe l’utilizzo di armi chimiche”.
Cardi, argomentando il secondo punto, ha sottolineato il sostegno italiano al JIM e al suo staff. Il meccanismo congiunto di investigazione “è uno strumento essenziale che permette di attribuire le responsabilità a chi compie i feroci attacchi con le armi chimiche. Il JIM – ha proseguito l’Ambasciatore – attraverso i suoi rapporti ha svolto il compito richiesto dal Consiglio di Sicurezza, e la risoluzione è stata disposta per garantire un seguito significativo al lavoro del meccanismo congiunto di
La terza ragione per la quale l’Italia ha appoggiato l’iniziativa di Stati Uniti, Gran Bretagna e Francia è il senso di responsabilità: “Aver solamente identificato la parte responsabile degli attacchi – ha detto Cardi – non è sufficiente: ci devono essere conseguenze per coloro i quali hanno pianificato, ordinato ed eseguito gli attacchi”. “L’Italia – ha quindi concluso l’Ambasciatore – ha votato a favore della risoluzione in nome del principio di responsabilità di coloro che hanno perpetrato gli attacchi, e per riaffermare la nostra consolidata posizione a difesa dei principi e di condanna dell’uso di armi chimiche da parte di chiunque e in ogni circostanza”.
Sono stati 9 i Paesi ad aver appoggiato la risoluzione, mentre la Bolivia ha votato insieme a Russia e Cina, rigettando il testo proposto. Egitto, Etiopia e Kazakistan si sono astenuti.
Il 19 dicembre il Consiglio di Sicurezza aveva votato all’unanimità la risoluzione che chiedeva a tutte le parti in causa nel conflitto siriano l’immediato accesso da parte dello staff internazionale per il monitoraggio dell’evacuazione di Aleppo est. Il voto contrario sull’ultima risoluzione presentata in Consiglio di Sicurezza segue altre due recenti votazioni non approvate, avvenute il 5 e l’8 dicembre. Negli ultimi 5 anni la Russia ha posto il veto 7 volte, la Cina 6, alle risoluzioni riguardanti la questione siriana.
NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 28 – The U.N. Security Council discussed the sanctions imposed on Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Sebastiano Cardi, Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations, briefed the Council as Chair of the 1718 DPRK Sanctions Committee, which oversees the sanctions imposed by the Security Council. Chair’s briefs are held every 90 days, but yesterday’s meeting was the occasion to further analyze February’s North Korea ballistic missile test.
Volodymyr Yelchenko, Ukraine Ambassador and President of the Security Council for the month of February, summarized the discussions on the topic at the Security Council Media Stakeout.
Welcoming the 90-day report of the Chair, Member States “have unanimously condemned North Korea’s attempts to evade the sanctions imposed by the SC, and emphasized the importance of full compliance with the relevant resolutions as well as their intention to work jointly to reduce tensions in the Korean Peninsula”. Ambassador Yelchenko added that “Members of Security Council agreed to continue to closely monitor the situation and work to achieve denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula”.
Talking to the media, Italian Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi said that the Security Council meeting had focused on how to improve the sanctions. According to Cardi, the Council needs more National Implementation Reports, and it’s essential to redouble the efforts for this purpose. Italy, as Chair of the 1718 Sanctions Committee, is committed to working with member States in order to overcome technical difficulties that could slow down the resolutions’ fulfillment. Ambassador Cardi stressed the commitment to minimize the sanctions’ impact on the civil population, following in this way the Council’s resolutions.
Adopted by the Security Council on October 14, 2006, Resolution 1718 – together with several other resolutions voted by the Council over the years – condemns DPRK’s nuclear activities, while the Committee oversees the sanctions measures imposed by the Security Council. Following the Security Council resolution 2321 adopted on November 30, 2016, the Council of the European Union adopted yesterday legal acts imposing further restrictions on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
With a contribution of nearly one million euros Italy’s Cooperation service funds the International Organization for Migrants and the United Nations Fund for Population Activities for interventions in favor of children and to prevent violence against women. “It is a humanitarian contribution we are making to the areas of education and for the prevention and assistance to the victims of gender-based violence and it represents a tangible sign of solidarity and of the consideration that Italy has for the most vulnerable segments of the Yemeni people, who are the innocent victims of a conflict that has been going on for almost two years now”, said Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano in a statement.
Italy’s contributions to Yemen has the goal to aid the minors of displaced populations by rehabilitating school facilities and supporting teachers and students by providing school materials to the Governorates of Shabwah and di Lahj. In this framework, Italian Cooperation funded the IOM with €642,000.00.
In order to finance interventions in favor of the reproductive health of girls and young women, and for the prevention and assistance to the victims of gender-based violence, through counselling services, psychological support, gynecological emergency services, mobile clinics, and the distribution of hygiene kits, Italy supports UNFPA’s activities with €350,000.00.
During a meeting in late January at the UN Security Council Italy called for immediate cessation of hostility and humanitarian access, “indispensable elements to guarantee an improvement for local people’s conditions”, in the belief that an immediate ceasefire is the only way to improve Yemenis alarming and critical situation, followed by a political solution and the renewal of peace talks under the auspices of the United Nations.
The UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien warned on the risk of famine for 2017 if there is no immediate action. Data show that the situation is worsening especially for children, with 2.2 million boys and girls acutely malnourished: a 63% increase since late 2015. In his remarks, O’Brien said that 14 million people are food insecure, half of them are severely food insecure. “Yemeni are forced to miss meals and eat food with poor nutritional value. Children are going to bed hungry every night”. The humanitarian crisis in Yemen involves 18 million out of a total population of 27 million people.
ROME, FEBRUARY 22 – The Italian government has approved a €1.5 million project of inclusion for persons with disabilities in Burkina Faso. Italy’s move has the goal to help local communities in fostering lives’ conditions of those affected by physical problems in a historical partner country. Burkina Faso and Italian Cooperation are strongly linked thanks to more than 25 years of relationship, where Italy has financed around 107 million Euros during the years.
According to Burkina Faso’s National Institute of Statistics and Demography, 168,094 persons out of the country’s 14 million inhabitants are living with a physical, sensory, or mental disability. Much of the statistics is only collected in more densely populated provinces and towns and not in smaller rural communities. Handicap International, a French NGO, estimates that the number is as high as 7%.
This funding follows the recent Italian Cooperation’s contribution for the “Education and research in malariology” project which has guaranteed in almost 30 years Italy’s support to the plague.
In October 2016 Italian Prime Minister – then FM – Paolo Gentiloni hosted the President of Burkina Faso, Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, highlighting the political ties with Italy and the attention Rome pays to the whole of the Sahel region. The talks focused, among other issues, on relaunching the bilateral political and economic cooperation between the two countries, but most of all on security issues also from the regional perspective. The meeting underlined how Italian Cooperation plays a key-role in Burkina Faso which is Italy’s priority country in terms of governmental development assistance.
More than 13,000 migrants have been rescued from the sea in the course of the operation Sophia
LA VALLETTA, FEBRUARY 8 – The first training course of 89 Libyan cadets of the Coast Guard and Navy of the Northern African country came to an end today. Italian Navy cruiser “San Giorgio” hosted the graduation ceremony attended by European High Representative for Foreign Policy Federica Mogherini, Italian Defence Minister Roberta Pinotti, Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, and the Head of EUNAVFOR Med Mission Admiral Enrico Credentino.
“Migration is an epochal emergency. There is no immediate solution but we are try to manage this phenomenon as best as we can, in adherence to your values, our law and our identity”, Minister Pinotti told the new graduates. The Italian government representative stressed that in January new boats full of migrants left Libya in spite of dangerously bad weather. “The Libyan Coast Guard saved over 1200 people, an encouraging sign”, Pinotti said, praising the Libyan sailors for their commitment, courage, competence and, last but not least, humanity.
“Migration can only be managed effectively through cooperation and partnership”, said Federica Mogherini during the ongoing Valletta Summit. Operation Sophia is a clear example of Europe’s common efforts in this field.
EUNAVFOR Med Operation Sophia is providing training to the Libyan Coast Guard and Navy. Among others, the goal of the mission is to strengthen Libyan officials’ capacities to save lives, to protect people and to make Libyan territorial waters more secure. The training comprised various components from basic seamanship to more advanced specialist skills, including a substantial focus on human rights and international law.
Italy strongly supports the operations of the European Union Naval Force, hosting the headquarters in Rome and taking an active role in the mission. Recently Italian Guardia di Finanza signed a technical agreement on the Libyan cadets training, contributing to enhancing their skills throughout 8 sessions, one in the morning and one in the evening, for four days.
In 2016 the UN Security Council authorised inspections of suspected embargo-breaking vessels off Libya’s coast, unanimously adopting resolution 2292. The resolution, in an effort to implement the arms embargo imposed on Libya, “authorizes Member States, acting nationally or through regional organizations, to inspect vessels on the high seas off the coast of Libya believed to be in violation of the embargo”. Operation Sophia’s mandate was reinforced by the Council of the European Union in July 2016 adding two supporting tasks: the training of the Libyan Navy Coast Guard and Libyan Navy, and the contribution to the implementation of the UN arms embargo on the high seas off the coast of Libya.
More than 13,000 migrants have been rescued from the sea in the course of the operation Sophia.
Mario Giro: “Walls and bans of people from specific countries will end up creating a lack of security in the United States”
ROME, JANUARY 31 – While in the United States and abroad airports were thrown into chaos by president Donald Trump executive order on immigration, Rome’s Fiumicino has become an international welcoming hub for refugees: another group of 40 Syrians – the first for this year – landed yesterday in the Italian capital’s hub, hoping to start a new life.
The Syrian children were given balloons as they arrived, and a colorful sign reading “Welcome to Italy” greeted the latest group of refugees to be resettled in the country via an agreement between the government and a Catholic-Protestant collaboration. Italy’s deputy foreign minister, Mario Giro, greeted the Syrians and insisted on the obligation to welcome those fleeing war.
The Humanitarian Corridors is Italy’s answer to the migrant crisis through which people coming from war zones are welcomed in a safe and controlled way. Syrians and Iraqis displaced in Lebanon and soon refugees from sub-Saharan countries, Eritreans, Somalis and Sudanese in Ethiopia have now a chance to reach the European continent without having to pay thousands of dollars to smugglers, then putting their lives at risk in the Mediterranean. This is an example of how States can fight human trafficking.
The project is backed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ministry of Interior, Community of Sant’Egidio, Federation of Evangelical Churches in Italy, and Tavola Valdese. With this last arrival the number of refugees involved in the project counts 540. The 40 Syrians landed in Italy yesterday come from the cities of Aleppo, Homs and Damascus: among them many children, women and elderly people.
The Humanitarian Corridors are completely financed by the organizations that have promoted the pilot project: taxpayers are not economically involved in the costs. The funds come through the “eight per a thousand” tax provision of the Waldensian Church and other fundraising.
“Walls and bans of people from specific countries will end up creating a lack of security in the United States”, said Giro, himself a member of the Community of Sant’Egidio, commenting President Trump’s decision to stop the entry in the U.S. for the next 90 days for people coming from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya and Somalia. “Italy wants to solve the problems. We don’t want to increase hate, but instead create policies which work, such as the organized acceptance and distribution of refugees, coupled with economic accords with countries of origin”, added Giro, welcoming the refugees at Fiumicino.
Bernard Cazeneuve, French Prime Minister, has recently shown his will to adopt the Humanitarian Corridors model. Cazeneuve took part at the annual event of the Fédération protestante de France where François Clavairoly, FPF’s president, has announced that the protestant federation has reached an agreement with the French government and the Community of Sant’Egidio for welcoming refugees in the same pattern of the Humanitarian Corridors.
Italy called for immediate cessation of hostility and humanitarian access
NEW YORK, JANUARY 27 – The terrible conditions of the civilians and the tragic consequences for the Yemeni people who will risk a famine in 2017 were on the agenda on Thursday of a UN Security Council meeting when the escalation of the war in Yemen was discussed by the UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, and by Stephen O’Brien, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator.
Italy called for immediate cessation of hostility and humanitarian access, “indispensable elements to guarantee an improvement for local people’s conditions”, in the belief that an immediate ceasefire is the only way to improve Yemenis alarming and critical situation, followed by a political solution and the renewal of peace talks under the auspices of the United Nations.
The scenario in which the UN is working is precarious: armed hostilities continues in many areas, where civilians in Taiz suffer from “indiscriminate shelling in the city’s residential areas, with such attacks increasing in recent days”, the UN Special Envoy said. With the launch of operation ‘Golden Spear’ by the Yemeni Government and allied forces the western coastline faced the increasing of ground fighting and airstrikes.
Yemenis’ lives are at stake. The UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien warned on the risk of famine for 2017 if there is no immediate action. Data show that the situation is worsening especially for children, with 2.2 million boys and girls acutely malnourished: a 63% increase since late 2015. In his remarks, O’Brien said that 14 million people are food insecure, half of them are severely food insecure. “Yemeni are forced to miss meals and eat food with poor nutritional value. Children are going to bed hungry every night”.
O’Brien said that in order to support the 2017 humanitarian response the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs needs $2 billion so to targeting 10 million of the most vulnerable people in Yemen. The UN Emergency Relief Coordinator asked then the Member States “to pledge generously at the forthcoming Yemen Pledging Conference in late March”.
The UN Special Envoy for Yemen met early in January with President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi, Prime Minister Ahmed bin Daghr and Foreign Minister Abdel Malik Mekhlafi. He has also spoken with senior officials from the Governments of Saudi Arabia, Oman and Qatar in Riyadh, Muscat and Doha. During these talks the Special Envoy affirmed that “Yemen’s political elites have a responsibility to shield people from further harm, protect their country’s future and commit to a peaceful settlement”. Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed asked the Yemeni President “to act swiftly and engage constructively with the UN’s proposal for the sake of the country’s future”.
According to UN data, the war in Yemen caused the death of 10,000 people in two years. The United Nations Children’s Fund has recently renewed its call on the people involved in the country’s conflict to protect children and stop attacks on civilian structures. UNICEF says that since the escalation of the conflict in March 2015 nearly 1,400 children have been killed and at least 2,140 injured. Nearly 2,000 schools in the country have been damaged or destroyed, or are being used for military purposes.