Categoria: United Nations

Guterres, climate change is real; Italy lends support to Africa, SIDS in reaching SDGs

by Matteo Meloni

Twitter: @melonimatteo

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.

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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

UNHCR’s Grandi meets the 15 members of the SC at the Italian mission

by Matteo Meloni

Twitter: @melonimatteo

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.

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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

Siria, perché l’Italia ha sostenuto la risoluzione bocciata da Russia e Cina

di Matteo Meloni

Twitter: @melonimatteo

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.

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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.

This article first appeared in Onuitalia, independent news site on Italy’s contribution to the life and ideals of the United Nations

North Korea, the Security Council condemns attempts to evade sanctions

by Matteo Meloni

Twitter: @melonimatteo

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.

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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.

This article first appeared in Onuitalia, independent news site on Italy’s contribution to the life and ideals of the United Nations

Yemen, Italy funds IOM and UNFPA for interventions in favour of children and to prevent violence against women

by Matteo Meloni

Twitter: @melonimatteo

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.

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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.

Burkina Faso, Italy funds project for persons with disabilities

by Matteo Meloni

Twitter: @melonimatteo

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.

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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.

This article first appeared in Onuitalia, independent news site on Italy’s contribution to the life and ideals of the United Nations

Iran: Cardi, “nuclear deal works, proof that diplomacy brings solutions”

This article first appeared in Onuitalia, independent news site on Italy’s contribution to the life and ideals of the United Nations

by Matteo Meloni

Twitter: @melonimatteo

NEW YORK, JANUARY 19 – The Iranian nuclear deal is working and is  “a proof of how diplomacy can effectively lead to a solution to nuclear non-proliferation issues”, the Italian Representative to the UN Sebastiano Cardi said on Wednesday, addressing a UN Security Council debate on non-proliferation convened by the Swedish rotating presidency. Cardi spoke in his national capacities after presenting, in his role as Facilitator, a six month report on the mechanism of implementation of the agreement announced in Vienna on July 14 2015 by the representatives of Iran, the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany, and the European Union.

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Sebastiano Cardi, Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations

The deal, also known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPoA, has been set up with a robust and comprehensive structure, supported by a solid verification mechanism, in order to enhance the transparency of the deal. “From 18 July to 20 December 2016, there have been more than 72,000 page views of the resolution 2231 website – a key channel of information – for a total of more than 140,000 since its creation”, Cardi noted.

Italy inherited from Spain the role of Facilitator, as Rome became one of the ten non-permanent member of the Security Council on January 1 2017. Touching on the main three aspects of the document and mentioning the two quarterly reports on verification and monitoring activities of the IAEA, the Italian official specifies how Iran “has not pursued construction of the existing Arak heavy water research reactor based on its original design, and that Iran has not conducted any uranium enrichment or related research and activities at the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant”. Cardi quoted then the IAEA Director General, confirming that the Islamic Republic of Iran, removing all excess centrifuges and infrastructure from the Fordow Plant, has followed the guidelines of the JCPoA.

Previously Jeffrey Feltman, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, said that the UN “has not received any report, nor is aware of any open source information regarding the supply, sale or transfer to Iran of nuclear-related items undertaken contrary to the provisions of the resolution”.

In his speech as Italian Representative, Sebastiano Cardi stressed on how Italy’s commitment to reinforce IAEA’s job remains strong, and highlighted the leadership role of Federica Mogherini, European Union Foreign Affairs High Representative, which coordinated the Joint Commission established by the JCPoA.

January 16 was the second anniversary of the Implementation Day, a milestone for the international community that shaped a new form of relations with Iran. Sebastiano Cardi said that “it is clear that the JCPoA is working for all”, and together with the 2015 Security Council resolution on ‘Ballistic missile-related transfers and activities’, has made important steps forward so far.

#UNSGdebate: a special night for the world

by Matteo Meloni

Twitter: @melonimatteo

Who’s gonna be the next Secretary General of the United Nations? For the very first time yesterday the General Assembly hosted 10 of the 12 candidates hopeful to become head of the most important international organization

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The candidates faced several questions related to the reform of the Security Council, UN budget, sexual abuse by the peacekeepers and other topics.

Here’s the story of yesterday’s debate, made possible by the President of the General Assembly, Morgens Lykketoft and Al Jazeera.

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Italia al Consiglio di Sicurezza ONU: il racconto sui social

Twitter, Facebook e Instagram sono stati usati da Governi e delegazioni anche durante l’elezione dei 5 membri non permanenti del Security Council

di Matteo Meloni

Twitter: @melonimatteo

Un’avvincente votazione durata a lungo ha costretto i delegati dei Paesi membri delle Nazioni Unite agli straordinari per scegliere i 5 Stati non permanenti del Consiglio di Sicurezza per il biennio 2017/2018. L’Italia e l’Olanda hanno sudato la vittoria: arrivati al pareggio 95-95 alla quinta votazione, le delegazioni hanno deciso, in una mossa unitaria per l’Unione Europea all’indomani della Brexit, di spartire il seggio con Roma che siederà nel primo anno e l’Aia nel secondo.

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Il Viceministro agli Affari Esteri ha commentato così la scelta sul suo profilo Facebook:

Digital Diplomacy all’opera

E’ la Gran Bretagna ad aprire le danze: prima del voto ha offerto al pubblico di Twitter una bella panoramica dell’Assemblea Generale che si preparava a scegliere i 5 Paesi.

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Consiglio di Sicurezza e Segretario Generale: novità in vista alle Nazioni Unite

di Matteo Meloni

Twitter: @melonimatteo

Il 2016 potrebbe essere un anno di svolta per le Nazioni Unite: per la prima volta nella storia sono altissime le chance di vedere una donna eletta a Segretario Generale e, come saltuariamente accade, si paventa un ennesimo tentativo di riforma del Consiglio di Sicurezza, ingessato dallo storico quintetto formato da Stati Uniti, Russia, Cina, Gran Bretagna e Francia con diritto di veto e altri 10 Stati membri non permanenti eletti a rotazione ogni due anni.

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Il Consiglio di Sicurezza delle Nazioni Unite

La candidatura italiana al Consiglio di Sicurezza

Il ruolo italiano può avere un peso nei meccanismi di rinnovo dell’ONU, essendo il nostro Paese candidato ad un seggio nel Consiglio di Sicurezza per il biennio 2017-2018, ed in prima linea nell’aiuto ai migranti e alla lotta contro gli scafisti che alimentano la crisi dei rifugiati, il recupero dei siti archeologici devastati dalla furia di Da’esh, la forte attenzione della nostra diplomazia verso il continente africano. Il 28 giugno l’Italia sfiderà due contendenti di peso, l’Olanda e la Svezia, Paesi molto attivi nello scacchiere internazionale e fortemente presenti nelle attività delle Nazioni Unite. Matteo Renzi lo sa bene: nelle ultime visite a New York in occasione della settantesima Assemblea Generale e per la firma degli Accordi sul Clima il Premier ha più volte ribadito l’importanza strategica italiana nelle sfide che la comunità internazionale deve affrontare. L’Italia è stata recentemente membro del Consiglio di Sicurezza, portando avanti la storica battaglia contro la pena di morte che ha permesso nel 2007 la votazione di una moratoria mondiale sulle esecuzioni capitali.

I punti chiave della candidatura

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Il logo della candidatura italiana al Consiglio di Sicurezza

Nel contesto geopolitico odierno Roma ha da parte sua il grande lavoro svolto dalla Marina Militare nel salvataggio di migliaia di migranti nel Mediterraneo, la proposta avvallata in sede UNESCO della creazione di un contingente di Blue Helmets per la salvaguardia del patrimonio artistico e culturale, l’appoggio degli Stati africani, culminato nella prima conferenza Italia-Africa organizzata dalla Farnesina nei giorni scorsi. Tanto si capirà tra oggi e domani, quando i Rappresentanti Permanenti degli Stati in lizza per i 5 seggi a disposizione – oltre ad Italia, Olanda e Svezia per l’Europa, Kazakistan e Thailandia per l’Asia, l’Etiopia per l’Africa e la Bolivia per l’America Latina – esporranno le proprie proposte programmatiche in un evento organizzato dalla World Federation of United Nations Associations nelle sale Trusteeship ed ECOSOC del Palazzo di Vetro. Sarà la prima storica occasione nella quale si capiranno le priorità dei candidati al seggio, dove verranno presentate le proposte di riforma del Consiglio di Sicurezza, organo che da tempo ha perso il ruolo di facilitatore della soluzione delle crisi internazionali. 

Una donna Segretario Generale?

Intanto va avanti la campagna elettorale per l’elezione del prossimo Segretario Generale: tra il 12 e il 14 aprile i candidati hanno risposto alle domande degli Stati membri, evento trasmesso in live streaming per permettere la massima trasparenza a livello mondiale sulle tematiche discusse. Morgens Lykketoft, Presidente dell’Assemblea Generale, ha spinto affinché la selezione per il prossimo UNSG avvenisse alla luce del sole. Quotatissime Helen Clark, ex Primo Ministro neozelandese, ora a capo dell’importante Programma per lo Sviluppo delle Nazioni Unite, e la bulgara Irina Bokova, Direttore Generale dell’UNESCO. Altri nomi di peso: Vesna Pusić, la titolare degli Esteri croata, e Natalia Gherman, Primo Ministro della Moldavia. Da non sottovalutare, tuttavia, la candidatura di António Guterres, Alto Commissario dell’UNHCR per 10 anni fino allo scorso dicembre. Guterres è stato sostituito dall’italiano Filippo Grandi, nominato da Ban Ki-moon alll’apice della crisi dei rifugiati.