Etichettato: Italy

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

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

EUNAVFOR Med graduated the first 89 cadets of Libya’s Coast Guard and Navy

More than 13,000 migrants have been rescued from the sea in the course of the operation Sophia

by Matteo Meloni

Twitter: @melonimatteo

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.

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“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.

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

Yemen: UN officials warn of “dangerous escalation, risk of famine for 2017”

Italy called for immediate cessation of hostility and humanitarian access

by Matteo Meloni

Twitter: @melonimatteo

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.

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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.

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

Alfano in Tunis: Italy with Tunisia, strengthening democratic institutions

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

TUNIS, JANUARY 20 – The so-called Arab Spring has changed the political asset of the African-Mediterranean countries, where new governments and political parties are still trying to define the balance of power after years of clashes and tumults. Tunisia is a unique case of success, where a working political class and democratic institutions have already adopted a modern Constitution that shaped the future of the Northern African country.

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Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano and the President of republic of Tunisia Beji Caid Essebsi

In this framework Italy plays an important role, reaffirmed by Angelino Alfano, Italian Foreign Minister in yesterday’s visit to Tunis. Alfano met with Beji Caid Essebsi, President of the Republic of Tunisia, the Prime Minister Youssef Chahed and his counterpart Khemaies Jhinaoui. The officials had talks about economy, culture, fight against terrorism and migrations, key topics of the international agenda.

Minister Alfano recalled “the historic continuity and the commonalities of bilateral relations between the two countries” and said that Italy wants to boost the cooperation with Tunisia in every aspects. In May Italy is to host the G7 meeting in Taormina, Sicily, and Tunisia is invited to take part in the event. “Italy and Tunisia have in common history, geography, a mutual culture and above all a deep friendship”, said Angelino Alfano.

Italy strongly support Tunisia institutions: the President of the Republic Mattarella will meet Beji Caid Essebsi in February. “President (Mattarella) is happy to welcome you, our staffs are working together to organize the meeting for the best success and to reach concrete results”, affirmed Alfano talking with Essebsi. “Tunisian democracy is a precious treasure, a barrier against Islamic fanaticism”.

There are several important project on which Italy and Tunisia are working: youth training opportunities; economic development of the hinterland; the fight against terrorism; the energy interconnectivity. Alfano mentioned the support for young Tunisians by proposing the “Erasmus of the Mediterranean”, a proposal that has the goal to “unite the young generations through a new version of the consolidated and successful EU member states Socrates/Erasmus programme”, affirmed the Foreign Minister.

During a press conference, Minister Alfano and his colleague Jhinaoui agreed on a common management of Italy-Tunisia border. “We have the same enemy: human traffickers”, said Alfano. Italy rescues thousands of migrants trying to reach Europe via the Mediterranean: according to the IOM, the UN International Organization for Migrations, since the beginning of 2017 3,156 human beings arrived in Europe, 2,393 saved by Italian authorities. Last December Italian Coast Guard was appointed UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador “as recognition for its efforts in rescuing thousands of minor migrants and refugees”.

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.

Italy confirmed to UNCITRAL, core UN body for international trade law

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 – Another important result has been achieved by Italian diplomacy at the United Nations. After the election to ECOSOC, the UN’s central platform for reflection, debate, and innovative thinking on sustainable development, for the term 2016­2018, on Monday Italy was confirmed for another six years term as member of UNCITRAL, the core legal body of the United Nations system in the field of international trade law.

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The UN General Assembly, New York

The General Assembly elected 23 member states in a membership of 60 nations. The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law has the role to formulate the rules on commercial transaction, with the goal to harmonize the global system. With Italy, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, India, Israel, Iran, Lebanon, Mauritius, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, United States, and Venezuela were elected or confirmed. The new term will begin 27 June 2016.

Trade means faster growth, higher living standards, and new opportunities through commerce. In order to increase these
opportunities worldwide, UNCITRAL is formulating modern, fair, and harmonized rules on commercial transactions. UNCITRAL’s framework is composed by 6 working groups on Micro, Small and Medium­sized Enterprises, Arbitration and Conciliation,Online Dispute Resolution, Electronic Commerce,Insolvency Law and Security Interests. The Commission alternates its annual sessions at United Nations Headquarters in New York, and in Vienna at the International Center. Italy is at the forefront in the Commission, with 2 representatives such as Maria Chiara Malaguti ­ President of the Working Group on Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), and Giusella Finocchiaro, ­Head of the Working Group on Electronic Commerce.

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The International Center of Vienna, VIC

Malaguti and Finocchiaro are both Professors in important Italian universities. Malaguti teaches International Law at Universita’ Cattolica del Sacro Cuore; she’s a lawyer and consultant for the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Giusella Finocchiaro, a lawyer as well, is Full Professor of Internet Law and Private Law at the University of Bologna.

Last May, Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi, Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations in New York, signed the United Nations Convention on Transparency in Treaty­-based Investor-­State Arbitration, an important agreement that represent a fundamental change from the status quo of arbitrations conducted outside the public spotlight.

FAO in Emergencies: 10 years of support from Italian cooperation

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, OCTOBER 30 2015 –  From the plans to revive Ache’s tsunami-hit aquaculture industry in 2005 to current efforts to support Madagascar in the Locust crisis: within the last 10 years, Italy has intervened in emergencies on several occasions with logistic and financial aids to other nations. Recently the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) celebrated Italy’s support with a tweet that exemplifies how strong the Italian commitment is to the topic of food emergencies.

After the earthquake that hit Nepal in April, Italy immediately provided a grant of € 400.000 to the FAO, guaranteeing farmers the grain storage to prevent further food losses, seeds for summer planting and livestock support to keep surviving animals healthy and productive. The project, which began May 13, 2015, directly supported nearly 6000 severely affected families in 6 of Nepal’s most prominent districts.

1In June of 2015, Italy and other UN partners contributed an additional $3 million USD for emergency relief in order to resume agricultural activities and stave off the threat of prolonged food insecurity. The most urgent needs for the cropping season included seeds, fertilizers, tools and technical support. The repair and functioning of irrigation systems were critical for the winter cropping season, as well as the provision of barley and wheat seeds.

Much like the relations between Italy and its dedication to global commitment, the relations between Italy and the Middle-East countries has always been strong. In 2013, Italy made a contribution of approximately € 700.000 to support the winter wheat production in the Syrian Arab Republic. The main goal of the project not only aided in improving food security, but also assisted in improving the livelihood and nutrition conditions of vulnerable households living in the crisis-affected areas of Aleppo, Al-Hasakeh, Hama and Idleb governorates through the provision of cereal seeds.

In the last ten years FAO and the Italian Cooperation have worked together to address multiple challenges faced by 2Palestinians in maintaining their livelihood. Because of these initiatives, thousands of families now have greater and more sustainable access to vital livelihood supplies and services through activities such as rangeland rehabilitation by using drought-tolerant shrubs, the establishment of mobile veterinary centres, and the installation of rainwater cisterns and grey wastewater treatment units, which maximize scarce water resources.

In 2011, Italy supported eight-thousand families living in the provinces of Pyongyang, South Pyongan, North Hwanghae, South Hamgyong and South Hwanghae of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, by increasing potato production, strengthening multiplication of seed potato in net houses, and improving storage facilities.

The recent visit in Italy of the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and his speech at the Italian Parliament, with the presence of the President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella, Senators, and Deputies of the Italian government, reaffirmed the importance of Italy’s role in international relations and its dedication to “leading across the rule of law agenda, lending the world its expertise in dealing with transnational crime and other threats,” ultimately proving how strong the Italian commitment is to the values and goals of the UN.