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
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.
This article first appeared in Onuitalia, independent news site on Italy’s contribution to the life and ideals of the United Nations
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Snapchat è l’app del momento: tutti – o quasi – la usano, tutti – o quasi – ne parlano. Per anni è stata relegata tra le app per ragazzini: salì agli onori della cronaca a causa dell’utilizzo smodato da parte dei teenager della funzione di sparizione delle immagini. I contenuti inviati tramite la chat, infatti, svaniscono subito dopo averli visualizzati, mentre quelli pubblicati nella sezione «Storia» restano in vita per 24 ore. Alcuni utilizzavano l’app (e forse ancora lo fanno) per inviare foto di nudità varie ed eventuali. Ma ad un certo punto qualcuno si è reso conto che si poteva fare storytelling (sì, lo so, parola abusata, ma tant’è…) diversamente dal solito. Snapchat ha una marea di funzioni, che all’inizio possono sembrare strane ma che, una volta presa la patente, spinge l’utente ad utilizzare la quinta marcia facilmente. L’intento di questo articolo non è spiegare come si usa Snapchat, ma di raccontare la mia personalissima esperienza con l’app, come mi ci sono approcciato e perché.
Mi sono reso conto dell’importanza di Snapchat e delle sue potenzialità durante un periodo lavorativo svolto alla Rappresentanza Italiana presso le Nazioni Unite. Da qualche tempo l’ONU utilizza con successo l’app per raccontare in maniera informale quello che accade durante gli incontri internazionali. A fine ottobre ho avuto l’incarico di documentare il resoconto della Under-Secretary-General Cristina Gallach, capo del Department of Public Affairs delle Nazioni Unite, nel quale venivano evidenziati i dati delle campagne di comunicazione elaborate dalle UN. La Gallach ha spiegato come i lavori dell’ultima Assemblea Generale, grazie all’uso di Snapchat, sono stati seguiti da 4 milioni di utenti in più, la maggior parte dei quali teenager. Lì ho capito il reale valore di Snapchat: se si vuol coinvolgere un’audience più ampia, e raggiungere specifiche fette della popolazione – in questo caso mondiale – bisogna raccontare ciò che un’organizzazione\azienda fa proprio dove gli utenti stanno. Non ha senso continuare a ripetere che Snapchat è per ragazzini: bisogna utilizzarlo, e divertirsi, per capire come funziona, scoprendone le tantissime funzionalità nascoste.
Recentemente, le Nazioni Unite hanno raccontato la cerimonia della firma del Paris Agreement utilizzando Snapchat: una diffusione di informazioni e contenuti efficace e snella, giovane e decisamente colorata.
La corsa alla Casa Bianca
Nel panorama politico, quello statunitense sembra il più attivo sul fronte Snapchat: pochi giorni prima dell’ultimo discorso di Barack Obama allo State of the Union la Casa Bianca ha creato un account (whitehouse 👻), pubblicando immagini esclusive dalla residenza presidenziale, alcune delle quali simpatiche che ritraevano i cani del Presidente, o ancora un breve saluto video di Joe Biden al pubblico di Snapchat. Restando negli Stati Uniti, i candidati alla nomination democratica Bernie Sanders (bernie.sanders 👻) e Hillary Clinton (hillaryclinton 👻) stanno sfruttando appieno l’app californiana, mettendo in mostra momenti importanti della loro campagna elettorale: i supporters, i membri degli staff, il dietro le quinte dell’organizzazione degli eventi.
I grandi broadcaster
Tra l’altro, testate giornalistiche e reti televisive di spessore quali The Washington Post, Huffington Post, CNN, Weird, National Geographic e altri sono presenti su Snapchat. Il Washington Post e l’Huffington Post hanno un account tramite il quale raccontano in presa diretta gli avvenimenti che seguono. Ad esempio, durante le ultime elezioni in Turchia, l’inviato del Washington Post (washingtonpost 👻) ha realizzato un vero e proprio reportage innovativo, inframezzando video e foto – che possono durare un massimo di 10 secondi – con didascalie per spiegare ciò che avveniva ad Istanbul in quell’occasione. CNN, Weird, National Geographic e altri hanno uno spazio dedicato, chiamato Discover, che viene aggiornato giornalmente in modo dinamico e coinvolgente: si può decidere se vedere un video, aprire link ad articoli, o condividere quello che si vede con propri amici di Snapchat, e così via.
Snapchat non è per tutti ed è costoso
No, non mi riferisco ai singoli utenti che vogliono modificare le proprie facce con gli effetti 3D, ma alle aziende. Bisogna saper raccontare il proprio brand, che è forse la merce più rara in circolazione, e quindi non rovinarlo seguendo quello che potrebbe essere il social del momento ma del quale non si possono avere certezze nel medio e lungo periodo. Come scrive Dakota Shane Nunley sul suo profilo Medium, Snapchat funziona per:
- aziende che hanno un business “personality-based”;
- persone che già possiedono un numero elevato di followers su altre piattaforme;
- imprenditori di sé stessi;
- singoli individui, senza aspettative particolari;
- brand disposti a sborsare ingenti quantità di denaro.
Snapchat si fa pagare in maniera salatissima: sponsorizzare un evento o un brand sulla piattaforma ha dei prezzi esorbitanti. Essere presenti su Discover costa circa $700,000 al giorno; un filtro geolocalizzato $200,000; sfruttare gli influencers: dai $20,000 ai $50,000 per una campagna. Insomma, bisogna valutare attentamente costi e benefici, considerando il fatto che in Italia l’app sta prendendo piede solo negli ultimi mesi. In metro mi capita spesso di imbattermi in trentenni – come me – intenti a guardare gli aggiornamenti dei propri amici su Snapchat: un segno dei tempi che cambiano.
Questo articolo è stato aggiornato rispetto alla prima pubblicazione avvenuta sul mio blog Medium
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.
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.
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.
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.
In 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 Palestinians 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.