Italy running for UN Security Council seat

Bid part of broader commitment to peace, security, development

(ANSA) - Rome, March 4 - In July 2009 Italy presented its candidacy for a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council for the 2017-2018 term. The elections will be held in the General Assembly in June 2016.
    Since becoming a UN member in 1955, Italy has lent its full support to the UN, contributing to the strengthening of multilateralism, which is one of the mainstays the country's foreign policy. Over the years, Italy has shouldered its share of the collective responsibility implicit in UN membership, serving on the Security Council as a non-permanent member six times and as a member of the Economic and Social Committee for eight terms. Italy's candidacy for a non-permanent seat on the Security Council fits into the broader framework of its contribution to peacekeeping and security and to the achievement of the Millennium Goals. Italy is the top Western contributor of blue helmets, the seventh contributor to the UN's regular and peacekeeping budgets, and it is deeply committed to the stabilisation of crisis areas and the defence and promotion of human rights and sustainable development.
    SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT.
    Italian Development Cooperation allows Italy to be active in the world's main humanitarian crisis areas. From Iraq to the Sahel, from the Horn of Africa to the countries affected by Ebola, Italy is working alongside the United Nations' specialised agencies and a network of volunteer associations and NGOs.
    Poverty eradication is a major priority that Italy pursues by making substantial contributions through the multilateral channel of the UN programmes, funds and specialized agencies committed to achieving the Millennium Goals. In 2014, Rome renewed its financial commitment to basic education and healthcare cooperation through pledges to the Global Partnership for Education and the Global Fund Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Italy is also the eighth largest contributor to the African Development Fund.
    Italy is committed to assuring the balanced sustainable development of water, food, climate and energy, which are global public assets. As Chair of the General Assembly's Second Committee, Italy is promoting a shared vision of the Post-2015 Agenda, combining the goals of economic, social and environmental development with the building of peaceful societies based on democratic institutions, rule of law, and the protection of human rights.
    A common EU position on the Post-2015 Agenda was drafted during the Italian Presidency of the EU (the second half of 2014). Italy used that opportunity to promote a vision focused less on the notion of assistance and more on the idea of cooperation among equals, based on the sharing of resources, skills and development experiences that the EXPO Milano 2015 will showcase in the field of Food Security and Nutrition.
    AGRICULTURE AND ENERGY.
    The Italian agricultural model, based on product excellence, reflects a carefully-preserved tradition handed down from generation to generation, as well as the way small and medium-sized agricultural enterprises often join forces in cooperatives and consortia. The Italian model has become a dynamic development cooperation instrument that has been successfully applied in countries tackling serious and complex problems, such as drought and famine, that impact food security drastically.
    Italy has long promoted major programmes of agricultural cooperation, rural and agricultural development. Italy supports partner countries in various regions of the world, from Africa to Latin America. The goal is to tap the dynamism of the target economies: there are millions of fertile, uncultivated acres - and other millions improperly used - which have considerable agricultural potential that can be realized by introducing more advanced organisational and technological models.
    Italy firmly supports the Istanbul Plan of Action (IPoA) for the least developed countries, and considers the sustainable use of energy, agricultural industrialisation, agro-industrial development, and the production chain approach to be crucial to development.
    The commitment to the development of modern, sustainable, inclusive agriculture is one of the pillars of Italy's efforts.
    The country's contribution to sustainable growth is the central focus of Milan EXPO 2015 (1 May-31 October), dedicated to Food Security and Nutrition, which intends to give major impetus to the international development debate, and with which the United Nations is fully associated.
    WATER.
    The good governance of water ensures the sustainable use of natural resources and is vital to social wellbeing and economic growth.
    Italy feels that inclusive, efficient governance of the water is decisive to sustainable development and the quality of human life, but it is also crucial to preventing conflicts over access to water. To that end, Italy is actively preparing for the discussions on the right to water, as stated in the resolutions of the European Parliament and Italian Parliament of 2007, and in the United Nations' 2010 resolution asserting the human right to water and sanitation.
    Italy is shaping its efforts at the UN consistent with these convictions, and has lent considerable technical and financial support to the pursuit of MDG 7 on environmental sustainability. Among other things, Goal 7 calls for halving the percentage of persons lacking access to drinkable water and basic hygienic services by 2015.
    In outlining the Post-2015 Agenda, Italy has strived to keep attention focussed on water as a stand-along goal, despite its close connection to other fundamental goals such as poverty eradication, food security, sustainable agriculture, healthcare and wellbeing, the sustainable development of cities, and the management of resources and terrestrial and marine ecosystems.
    Water will also be a recurrent theme in EXPO Milano 2015 events, based on its obvious link with food security and nutrition. CLIMATE AND ENVIRONMENT.
    The theme of climate change is one of Italy's main policy priorities, and one that places us in the forefront in environmental protection.
    The struggle against climate change has positive repercussions also on the promotion of a sustainable development model. Limiting the consequences of global warming, such as higher temperatures, melting icecaps and soil deterioration, is a task for the entire international community.
    Italy supports a balanced approach in the division of responsibilities. Major industrialised nations' significant reduction of CO2 must be accompanied by reduced greenhouse gas emissions in emerging economies, while developing countries need assistance in undertaking low carbon-emissions development practices and applying adaptation policies.
    Italy country actively participates in the international forums devoted to climate change, where it is constantly engaged in fostering the complete involvement of all partners and contributing to the success of United Nations negotiations. It actively participates in the international forums devoted to climate change, where it is constantly engaged in fostering the complete involvement of all partners and contributing to the success of United Nations negotiations.
    HUMAN RIGHTS.
    Italy is firmly convinced that the promotion of human rights is one of the main prerequisites for ensuring sustainable development and international security, pursuant to the principles and purposes of the United Nations Charter. Italy believes that the promotion of human rights must become a more integral part of every sector of the organisation's efforts to ensure dialogue and prevent and settle disputes.
    Italy is particularly active in the UN General Assembly's Third Committee and the Human Rights Council (of which it was a member for two three-year terms: 2007-2010 and 2011-2014). It supports the other UN bodies that deal with human rights, including the UN High Commissioner's Office for Human Rights and the UN treaty bodies in the field. Italy's action pivots on support for the international criminal justice system. Italy's human rights priorities include: the campaign for a universal moratorium on the death penalty; the defence of religious freedom and the rights of religious minorities; and promotion of the rights of women and minors, particularly through the campaigns against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and early and forced marriages, with support for the efforts of the Countries most affected. The promotion of the role of women as builders of peace and development, as well as the elimination of all forms of violence, exploitation, trafficking and discrimination, are a major priority for Italy. On these and other issues, Italy has made a decisive contribution, standing out in UN fora by virtue of its open and inclusive approach that, ever respectful of difference, ensures the defence of human rights, particularly of the more vulnerable segments of society.
    DEATH PENALTY MORATORIUM.
    Italy is deeply committed to the campaign for a universal moratorium on the death penalty. Since the 1990s Italy has been in the forefront of various initiatives in New York and Geneva, leading up to the General Assembly's historic adoption of a resolution on the question in 2007.
    Thanks to Italy's efforts between 2007 and 2014, the General Assembly approved five resolutions for a moratorium, and by a growing margin of support each time. This exceptional outcome is proof of our ability to raise awareness in a growing number of countries of the death penalty's ineffectiveness as a crime deterrent and the dramatic irreversibility of possible miscarriages of justice.
    FREEDOM OF RELIGION.
    The Defence of freedom of religion and of religious minorities is another foreign policy priority for Italy, which sees the UN as the ideal place to promote effective action in this delicate human rights area. Every year, Italy sponsors a resolution in the General Assembly on the principles of religious freedom, condemning all forms of intolerance and discrimination. The resolution, which always garners ample consensus, was unanimously approved in 2014.
    Italy is also constantly engaged in mediating between groups of States from different cultural and religious backgrounds. These efforts have led to compromises on resolutions to condemn all forms of religious discrimination and in defence of freedom of expression, ultimately allowing the various groups of States' to approve the draft texts.
    THE ROLE OF WOMEN.
    Italy has long been committed to the international promotion of gender equality and women's empowerment. No nation can make true political, civil, social and economic progress without the equal participation and full involvement of women in decision-making as well as in education and training. Women make a significant contribution to peace-building in conflict areas and to gender equality in fragile situations. Alongside its firm commitment to mediation, which Italy has pursued resolutely in all the multilateral forums, our country has also promoted numerous initiatives in support of women's full participation in political, economic and social development. Programmes financed by Italy have produced significant results in the economic empowerment of rural women, the education of girls, and the elimination of gender violence. Through its national Plan of Action, Italy supports the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325, "Women, Peace and Security". In 2008, during Italy's last turn as a non-permanent member of the Council, Rome worked to facilitate adoption of resolution 1820 against sexual violence in armed conflicts. Italy is a leading campaigner for the elimination of the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), to which more than 140 million women around the world are forced to submit, and the abolition of early and forced marriages. Italy actively participates in the work of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), and the UN WOMEN Executive Board, the UN body dedicated to gender equality.
    PEACE AND INTERNATIONAL SECURITY.
    Italy is the top Western contributor of military and police personnel and the seventh largest financial contributor to United Nations peacekeeping operations. Italy has participated in UN missions in Africa, Asia and Europe. Since 2006, it has participated in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) for the stabilisation of Lebanon, an operation whose command is held by Italy. We also provide personnel to other UN missions such as MINUSMA in Mali and UNMIK in Kosovo.
    In the pursuit of lasting and sustainable peace, Italy supports an integrated approach to reconciliation, peace and security through the instruments made available by the United Nations. In addition to peace missions, we support prevention initiatives, mediation and peace-building, with a focus on strengthening local institutions. Civilian-military cooperation and close collaboration with regional organisations committed to peacekeeping are crucial to Italy's efforts. Within the framework of the Peace Operations Review launched by the United Nations' Secretary-General for 2015, Italy has actively promoted the themes of the role of women and the defence of civilians during peacekeeping operations.
    MEDITERRANEAN POLICY.
    Italy's Mediterranean commitment is growing, consistent with our belief in openness, dialogue and the promotion of regional prosperity and stability.
    Our country links the two shores of the Mediterranean - also by virtue of our geographical position - and is especially close to the countries of the Maghreb, the Mashriq, the Middle East, and the Persian Gulf, with whom we have close economic, trade and cultural ties. With regional partners, Italy pursues inclusive policies based on the principle of multilateralism. A founding member of the Union for the Mediterranean, Italy has launched numerous collaborative projects in sectors that are strategic to the countries of the region.
    THE UN IN ITALY.
    The UN has a significant presence in different parts of Italy, attesting to our support for the organisation and its activities in every sector of international relations. Rome hosts the headquarters of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Food Program (WFP) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). Italy is also home to the United Nations Logistics Base (UNLB) in Brindisi, which provides logistical support to peacekeeping operations and a humanitarian response deposit. Turin is the home to the UN System Staff College in Turin, where UN officers are trained, the ILO International Training Center, and the UN Interregional Crime Research Institute (UNICRI). In addition these are UN regional offices and bodies headquartered in Florence, Venice and Perugia. Trieste hosts a cutting-edge scientific hub consisting of the International Center for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), the International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), the World Academy of Science (TWAS), and the Inter Academy Panel (IAP).
   

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