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Italy in the UN Security Council – Minister Alfano in New York: “The Mediterranean is our priority”

On 1 January, 2017, Italy began exercising its mandate within the United Nations Security Council.

Italy’s agenda will be illustrated to the 15 members of the UNSC by Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano, who is in New York to attend Italy’s first UNSC meeting as a non-permanent member. The mandate will last throughout 2017 and will subsequently be passed on to The Netherlands, as agreed therewith last June.  

“Italy can play an important role in reinforcing the focus on the Mediterranean – a priority for our Country – as it goes back to sitting in the UN’s decision-making body after eight years,” said Minister Alfano on the eve of his first transatlantic mission since he swore in as Foreign Minister. He emphasised that the issue of immigration is one of the priority emergencies in assuring peace and security, now threatened worldwide more than ever before. Mr Alfano assured that he will loudly voice Italy’s stand – not only at the United Nations but also in Brussels and in the Old Continent’s main Chancelleries – on the dramatic migration phenomenon which he also had to handle in his preceding capacity as Minister of the Interior. “We want the European Union to be aware that, as in the case of the funds allocated to finance the agreement with Turkey to stop migrants in transit to Northern Europe, Europe will also have to appropriate a lot of money to stop departures, by signing agreements with the African Countries of origin and transit, as well as to manage repatriations,” said the minister before flying to New York. The Foreign Minister will repeat this stand also at his meeting with the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, with whom he will discuss the principal international current events, starting with the issue of terrorism and the situation in Syria, but even more the situation in Libya.    

The talks will also focus on the timeline established under the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development and climate change at a time in which the changeover in the U.S. Administration could impact the decisions taken by the United Nations up to now, starting with the agreement to cut emissions reached at the Paris Conference. The minister will also meet with the President of the UN General Assembly, Peter Thomson. The UNSC meeting, dedicated to the theme of sustainable peace and conflict prevention, will also offer the opportunity to discuss how to make the UN’s engagement more effective, with special attention on the UNIFIL mission in Lebanon, by not only reinforcing the civil and political scope of its missions’ mandate but also including therein the protection of cultural diversity.