Quirinale palace, 06/10/2016
I renew my welcome to the United Nations' Secretary General, greeting him in the sign of the friendship that binds Italy to the United Nations.
Allow me to express, on behalf of myself and of Italy, our gratitude and appreciation for his continuous efforts to strengthen the United Nations in the course of the two terms served at the helm of the Organisation.
Under his leadership, history-making results have been achieved during these last 10 years, in crucial areas such as international coexistence, development and the regulation of climate change. I am particularly referring to the adoption of the 2030 Agenda and to the agreement on climate change which, following the Paris Conference, was reached in New York and came into force yesterday with the ratification by the European Parliament. As a European citizen, I am proud that it was the European Parliament to put the agreement into force.
However, the list of results achieved during Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's term of office is lengthy. Allow me to mention his extraordinary commitment to the issue of migrants, as also confirmed by the event that Mr. Ban Ki-moon chaired on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, recalling the joint responsibility of all the Countries of the international community in this respect. I would also recall the Secretary General's commitment in favour of gender equality and against all forms of discrimination and violence.
The Secretary General has to catch a flight soon, leaving me little time to add much more, although I wanted to underscore the great extent of our appreciation and gratitude for the work done during his 10-year term in office.
Before concluding, I would like to recall that Italy will sit on the Security Council in 2017 and intends to focus its attention on the challenge posed by the issue of security in Africa and in the Middle East, supporting the commitment of the United Nations in the compelling areas of crisis prevention, promoting human rights, empowering women, youth and moderate religious leaders in the fight against violent fundamentalism and radicalism.
Another two important pillars of our participation in the Security Council will be tackling climate change and regulating the migration phenomenon. We are ready to work in complete synergy with all the Agencies of the United Nations System.
We will also work with your successor, Mr. António Guterres to whom, while awaiting for his appointment to be made official, I would like to wish, as of now, the best possible success in his new position. I am certain that his extraordinary international experience and his commitment in favour of the weaker segments of society - as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees - will constitute the best possible guarantee in assuring continuity to the valuable heritage that you, Mr. Secretary General, bequeath to the United Nations after your 10 years in office.