Palazzo del Quirinale 21/09/2020

Videomessage by the President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations

Mr. President of the General Assembly, Mr. Secretary General,

Today, we celebrate a success.

The UN has made life better for the international community.

We do not ignore the shortcomings and inadequacies of its system.

Despite these, it has acted, often successfully, to remove or reduce international tensions, so that peaceful solutions could be found to conflicts, so that the world’s agenda could take note of the inequalities to be remedied between peoples and of the limited nature of the resources available on Earth.

The great vision that led to the San Francisco Charter and to the aim of having "no more war between peoples" is more relevant than ever.

The Italian Republic is proud to have provided its contribution, in accordance with the values of its Constitution.

The United Nations has been a formidable instrument in which individual States, and their initiatives, obtained their very legitimacy.

Admission to the UN was a milestone for Italy in 1955.

Over the decades, the UN has accompanied and sanctioned the independence of many countries that have become protagonists in the life of its system.

Today, along with States, the international scenario has been enriched by new and important global players, which are the expression of civil society. This is the outcome of the years which brought about the affirmation of rights: from the Universal Declaration in 1948 to the Charter of Economic Rights and Duties of States in 1974.

The UN has been able to promote a deeper understanding among peoples, a mutual respect, thus distancing the logic of competition and affirming the principle of peaceful coexistence and cooperation. Think of the commitment of all of the world’s governments against the pandemic.

Its decision-making mechanisms can only be inspired by these goals and by the widest possible participation.

We are faced with daunting adversaries: intolerance, underdevelopment, inequalities, climate change. The effectiveness of the peace initiatives that make up the core of the UN’s actions must increase.

Each generation has its trials. We have seen the reappearance of humanitarian crises that, in turn, provoke migratory crises; terrorism; a renewed arms race: they determine new tensions and challenge the trust between countries. Preventive diplomacy, as a way of avoiding conflicts, is the way forward. The UN must be able to take on and manage the necessary peace initiatives.

Fifty years after the conference in New York that brought together an assembly of the world’s youth to discuss their future, the world we intend to entrust to the new generations must be better than the one we have inherited.

The United Nations is an instrument to achieve this goal, to give hope for the future of humanity.