The new challenges to multilateralism
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Opening Ceremony- SIOI, 20th May, 2019

Speech delivered by President Franco Frattini

High Excellencies,
Young delegates,
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am particularly glad to welcome you today at SIOI-UNA Italy to this important and unique event which we have been honoured to organize in cooperation with the World Federation of United Nations Association.
I thus wish to address my heart-felt thanks to Bonian Golmohammadi, WFUNA Secretary-General, for being here today. I would like to give a warm welcome to our special guests and Keynote speakers: Marcela Villareal, Director, Partnerships Division FAO; Luis Jiménez Mcinnis on behalf of IFAD; Staffan De Mistura, Former Under-Secretary-General, UN Special Envoy for Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon; Bettina Tucci Bartsiotas, UNICRI Director.

The Italian Society for International Organization (SIOI) is an international non-profit organization that has been cooperating since 1944 with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. SIOI UNA Italy has its main office here in the centre of Rome, in Palazzetto Venezia, and has spread over national territory through all of its branches (Milan, Turin, Naples), the Office to support the United Nations in Assisi, and groups of the Students’ Movement for International Organization (MSOI).

SIOI- UNA Italy is one of the 22 founding member of the WFUNA. To this regard I would like to remember that we had the privilege to host here the WFUNA’s 4th Plenary Assembly in 1949.

SIOI was founded in Rome on 4th October 1944, when Italy was still divided by war, on the initiative of a group of eminent personalities belonging to the cultural and political life. We are an historical Italian internationalist organization that since the post-war period has been working to carry on the most important negotiations of Italy’s accession to the major international organizations. The then Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alcide De Gasperi, in the Second Bonomi Government, in December 1944, saw the contribution that an institution such as SIOI could have secured to the Italian Government on its return to the international scene in the difficult years of the post-war transition. Convinced that the Italy would have received its full international legitimacy with the admission to the United Nations, he wanted to submit the nomination of SIOI to the World Federation of United Nations Associations.
In 1946, SIOI entered WFUNA, becoming the United Nations’ focal point in Italy considering that Italy was not yet a U.N. member state; indeed only in 1955 Italy’s long wait to join the United Nations Organization finally came to an end. The international action of SIOI-UNA Italy also corresponds to the intense government’s activity on the international front. Foreign policy becomes a priority for Italy: many of actions and strategies were born here at Palazzetto Venezia. These are the years in which our country finds a leading role on the international chess, and SIOI UNA Italy becomes a direct witness of the meetings (closed and public) that will lead to the birth of historic alliances, agreements and decisions.

“The ceremony celebrating Italy’s entry into the UN took place at Palazzo Barberini in Rome on 31 January 1956, at the presence of the President of the Republic Luigi Einaudi and of the highest authorities. The then President of SIOI Niccolò Carandini had the privilege to open the historical ceremony at which intervened the then Minister for Foreign Affairs Gaetano Martino, the SIOI Secretary General Roberto Ago, the special representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Georges Palthey and the Prime Minister, Antonio Segni.

Minister Martino will say in his speech: “I believe I must be the interpreter of the feelings of all those who participate in this solemn meeting by expressing the greatest satisfaction to the leaders of the Italian Society for the International Organization for having conceived and proposed the act we are carrying out at this time in order to make the meaning of Italy’s admission to the United Nations more evident and operative in the conscience of Italians (…)” “The Italian Society for the International Organization concludes tonight, with this act, a period and a cycle of its activity during which it acted for the creation in Italy of a strong current of public opinion in favour of the United Nations. This task was pointed out to SIOI since March 1946 by Alcide De Gasperi. The courageous and clairvoyant statesman considered that Italy’s non-membership of the United Nations was not a less reason but one more reason to wish that the aims of the Organization were made known to the Italians and the notion of them could become an essential element of their political conscience. “

That’s why our institutional aims are the diplomatic and international training, research and information on topics in international organizations, international relations, international cooperation, and international protection of human rights. SIOI School of Higher Education in International Affairs is devoted to post graduate students, civil servants, public administration officials, foreign embassies’ officers, private employees, and so on.

Our historical course is the Master’s course in Diplomatic Studies. Since 1946 we have been preparing young for the diplomatic competition and I can proudly say that more than half of Italian diplomats were trained in our School. SIOI is also an active member of the forum ‘International Union of Diplomatic Academies’ (IFDT) in Vienna. Moving from tradition to the present time, SIOI is being working thanks to the strong connection to the United Nations and to our Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We are particularly proud of the active cooperation and synergies with WFUNA and with the International Organization represented today by our guests. As an example, you will remember that the first edition of WFUNA International Model United Nations – WIMUN was jointly organized here in Rome in 2014.

I would like to share with you some of our special initiatives 2019 connected to the goals of the Agenda 2030. The UN Youth Delegate Programme 2019: SIOI-UNA Italy in collaboration with the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation is promoting and organizing the third edition of the United Nations Youth Delegate Programme for Italian students (UNDYP Italy). Two young Italians aged between 18 and 30 will be selected for accompanying the government’s diplomatic delegation to the 74th UN General Assembly and represent the instances of young people at the highest level.

ZEROHACKATHON 2019- SIOI – UNA Italy, in partnership with the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research, the United States Embassy to Italy and the Royal Norvegian Embassy, is launching the third edition of #ZeroHackathon on Oceans and Polar Connections . This youth competition of ideas will focus on the role of sustainable development to address the consequences of climate change in the Arctic, Antarctic and Oceans. More than 200 highly motivated young students from high schools and universities all around the world will gather in Rome on 2-4 October 2019.
Participants are invited to develop innovative, high-impact ideas and projects to promote international cooperation, rising awareness on the most pressing issues related to Oceans and Poles, strengthening resilience of multi-scale changes, addressing the rapidly changing climate and the consequences of pollution, improving a safe and secure use of marine protected areas and the Arctic and Antarctic resources.

In collaboration with the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Italy and the High North Center for Business and Governance – Nord University (Bodø, Norway), SIOI UNA Italy SIOI will organize, on October 1st, a new edition of the International Symposium “Arctic Connections: a trust-building Arctic cooperation on Energy and Security”. The event is part of a broader project of SIOI “Arctic Connections” which aims to strengthen bilateral relations with the Member States and Observatories of the Arctic Council, identifying possible areas of cooperation and dialogue.

Through these initiatives, SIOI UNA Italy also aims to raise awareness among new generations and public opinion about the importance
of sustainable economic growth and the consequences of climate change affecting the entire planet. Our mission is to foster the UN values and goals, spread knowledge of international policy issues through research and public conferences, promote the inclusion of young people on decision making at highest level through education and training, investigate issues such as global change, sustainable development, terrorism threats and international cooperation as core items in our Master courses.

We strongly believe that the United Nations – guided by the universal values enshrined in the Charter – has made the difference for a shared progress: diplomacy for peace, climate action, achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), digital innovation, fair globalization, global compacts on migration and refugees.

In our rapidly changing world the values of peace, justice, human dignity, tolerance and solidarity are under attack but we need to drive our world forward by accelerating joint efforts to build security and stability around the globe. We need even more a shared vision for a global action.

It’s clear that this meeting represents a great opportunity to renew and strengthen our cooperation and paving the way to future joint projects. We are honoured by your presence here. Thank you again for joining us. I wish you a fruitful meeting and please enjoy Rome in all its beauty!

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