20 March 2015

Remarks at press event/signing ceremony for agreement between the Government of Italy and the United Nations System Staff College

Ban Ki-moon

Honorable Piero Fassino, Mayor of Torino, Your Excellency, Mr. Paolo Gentiloni, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy, Buona sera, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure to meet you again, Foreign Minister, for a second time. We had a good meeting two days ago in Rome.

Mr. Mayor, thank you for your kind hospitality for the members of the United Nations senior leadership during the last two days’ meetings.

I am deeply grateful to the Government of Italy and her people for such strong and generous support for the United Nations system staff college located in Torino. This is the centre of learning and training for United Nations staff. With this very generous contribution and support of Euro500,000 annually, this will strengthen our capacity for learning and training our UN staff which will, in the end, support the people around the world whom we serve.

It is not only the UN system staff college which you are supporting - you are accommodating three Rome-based food and nutrition-related United Nations agencies – the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Food Programme (WFP), and IFAD, the International Fund for Agricultural Development. And you are supporting our global logistical hub in Brindisi. Those three cities are accommodating critically important organizations, and I really thank you very much for that.

Italy’s support and contribution and commitment for peace by dispatching very able [personnel to] peacekeeping operations to Lebanon and elsewhere is exemplary, and we count on Italy’s continuing support in working together with the United Nations for world peace, development and human rights.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me take this moment to express my deepest condolences to the people and Government of Italy and particularly the members of the families affected by this terrorist attack. I know that some of the citizens of Torino were also killed and injured and my thoughts are with them. We paid tribute and sympathy to them by observing a minute of silence. I know that Torino city is now observing two days of a mourning period.

Today, again, the world was shocked by the news of what happened in Sana’a, Yemen, where tens of people were killed and more than a hundred people were injured by a terrorist attack. I strongly condemn, in the strongest terms, such brutality and barbaric terrorist attack against the civilian population. The United Nations is strongly committed to defeat and fight terrorism. This is exactly one of the subjects which the United Nations leadership has discussed in Torino. I hope that we can also count on the continuing support of the Italian Government. Grazie mille.