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Massari in Turin: “UN hub is centre of excellence, deserves to be safeguarded”

TURIN, FEBRUARY 22 – “The UN’s hub in Turin is a centre of excellence and, as such, must be safeguarded and revamped”, the Italian Permanent Representative to the UN, Maurizio Massari, told the Italian daily “La Stampa” during a visit to the Northern Italian city for bilateral meetings, including one with its Mayor, Stefano Lo Russo.

The three United Nations’ facilities hosted by the city – the Staff College, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) training centre and the Institute for Crime Research (UNICRI) – employ over three hundred people, half of which Italians. Because of the pandemic, smart working is still in place and work in presence is limited to two days per week. “This is a training hub that is not much talked about, but it is of great importance”, said Maurizio Massari: “The investment in human capital that takes place here in Turin is fundamental for the future of global multilateral relations”.

Turin is host to one of the main worldwide training and capacity building hubs in the world. For more than 50 years, the International Training Centre of the International Labour Organization (ITCILO), the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) and the United Nations System Staff College (UNSSC) have shared the UN Campus in Turin. Their collective work focuses on promoting dialogue and enhancing knowledge and capacities to support organizations and individuals tackle global challenges.

The Ambassador’s visit had the goal to reaffirm the centrality of Turin on the map of the UN centres, writes La Stampa explaining that, in Massari’s agenda, the idea of revival is focused on three axes: starting by widening the scope of the training subjects by drawing on the Our Common Agenda “manifesto”, the reform platform launched by Secretary General Antonio Guterres in September 2021; then, developing new synergies with other multilateral bodies, the European Union in the first place; lastly, establishing new relationships with non-governmental organisations, private entities and civil society, also in terms of fundraising.

At the UN in New York, Italy can play an important role to enhance the profile of the Turin hub thanks to its 3-year term membership in ECOSOC, which started at the beginning of 2022, in particular for what concerns the Staff College and UNICRI. Considering the importance of cities in the United Nations’ Agenda 2030, Turin could make itself heard for the best practices already in place in the field of sustainability and those that will be implemented shortly.

Massari then made a consideration on the organisation of work in the post-pandemic era: “Returning to the status quo ante is unimaginable, we must coexist with remote activities, but training in presence is irreplaceable, especially for activities like ours”.

During his visit, Ambassador Massari met with the representatives from the UN entities hosted at the Campus. He received updates on their accomplishments and new strategic areas of intervention. The Director of the United Nations System Staff College (UNSSC), Mr. Jafar Javan briefed Ambassador Maurizio Massari about UNSSC’s work and its strong collaboration with the Italian Government. Focusing on the high-quality learning offered by the Staff College, Mr. Jafar Javan highlighted the College’s key initiatives and achievements to date. In closing, Ambassador Maurizio Massari engaged with UNSSC staff, and re-affirmed Italy’s commitment to the Staff College.

During the consultation, the Director of UNSSC, Mr. Jafar Javan said: “We were honored to welcome Ambassador Maurizio Massari today. This visit provided a great opportunity for us to reflect on the work of the Staff College, and to thank the Italian government for its support in the past 20 years. We look forward to a continued collaboration that will bolster our efforts to deliver quality learning to the UN System and its partners.”

Ambassador Maurizio Massari and the Director of the International Training Centre of the ILO, Mr. Giuseppe Casale had also a very fruitful discussion about the close collaboration between ITCILO and the Host Country. The premises of the Centre are a major asset of the UN system and there are ongoing discussions on how to further maximize the enormous potential of the Campus in the coming future.

Mr. Casale expressed great appreciation with respect to this important consultation and said: “It was a pleasure to meet with Ambassador Massari and to discuss future collaboration with the Italian government. We are thankful for the invaluable support of the Host Country throughout our nearly 60 years of activity. We trust that the future of the ITCILO will go hand in hand with the engagement of Italy in the international cooperation system”.

Ambassador Massari held also a consultation with the Deputy Director of the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute, Mr. Leif Villadsen, who provided him with an overview of the support provided by UNICRI to Members States in the field of justice, crime prevention, protection of vulnerable groups and mitigation of emerging threats. (@Onuitalia)

Il giornale Italiano delle Nazioni Unite. Ha due redazioni, una a New York, l’altra a Roma.

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