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Statement delivered by Hon. Silvia Velo, Under-Secretary of State of the Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea, at the Ministerial meeting of the high-level political forum on sustainable development

Mr. President,

Italy aligns itself with the statement made by the European Union on behalf of the EU and its Member States.

“Leaving no one behind” is a goal that is meaningful in all countries. In Italy, the government is undertaking actions in order to reach those who need the most. We are working towards renewing our sustainable development strategy to respond to the SDGs challenges in terms of vision, governance, actions and accountability. This is a participatory inter-institutional process through which we intend to identify a sustainability path for Italy to 2030 and beyond.

To complement our work on the internal strategy, Italy is implementing its Development Cooperation Reform Law. The new governance framework includes a new Agency for Development Cooperation, a new public financial institution and the National Council for Development Cooperation, which actively involves local authorities, civil society, and the private sector. These actors are working together on the revision of our Development Cooperation Strategy for 2017-19, in order to align it with the SDGs.

Mr. President,

Allow me also to highlight Italy’s continued efforts to leave no one behind in response to the unprecedented humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean. Solidarity is important and it must be coupled with an even greater effort to act on the roots of the crisis, to invest in the untapped potential, in particular youth and women, as we have proposed through such initiatives as Italy’s Migration Compact.

Mr. President,

Environment plays a pivotal role in lifting people out of poverty, in ending hunger, in growing our economies, in building peaceful, just and inclusive societies and in promoting the health of our people and this planet. Leaving no one behind means mitigating the exposure of the most vulnerable to environmental degradation and making sure that environmental protection is central to all policies. In this context we welcome the results of the Second Session of the United Nations Environment Assembly as a meaningful contribution to SDGs implementation.

Distinguished colleagues,

“Leaving no one behind” also means for partners to count on international development cooperation. In 2015 Italy was among the donor countries with larger increases in ODA and with the present financial law, Italy has decided a further substantial scale-up of these increases that will double in 2017 and triple in 2018.

Italy is also a partner in the process of implementing the Paris Agreement, with particular attention to SIDS and Africa and to their priorities and exacerbated vulnerabilities.

Mr. President,

While recalling the need to strive to achieve all goals and targets, together with partners, Italy launched the “10 by 20 Initiative” dedicated to SDG 14, target 5. The initiative already resulted in the “Rome call to action” and we hope that a growing number of Member States will contribute and join us in a collective effort to achieve the marine conservation target.

To conclude, Mr. President,

In 2017, Italy will take the Presidency of G7 and a seat as a Non-permanent member of the Security Council. We will spare no efforts to promoting SDGs’ implementation in parallel with our efforts to ensure peace and security.

Rest assured that you can count on Italy’s support to further consolidate and strengthen this Forum, its role and contribution to a transformative shift. In this spirit, we contributed to UNDESA in support of the full participation of the UN membership to this meeting, with particular regards to SIDS. We consider HLPF the lighthouse of the SDGs’ implementation and the arena for the fulfillment of the core principles of indivisibility and integration of the three dimensions of sustainable development.

I thank you.