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General Assembly – General Debate of the Second Committee

Statement delivered by Ambassador Stefano Stefanile, Deputy Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations, at the General Debate of the Second Committee of the General Assembly —

Mr Chairman,

Members of the Bureau,

Distinguished delegates,

We would like to echo other delegations in congratulating you – Mr. Chair – as well as the members of the Bureau on your election. We assure you of Italy’s full support in the accomplishment of your mandate. We are also grateful to the Permanent Representative of Estonia, Ambassador Jurgenson, as well as to the members of the Bureau of the 72nd session for their tireless and successful work.

Mr. Chair,

Italy aligns itself with the statement delivered by the European Union and would like to add a few remarks in its national capacity.

Italy shares the view that the agenda of the Second Committee should continue to be steered by the implementation of the three milestone agreements of 2015: the 2030 Agenda, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and the Paris Agreement. We also appreciate the choice to put the principle no one should be left behind at the center of this general debate. Tackling poverty, marginalization and inequalities should be indeed one of the key priorities of our discussions and deliberations.

The present session of the Second Committee will also be characterized by the perspective of the reform of the UN Development System. The reform represents a unique opportunity and, at the same time, a significant challenge . We should orient our work with a view to contributing to its smooth implementation on the basis of the mandates provided by General Assembly Resolution 72/279.

Italy is willing to do its part and, as a tangible confirmation of its commitment, is pleased to announce that it will contribute with 2 million Euros to the Special Purpose Trust Fund for the reinvigorated Resident Coordinator System. This latest contribution is in line with the positive trend of the Italian Official Development Assistance over the last few years.

Looking at our incoming discussions on sustainable development, Italy attaches particular importance to the achievement of SDG 2, especially in the regions most affected by climate change. Ending hunger, achieving food security and improved nutrition, and promoting sustainable agriculture should remain firmly at the center of our agenda. In this context, full use should be made of the expertise and operative capacities of the relevant UN Rome-based Agencies.

Italy also supports the respect of human rights as a fundamental element of sustainable development. As many delegations already pointed out during this debate, ending discrimination and violence in all their forms, achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, and favoring the inclusion of the most vulnerable in our societies, particularly the people with disabilities, must be a common endeavor in pursuing the goals of the 2030 Agenda. These objectives are also the basis of Italy’s candidacy to the Human Rights Council for the period 2019-2021.

To achieve the SDGs we have to focus on scaling up financing for sustainable development, including through fostering global multi-stakeholders partnerships. Italy promotes the active involvement of the private sector in the implementation of the SDGs, as reflected in the participation of over 200 Italian companies to the UN Global Compact. In the same spirit, we look forward to the High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development of the General Assembly, scheduled for September 2019.

Italy shares the view that tackling climate change should be regarded as an absolute priority by the International Community, as recently stated by the Secretary General and confirmed yesterday by the IPCC report. We are ready to contribute to the global action against climate change and look forward to the upcoming COP 24 in Katowice and the UN Climate Summit in September next year.

Keeping in mind – as previously said – the principle no one should be left behind, in its striving towards the implementation of the 2030 Agenda Italy devotes particular attention to the special needs and vulnerabilities of the LCDs, LLCDs and SIDS. Ten of the priority countries of our Development Cooperation are LDCs and we are pleased to support their efforts in achieving the SDGs. With six LLDCs countries from Africa, Asia and Latin America we have launched and financed projects that are directly or indirectly related to the implementation of the Vienna Program of Action. With most of the SIDS we are traditionally engaged in partnership initiatives aimed at promoting their sustainable development in the perspective of the midterm review of the SAMOA Pathway.

The economic growth and sustainable development of Africa is another key priority of our action and we think should remain high in the agenda of the Second Committee. Italy supports the realization with Africa of a long-term multidimensional partnership on topics of common interest: especially education, infrastructure, access to sustainable energy, role of women and the youth. As a sign of our special attention to the continent, we will host in Rome, on the 24th and 25th October, the second Italy-Africa Conference, to which we have invited all African countries and all relevant international organizations, starting from the United Nations.

Mr. Chair,

I would like to conclude these remarks by expressing Italy’s readiness to engage with all delegations and to provide its active contribution throughout this session with a view to reach the highest level of consensus on the many important issues that the Second Committee is due to discuss.

I thank you.