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Press Release – UN/Italy. Italian Presidency of Central European Initiative (CEI), High Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development Side-Event

New York, 18 July 2019. In the framework of its participation in the UN’s High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, Italy, through its Permanent Mission to the United Nations and as the President of the Central European Initiative (CEI) for 2019, organized a panel on the CEI’s contribution to regional cooperation and to the alignment of Member States’ policies with the Sustainable Development Goals of Agenda 2030.

Chaired by the Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations, Ambassador Mariangela Zappia, and by the Secretary General of the CEI, Roberto Antonione, the event introduced the United Nations to the experience and best practices developed within the framework of the Central European Initiative in a year in which it celebrates its thirtieth anniversary, with a view to identifying synergies and pathways for the sharing of experiences with the United Nations and other regional organizations and partners.

The panel provided an opportunity to present, in the framework of the UN High-Level Political Forum, concrete examples of CEI-supported programs and activities, highlighting the unique nature of this platform for political dialogue and project cooperation, and illustrating the results achieved to foster regional integration on some central themes of Agenda 2030, including young people and entrepreneurship; innovation, research, and sustainable development; and clean energy and climate.

The event, with the participation of the Department of Political Affairs and Peacebuilding and the Department for Economic and Social Affairs of the UN Secretariat, represented a first step toward strengthening the CEI’s presence within international organizations, starting with the United Nations, where it enjoys observer status. This goal, which is one of the priorities of the Italian Presidency and among the ten points of the Declaration adopted by the CEI Ministers of Foreign Affairs on June 12 in Trieste, was welcomed by the UN partners, who are ready to intensify the dialogue and collaboration. The CEI’s ongoing commitment on this front was also confirmed by the sponsorship of this event by the Initiative’s outgoing and incoming Presidents, Croatia (2018) and Montenegro (2020). The modalities and themes for an intensified coordination at the UN will be discussed at the CEI ministerial meeting that Italy will host on the margins of the high-level segment of the 74th General Assembly in September.