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Opening Remarks by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Edmondo Cirielli at UNGA78 Side Event co-organized by Italy “Catalysing Global Action for Sustainable and Resilient Agri-Food Systems Transformation to Accelerate the SDGs”



Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am very glad to meet all of you in New York less than two months after the UN Food Systems Summit hosted by Italy in Rome in July.

I want to thank my colleagues from Japan and the Emirates who accepted to co-sponsor this event. This event has been possible thanks to the fruitful collaboration with the United Nations, FAO and the Cop28, started in Rome last July.

Global food security is a top priority for Italy. Our focus ranges from the Mediterranean region to the global stage.

Food security – migration – climate change are strongly connected. We believe that if we create sustainable growth in Developing Countries, we will experience less illegal migration and we will contain the effects of natural disasters.

This nexus of food security, migration and climate change will be a key priority during Italy’s G7 Presidency.

Today we want to achieve 3 concrete results:

First: Support the implementation of the “Call to Action for accelerated food systems transformations” launched in conclusion of the UN Food Systems Summit.

Second: Ensure a smooth handover of the G7 Presidency between Japan and Italy on food security and food systems transformation.

Third: Develop our partnership with the COP 28.

Looking at the incoming COP 28 in November and the Italian Presidency of the G7 in January, Italy believes that there are three important challenges:

First: Access to adequate financial resources. These resources must support Countries in developing expertise to transform their food systems.

Second: Align policies to reduce carbon emissions and to strengthen food production against climate change.

Third: Build an agriculture that is climate-resilient and sustainable, also in low-income Countries.

Italy commends the Japanese Presidency for its leadership on Global Food Security, which includes also measures to respond to food crises through a dialogue between exporting and importing Countries.

Italy fully supports the Black Sea Grain Initiative and hopes that it will re-start.

During the visit of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Tajani to China, in early September, I urge Beijing to press Moscow to cease hostilities and work for a credible solution. I thanked Turkey for its mediation role in the Black Sea Grain Initiative.

Italy is ready to work with partners for access to safe, sufficient and healthy food; for finance; for climate.  We will work on the food-finance-climate nexus, looking towards the COP28 in Dubai.

Italy will focus on investments in science and technology. We assigned 350 million to Agritech, the National Center for the development of new technologies in agriculture.

The Italian Climate Fund, with 840 million euros for 5 years, will contribute to food systems and climate change in developing Countries.

We should explore ways to benefit Countries most in need, in line with the 100 billion pledge made by the G20, with a focus on food security action and African countries.

Reinforcing partnerships is a prerequisite to ending hunger and avert the “global boiling” scenario. Working with African partners, for us, will be particularly important.

The Italian G7 Presidency will involve our African partners. We really welcome the African Union as permanent member of the G20.

The tragedy that happened in Derna, in Lybia, just a few days ago – or the extreme weather event that touched us close, in Emilia Romagna last spring – confirms that today’s discussion is key and that food security, climate and finance are strongly connected.

Italy looks forward to FAO’s support during our G7 Presidency on the issue of food security and to a fruitful cooperation with Japan, the Emirates and all of you towards the goal of zero hunger.

Thank you.