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PRESS RELEASE – New York, 28 May 2024, CLIMATE DIPLOMACY: ITALY TAKES THE FLOOR AS VICE-PRESIDENT AT SIDS4 CONFERENCE IN ANTIGUA E BARBUDA

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Italy took the floor today at the IV International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS4) in Antigua and Barbuda, that aims to adopting the new ten-year Action Plan for the sustainable development of the 37 countries which stand out, among other, due to their vulnerability to climate change and natural disasters.

The new Action Plan, known as the Antigua and Barbuda Agenda for SIDS (ABAS), “will represent a turning point for the sustainable development, prosperity and security of SIDS”, quoting Ambassador Maurizio Massari, Representative Permanent of Italy at the UN and Vice-President of the Conference, also co-financed by Italy. In this effort, Italy will continue to promote political, financial and technical support for the sustainable development of SIDS, and to contribute to the implementation of ABAS.

Ambassador Massari highlighted how over the course of the long-standing cooperation with the PSIDS and CARICOM countries (which precedes the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement), Italy has focused its efforts in particular on energy transition projects, adaptation to climate change, protection of oceans and seas, marine plastic pollution, disaster preparedness and response and women’s empowerment. These areas are in line with the most urgent issues highlighted by the new SIDS Agenda.

“We are committed to achieving climate neutrality by 2050, or sooner if possible, and recognize the urgent need to increase climate finance, from all sources, including the private sector. We recently pledged €100 million to the new Loss and Damage Fund, as well as a pledge of €300 million to the replenishment of the Green Climate Fund.” Among other concrete examples of collaboration, Massari also mentioned the Italian collaboration with the Caribbean Development Bank, for subsidized financing in support of sustainable development projects in CARICOM countries, and our financial support for the United Nations initiative UNOPS Rising Nations to protect the sovereignty of the Pacific Atoll countries and the rights of their populations.

“A renewed focus in the 2030 Agenda, including the new Antigua and Barbuda Agenda, would benefit from a global context with fewer wars and conflicts which, in addition to causing an enormous number of innocent civilian victims, only diverts resources from global problems that affect all humanity,” concluded Massari.

Italy’s commitment will continue in the coming weeks ahead of the next summits promoted by the United Nations: the Summit of the Future and the Summit on Sea Level Rise in September in New York, the COP29 in November in Baku and the next UN Conference devoted to oceans to be held in France in June 2025.