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Distinguished Delegates

Ladies and Gentlemen

I am very pleased to be with you today. Italy is a long-standing supporter of sustainable consumption and production as we are convinced that it is not just another overarching theme. It is the means by which we will be able to meet the consumption needs of all within the ecological carrying capacity of planet earth.

We are also aware that sustainable consumption and production is an extremely critical concept as it emphasizes the striking contrast between over-consumption and under-consumption. It is nonetheless an effective tool to bridge the gaps between countries in different stages of development, as efforts, policies and measures are focused on curbing increasingly unsustainable trends, promoting well-being and social equity for all.

Italy, in its role as President of the European Council will host an important meeting next month in Rome on December 10-11 2014. National focal points of many of the WEOG countries will meet to discuss their expectations from, and how better to support, the implementation of the 10 Years Framework of Programmes (YFP). They will discuss a range of issues, and share experiences, activities and initiatives at national and regional levels which promote the shift to Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) patterns and implementation of the 10YFP programmes.

WEOG national focal points will also share ideas with the stakeholders on collaborative action and information exchange to accelerate implementation. Italy considers this type of interaction between different stakeholders – government, business and civil society – a vital element and important comparative advantage of the Framework.

WEOG countries will also discuss Means of Implementation and funding opportunities for the programmes, including from the 10YFP Trust Fund, and consider what broader support mechanisms for the 10YFP might be developed.

Italy is hosting this workshop, in its current role as the Presidency of the EU, with the close collaboration of the Secretariat of the 10YFP, namely UNEP. We are very happy to be able to do so as we consider this an opportunity to show the leadership of developed countries on the shift to SCP patterns, expressed in the adopted text of the Framework.

We also hope that that this panel will provide a similarly open forum for discussion on the possibilities presented by the 10YFP not only to shift towards SCP patterns, but also to advance towards sustainable development more generally. Increasing the ownership and awareness of sustainable consumption and production will be crucial in this sense.

Successive summits and conferences in Johannesburg in 2002 and Rio in 2012 have recognized that the shift to SCP patterns is both “an overarching objective of, and essential requirement for sustainable development”. ECOSOC is the ad interim reporting body for the 10YFP, and we consider it most appropriate that you, the members of this body, have this opportunity to discuss some of the finer detail and implementation challenges and opportunities of this global framework.

For our part as Italy, we will continue to support the development and implementation of the 10YFP, as we have done since the inception of the informal Marrakech Process back in 2003. Consumption and production activities account for an extremely large part of the global economy – as such, changing those activities to achieve more sustainable patterns is a very large task. We can only achieve this if all of us remain committed to this task in the long term.

I look forward to gathering new insights from our discussions here today as we embark on the collaborative path towards SCP patterns, on the solid platform of the 10YFP that Member States had the vision to adopt in Rio de Janeiro, two years ago.

Thank you.