I would like to thank you for two reasons:
In first place I would like to thank you for having organized such an informative and inspiring meeting.
I should also thank you and the African Countries for the massive support they have accorded to the universal exhibition “EXPO 2015” that Italy will host in Milan from May to October this year. As you know, the universal exhibition will be focused on the theme “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”: it will provide a unique opportunity for discussing many of the concepts that were mentioned by the distinguished speakers, who intervened this morning. I refer in particular to food security, nutrition, natural resources, energy and the interlinkages between sustainable agriculture, poverty and hunger eradication, industrialization, technology and value chains. It is evident that all these topics are extremely relevant to the enhancement of an agenda for Africa’s sustainable development, which in turn is so central to the success of the whole post – 2015 sustainable development agenda.
Such a meaningful presence of African partners and friends will be critical for the success of EXPO Milano 2015.
Mr. Chair, Italy is willing to partner with African Countries and to share its expertise in handling industrialization patterns that are respectful of the environment.
I would like to recall that at the G8 meeting hosted in Italy in 2009 we stressed in the final declaration the need to support the EITI – initiative. This testifies to our engagement among industrialized nations in favor of a sustainable and responsible management of natural resources in Africa.
Italy’s own industrial development experience may be of some interest as we managed to create highly performing value added chains both in the agricultural and in the industrial and manufacturing sector. We are willing to share this expertise with African partners if they believe that can be of help in their process of development. Attention to the environmental impact of industrialization and sustainability are concepts Italy has always been deeply attached to, since we have needed to safeguard a natural and cultural endowment which are in many respects unique, while allowing for a business environment which has been conducive to one of the largest manufacturing sectors worldwide.
Let me conclude, Mr. Chair, by saying that Italy is also willing to partner with African Countries as a member of the European Union of which we have held the presidency in the last semester. In such capacity, we will also favor the design of appropriate technology transfer and financing mechanisms, which, as has emerged from today’s discussion, are going to play a critical role in Africa’s sustainable development agenda.
I thank you for your kind attention.