Ladies and gentlemen,
First of all I would like to extend a warm welcome to everyone and my special thanks to the organizers of this meeting, which takes place in the framework of the UN Summit on Agenda 2030 for sustainable development.
Italy is coming to this Summit with a remarkable ressource, namely the extraordinary success of Expo Milano 2015.
One-hundred-forty Countries took part in the Expo. During the first five months, the exhibition received 17 million visitors and welcomed 177 delegations of foreign governments.
The Expo has been a great opportunity for meetings and discussions among politicians, opinion leaders, associations, private compagnies and experts on the crucial theme of the global food challenge.
On this issue, the Milan Expo has made it possible to develop a great deal of content that we will make available for the United Nations, especially on the occasion of this Summit, which will lead to the adoption of the new sustainable development goals.
I believe that Expo Milano 2015, with its highly inclusive approach, has been an excellent platform for a debate among national governments, international institutions and civil society on issues related to food security and sustainability and a great example of food diplomacy.
From the very beginning we conceived that this extraordinary Event should leave a legacy to help all of us to face, as one, the challenges of food security and sustainability. This legacy is embodied in the Milan Charter, a document that reflects the contributions of many stakeholders and national and international institutions, such as the United Nations organizations based in Rome.
The Charter is an example of “global citizenship” that is consistent with many issues included in the new post-2015 Development Agenda. Agriculture and food security are at the heart of the agenda, which mentions them many times, creating a kind of common thread that ties together all the different goals.
In fact, agriculture has an impact on the following goals:
– Not only the goal of reducing hunger but also poverty reduction,
– Education and gender equality,
– The use of water and energy,
– Economic growth and employment,
– Sustainable consumption and production,
– Ecosystem management and biodiversity conservation;
– Climate change. In this forum I wish to recall that last June we celebrated World Environment Day at Expo, also in view of the COP 21 to be held in Paris in December.
All these themes are developed in the Milan Charter, which has already been signed by political leaders, opinion leaders and one million citizens, and will be formally delivered to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 16 October, on World Food Day, which will be celebrated this year in Milan.
Ladies and gentleman,
The world is experiencing not one but many crises: from the economy to climate, energy, culture, migration an so on. We must take stock of the fact that in a globalized world, especially in areas such as agriculture, national policies can achieve their objectives only through multilateral coordination, involving the efforts not only of governments, but also of other stakeholders, such as international organizations, businesses and civil society.
For this reason with the Milan Charter we wanted to ask all signatories, with whom we share a common awareness and a common wish to build a more sustainable and equitable future, to take on this global challenge, and to attribute a central role to the right to food and to sustainable agriculture.
We ask this because we are convinced that agriculture and food are also great tools for peace and co-existence, and that through them we can start to build a more equitable, solidary and fair world.