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Discorso pronunciato dall’Ambasciatore Inigo Lambertini, Vice Rappresentante Permanente dell’Italia presso le Nazioni Unite, alla 54ma Sessione della Commissione per lo Sviluppo Sociale sul tema: “Rethinking and Strengthening Social Development in the Contemporary World”

Mr. Chairman, Excellences, Ambassadors, Ministers, Ladies and Gentlemen

Italy aligns itself with the statement delivered by the representative of the European Union and wishes to add the following remarks in its national capacity.

I am very pleased indeed to speak on the 54th edition of the Commission for Social Development, on whose organisation and management I wish to congratulate the Chair and the Bureau members.

I am pleased to take the floor, in fact, because the concept of social development is one of the most comprehensive and important that we tackle at the United Nations, one that encompasses a wide range of key-issue for the contemporary world – as this year’s priority theme reads – such as persons with disabilities, youth, old people, families, fight against poverty, nutrition.

Mr. Chairman,

To attain social development means to witness progressive improvements in the living conditions and in the quality of life enjoyed by societies and shared by its members, means investments in human beings as such, and to be a real social development it must prove comprehensive, cross-cutting, inter-sectoral, so as to create a sustainable society, reduce inequalities within it and to promote human welfare.

These ones are all objectives that have recently acquired a whole higher value with, on the one hand, the adoption of Agenda 2030 and its new take on development and, on the other hand, with the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Copenhagen Summit on Social Development. As already expressed last December in the General Assembly Hall, in this regard Italy attributes great importance to the concepts of a “person-centred” approach and of inter-generational responsibility with a view to guaranteeing a development that proves inclusive and feasible in the long-term.

It must be over the time when we used to provide patched and short-term solutions to wide and far-reaching problems, failing to look at the bigger framework and healing immediate effects rather than searching causes of crises, inequalities and discriminations. The result has clearly been affecting future generations and the most marginalized/vulnerable people.

In this regard, what we should mean when we say “Rethinking and strengthening social development in the contemporary world”, is forcefully renewing our efforts to promote social development but at the same time declining it in a different manner, and exactly in sense spelled by the Secretary General in his report, through interlinkages between 1) social 2) economic and 3) environmental dimensions of sustainable development, so as – to refer to a corny expression by now but that I am compelled to use – to leave no-one behind. And in today’s world, “liquid” and ever more crises-laden (financial, identity, health crises), social coherence is even more important also to filling key social development gaps that result in poverty, lack of social protection and labour rights for all.

Mr. Chairman,

On this matter please allow me to briefly recall the important reforms and initiatives that my Country has just carried out in the field of the fight against poverty and of labour rights, which we hold as cornerstones of a truly inclusive social development.

On the former, Italy has adopted in 2015 a National Plan to counter poverty and social exclusion, backed by an ad-hoc Fund which aims at guaranteeing to all families minimum income levels and life standards. The Plan is triannual, is particularly targeting families featuring minors and will benefit 1 million people only in 2016.

As for the latter, the ground-breaking Jobs Act will render the job market more flexible and at once more effective, favouring new hiring, providing job-seekers with training and vocational courses as well as funding them with the so-called “redeployment allowance”.

Mr. Chairman,

I shall conclude by saying that the choice for this session’s priority theme is indeed well-pointed and fitting. Let us however wish that in the near future we will not be needing to further “rethink” or “strengthen” social development, rather to take stock and celebrate a finally attained – and long awaited – inclusive social development.

I thank you, Mr. Chairman.