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Intervento del Sottosegretario di Stato al Ministero dell’Ambiente e della Tutela del Territorio e del Mare, On. Silvia Velo, al Forum Politico ad Alto Livello sullo Sviluppo Sostenibile – Ensuring that no one is left behind: Challenges of countries in special situations

Mr. President,
Distinguished moderator,

Countries in special situations remain exposed and vulnerable to economic crises, natural disasters and climate change-related shocks, which add to global health threats and humanitarian crises, causing massive flows of refugees and migrants.

These are distinctive features of the present international scenario that call for a long term strategic approach which should build upon the 2015 agreements. We need to break new ground in the way we address these challenges, focusing on the nexuses, identifying potential trade offs and tackling them in an integrated manner. Partnerships will be crucial in this sense, as they are active tools that can provide quick wins and early harvests.

Italy is on the forefront of these global challenges. Bound by the imperative of solidarity, for months we have been rescuing at sea thousands of people who flee the Southern Mediterranean shores to escape poverty and wars.

On the field, we are as well working together with our partner countries to address their challenges.

The Italian Cooperation launched regional programs in the Sahel and the Horn of Africa to strengthen the resilience of local communities in areas of origin, transit or destination of migrants, and protect displaced and refugees.

The Ministry for the Environment has a long tradition to build upon as well, with our partnerships with SIDS. In particular with Pacific SIDS, since 2007, we have built together more than 20 projects on sustainable energy, sustainable agriculture, oceans’ health, mitigation and adaptation to climate change.

In Paris, on the occasion of COP 21, we launched a similar programme with countries of the Caribbean region with a view to address their specific priorities.

Mr. President,

Last year in Addis we reaffirmed that LDCs need enhanced global support to overcome the many challenges they face. Italy is stepping up to this commitment.

After the Addis Conference, the Italian Parliament approved a substantial increase in the level of our ODA for 2016 and this increase will be doubled in 2017 and tripled in 2018.

We will work to ensure that through our enhanced contribution and our development cooperation programs and partnerships we can create the synergies that have been advocated in the new Agenda and offer opportunities for quick wins and early harvests, allowing for sustainable development to become a reality also for those countries and people who are the furthest behind.

I thank you.