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Assemblea Generale – Meeting della Plenaria su “The Impact of Rapid Technological Change on the Achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals”

Discorso pronunciato dall’Ambasciatrice Mariangela Zappia, Rappresentante Permanente dell’Italia presso le Nazioni Unite, alla Meeting della Plenaria dell’Assemblea Generale su “The Impact of Rapid Technological Change on the Achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals” —

Muchas gracias, Señora Presidente,

Señor Secretario de Relaciones Exteriores de Mexico,

Mister Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia,

Distinguished Delegates,

Italy aligns itself with the statement just delivered by the European Union and I would like to add some remarks in my national capacity.

The issue we are considering today, is of paramount importance. We stand not anymore on the brink but on the center, of a technological revolution that is fundamentally altering the way we live, work, and relate to one another. In its scale, scope, and complexity, and above all speed the transformation could be unlike anything humankind has ever experienced before.

We do not know yet fully how the so-called “Fourth Industrial Revolution” or “the Next Production Revolution” will unfold, but it is already clear that it will have global and multi-sectoral impact, and will present extraordinary opportunities. It is also putting us in front of big challenges. Therefore, we need to respond to it with an integrated and comprehensive set of policies and actions, involving all relevant stakeholders.

Rapid technological change has been increasingly discussed, over the last few years, in all major multilateral fora. Last year Italy gave prominence to it in the framework of its G7 Presidency, organizing the so-called “Ministerial Innovation week”: a combined sequence of Ministerial meetings on the effects of the new technology revolution on industry, labor and research at the service of the sustainable developments.

The global character of the subject makes it particularly appropriate that we discuss it also in the universal framework of the United Nations and . let me express, therefore, our deep appreciation to Mexico that spearheaded the discussion on the Impact of Rapid Technological Change by promoting resolution 72/242. We also welcome and support a new resolution to be adopted during the ongoing session of the General Assembly.

We appreciate the outcome of the Third Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals. Let me recognize the successful work conducted by Japan and Mexico, as co-chairs of the event. We are also grateful to the key speakers of today’s informal meeting for their insightful presentations.

Italy shares the vision outlined in the Secretary General’s “Strategy on New Technologies” and supports the main principles and commitments therein contained. We believe, indeed, that new and rapidly developing technologies hold incredible potential for the advancement of human well-being and the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, as long as they are aligned with the values enshrined in the UN Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the norms and standards of international Laws.

Technology and innovation can bring drastic advancements in the field of risk assessment and disaster prevention, as well as in climate change monitoring and mitigation, promoting sustainable agriculture, access to medical diagnostics and treatments, promotion of basic and vocational education, and better management of urbanization processes through the realization of smart cities.

Italy is leading with technological innovation in all these fields,. Just to give an example, we have a leading role in the European Galileo satellite system, a project that offers a unique tool in the field of disaster risk reduction, and concretely supports various projects carried out in Small Island Developing States and Least Developed Countries aimed at the use of satellite data for early warning systems and response to environmental disasters.

In conclusion, Madame President, Italy reiterates its support for the continuation of the dialogue on Technological Innovation in the framework of the United Nations in order to ensure that our actions in this field be guided by the fundamental principles of human rights, peace, international cooperation and inclusiveness.

We look forward to next steps of this dialogue in the General Assembly and ECOSOC and we intend to participate actively into it.

I thank you.