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Evento virtuale su “Shaping a Better World for All: G20 Efforts Under the Presidency of Saudi Arabia During the COVID-19 Pandemic”

Intervento pronunciato dall’Ambasciatrice Mariangela Zappia, Rappresentante Permanente dell’Italia presso le Nazioni Unite, all’Evento virtuale “Shaping a Better World for All: G20 Efforts Under the Presidency of Saudi Arabia During the COVID-19 Pandemic” —


Dear colleagues,

Allow me at the outset to express my gratitude to the Saudi Mission and to Ambassador AlMouallimi for organizing today’s meeting, which allows us to take stock of the important results achieved in the framework of the G20 during this challenging year.

I would also take this opportunity to express the Italian appreciationfor the leadership and the excellent work carried out by the Saudi Presidency and the Saudi Arabia’s Sherpa, despite all the challenges posed by the COVID-19 and the consequent need to work mostly in a virtual modality. We look forward to the G20 Summit and we are confident that we will be able to deliver the ambitious outcome that the International Community is looking for.

As the beginning of the Italian G20 Presidency draws near, I can ensure you that Italy is ready to take up the baton from the Saudi Presidency and to keep working in a constructive and transparent manner.

We are committed to enhance the cooperation with all International partners and the United Nations System as a whole and to engage all relevant actors of the civil society, the academia and the private sector, in order to for us to better lead the G20 group in the endeavor to shape a better future for ourcitizens and to build back better.

Since the pandemic is far from over, we must in the first place recognize that the international response to COVID-19 will remain a prominent issue throughout 2021 and the Italian Presidency.

Our goal is to promote global health as a global public good. Therefore, the first objective of the Italian Presidency will be to provide equitable, worldwide access to vaccines. The G20 is already working on this crucial issue, in particular by promoting the implementation of the ACT-Accelerator and Italy will do all it can to ensure that these efforts are enhanced and brought to completion.

At the same time, we believe that it is our duty to look beyond the immediate crisis and focus our efforts on fostering an inclusive, sustainable and resilient recovery. To this end, the agenda of the Italian G20 Presidency will build on three P: People, Planet and Prosperity.

The first pillar of the Italian Presidency will bethe focus on actions centred around people. This means tackling inequality, better endow every part of the society with equal opportunities and taking care of the most vulnerable, such as women, youth, MSMEs and precarious workers.

We will place a particular focus on combating gender inequality, as a transversal challenge which not only directly affects half of the world’s population but also hampers the achievement of all of our other shared goals and objectives.

We will also enhance the dialogue on social protection in this era of structural changes, fostering a constructive discussion on the broader healthcare sector. This will primarily be aimed at improving the link between social support measures and policy interventions aimed at modernizing our productive sectors.

The second pillar of the Italian Presidency will revolve around the urgent need to acknowledge that the Planet is facing long-term crises, rootedin a number of interconnected global challenges.

As the world continues to face global emissionand temperature rise at an alarming rate, we will spare no efforts to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change. To this aim, we will leverage the synergies with the UK in the respective role as Presidents ofthe G7 and the G20 and in the framework of the partnership on COP26.

The Italian Presidency will be focused on green and sustainable models,on circular economy and on energy transition. We also intend to give special attention to the urban dimension, and in particular to the issues of urban reforestation, sustainable mobility, energy efficiency and the implementationof the “smart cities” model.

The third pillar of the Italian Presidency will focus on the prosperityof our people and societies through the promotion of a strong, sustainable andinclusive growth.

In this perspective, the digital revolution is a fundamental tool toachieve prosperity and better quality of life. We want digitalization to become an opportunity for all, in particular by enhancing our efforts towardsuniversal access to the internet.

At the same time, we believe that Financing for Development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda are paramount to promote a sustainable future beyond Covid-19. We must strengthen all our financing tools, maximize their impact and ensure that our investments and policies leave no one behind.

Italy has been among the promoters of the implementation and extensionof the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI), and we look favourably to an extended use of the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights to provide additionalliquidity to the most vulnerable actors of the International Community.

In all our initiatives it is important to ensure a strong focus onAfrica, which is an ethical, economic and strategic priority for Italy, for the G20 and for all the International Community.

Allow me to conclude by highlighting that, in line with the traditionalcommitment of Italy in support of the Rome based Agencies, the Italian Presidencywill also reserve a special attention to the issue of food security. Today in Rome the FAO hosted an High-Level Event on the presentation of the FoodCoalition, an initiative proposed by the Italian Government and focused on tackling the long-term impacts of the pandemics on food and agriculture. Our G20 Presidency will leverage this important initiative and we count on your valuable support.