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The Role of Zero Waste as a Transformative Solution in Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals


High-Level Meeting of the UN General Assembly on

“The Role of Zero Waste as a Transformative Solution in Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals”

Thursday, 30 March 2023, 3:00 pm

Statement of Italy delivered by the Deputy Permanent Representative, Ambassador Gianluca Greco


Mr Chair,

Italy aligns itself with the statement delivered by the European Union.

I would like to thank you for convening this High-Level Meeting on the role of Zero Waste and the Secretary-General, the President of the General Assembly and all the speakers for their interventions and inspiring remarks.

Special thanks to Turkiye, which has played a prominent role since the promotion and then adoption by consensus of the relevant Resolution last December.

A Resolution which offered yet another opportunity to stress the worldwide importance of sustainable consumption and production patterns – including innovative projects and programmes such as local and national “zero waste” initiatives – for the sustainable transformation of our economies and for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

It is of the utmost importance to tackle the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution. More sustainable use of resources and better waste management as well as the implementation of circular economy action plans are essential in this respect.

This holds true also for developing countries, where waste management needs to be addressed to avoid major crises and negative impact on the environment, also causing health-related problems.

The Italian development cooperation is also very sensitive to these issues and plays an active role in this field.

We finance development cooperation projects in different regions of the world, in particular in the Middle East, in Eastern Africa, in North Africa. These interventions aim at improving the collection of waste and recycling systems, strengthening the capacities and coordination of the competent bodies and carrying out awareness-raising activities among the local populations through a participatory approach.

We are also advancing circularity at national level by adopting policies and initiatives that go beyond EU regulations.

Our minister of environment and energy security recently authorized about 200 projects relating to circular economy “lighthouse” investments for the mechanization of separate waste collection and the creation of additional waste treatment. 60% of the total resources, earmarked in compliance with the EU state aid regime, will be allocated to the central-southern regions and 40% to the northern regions.

Italy is a leader in the reuse of materials and is at the top of the ranking of EU Member States for the recycling rate of all urban and special waste. Our commitment in this direction is outstanding, in line with the European objectives, also in order to reduce the important regional disparities in the rates of separate collection and recovery of material.

I thank you for your attention.