Today at the Farnesina, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Angelino Alfano, , met with the representatives of AOI, CINI and Link2007, the three major Italian networks of civil society organisations operating in the field of development cooperation. Their representatives, and their leading associates, are active in the Consiglio Nazionale per la Cooperazione allo Sviluppo (CNCS)[Italian national council for development cooperation] and in the four working groups set up within the Council. “The CNCS is major innovation introduced by Law 125/2014,” said Minister Alfano, “which endowed Italian cooperation with a sort of ‘cooperation parliament’ in line with one of the guiding principles of the new development cooperation, namely promotion, education, awareness raising and the participation of all citizens in international solidarity actions, international cooperation and sustainable development.” Minister Alfano underlined that “development cooperation is one of the government’s priorities and a stragegic tool for conflict prevention, the consolidation of democratic institutions and the enhancement of stabilisation processes.” “This is why Italy has earmarked substantial resources of its budget to cooperation: 393 million euros have been allocated for 2017, 120 million more than the previous year, plus 40 million to the IGRUE fund (La Pergola). Funding was also increased to 110 million for internatonal missions, up from the 90 million provided for in the missions decree for 2016.” “With the signing of the Fund for Africa decree, 200 million euros have been allocated for extraordinary interventions aiming to relaunching dialogue and cooperation with the African countries of primary importance for migration routes,” added Minister Alfano. “Together with the countries concerned, we will design initiatives to reinforce our external borders, aiming to combine the principles of solidarity and security. These intiatives could be implemented directly by the MAECI, through other administrations, or with civil society organisations,” underlined Minister Alfano.