Deputy Minister Emanuela Del Re received the Minister of Trade and International Cooperation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Sigrid Kaag, for a rich and stimulating discussion during which several issues of international politics and development cooperation strategies were discussed in depth.
In particular, the “Team Europe” initiative, which the Deputy Minister called “tangible evidence of Europe’s effort to support partner countries in the fight against the pandemic”, was evoked. “I hope” – she continued – “that Europe will thus be able to put into practice the often stated principle of wanting to “speak with one voice”, presenting itself as a strong team capable of building on the specificities of each country”. Ms Del Re therefore hoped that Italy and the Netherlands can work together to promote Team Europe as a way of counting more, both bilaterally and at Union level.
On the subject of food safety, the Deputy Minister illustrated Italy’s commitment in the context of the pandemic. “The Italian Cooperation is well aware of the challenge of promoting an inclusive, modern and sustainable agriculture to strengthen producers’ resilience” – Ms Del Re stated – “In this way, farmers will be able to overcome the difficulties caused by the pandemic and ensure better access to food, especially in the most remote areas and in the long term”. The ongoing collaboration between Italy and the Netherlands in the Group of Friends on Food and Nutrition at the United Nations and for the preparation of the Food Systems Summit was therefore evoked.
Coming to the “Grand Bargain”, the pact between donors and humanitarian organisations – governmental and non-governmental – launched at the World Humanitarian Summit (2016), Ms Del Re and Ms Kaag agreed on the need to advance the initiative, reaching the participation of the highest political leaders. Without such a commitment, the humanitarian system risks collapsing in the face of the explosion of needs caused by the epidemic and the countless ongoing conflicts, losing credibility.
Finally, the meeting enabled a fruitful exchange of views on the issues of the African continent, with particular reference to the ongoing crises in the Sahel and the Horn of Africa.