The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Luigi Di Maio, participated in the 23rd EU-ASEAN Ministerial Meeting, in virtual format, which sanctioned the upgrading of relations between the European Union and ASEAN to a Strategic Partnership.
In his speech Minister Di Maio stressed how the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the importance of multilateralism. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Italy has strongly supported an international alliance for a vaccine, co-hosting the Coronavirus Global Response Initiative and launching the ACT-Accelerator, which paved the way for the Covax Facility.
The Foreign Minister added that health, understood as a global public good, will be a key priority of the Italian G20 Presidency, which will focus on three fundamental concepts: People, Planet and Prosperity. Italy believes that prosperity can only be created through a better distribution of opportunities, leaving no one behind and respecting the environment.
The Minister then recalled that, since September, Italy has obtained the status of Development Partner of ASEAN, an organisation that is gaining in weight and importance in the Indo-Pacific region, promoting sustainable economic development, but also actively engaged in preventing conflict and promoting pluralism and tolerance.