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Foreign Minister Di Maio at the OECD-MENA Ministerial Meeting

Extended Mediterranean (MENA) Cooperation to facilitate economic recovery post-COVID was the central subject of the OECD-MENA Ministerial video conference, which the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Luigi Di Maio, opened today, in his capacity as the main speaker.  

The Foreign Minister underlined the importance Italy places on strengthening good administration, the rule of law, and competitiveness of the Countries in the area, where working together is essential in order to ensure stability and prosperity in the region. As is the case for most of the initiatives backed by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the OECD-MENA Programme was launched – as Minister Di Maio pointed out – to apply this prospect in concrete terms, facilitating exchanging of experiences, sharing good practices, and heading towards the highest administrative and economic standards. Italy has provided its full support from the outset, and this will continue for the next five years, during which Presidency of the Governance component will be shared with Tunisia, valorising the capacity-building activities at the OECD-MENA Training Centre in Caserta. 

The Minister went on to reiterate the goals of Italy’s Presidency of the G20 and the COP26 in relation to safeguarding the environment and sustainable growth. He once again stressed the importance and centrality of these for drawing up a positive agenda for the Mediterranean that, supported by dialogue and cooperation, can facilitate overcoming the crisis caused by the pandemic quickly. Italy – went on Minister Di Maio as he announced the seventh edition of the Rome MED Dialogues this coming December – will remain committed in this regard, and will make new ideas, capacities, and resources available. 

All those taking part in the Ministerial meeting agreed on the importance of reforming and modernising the public sector, as a pre-requisite for sustainable, inclusive growth, and confirmed, in line with Italy’s position, unanimous appreciation of the OECD-MENA Programme, and their full political support for its renewal.