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​The Undersecretary of State, Giorgio Silli, attends the 45th EU and OACPS Countries Council of Ministers (Brussels, 29 November 2022)

The Undersecretary of State of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Giorgio Silli, was in Brussels today. Delegated by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Antonio Tajani, he attended the 45th EU and Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) Countries Council of Ministers.

The meeting focused on global peace and security risks, especially in the field of energy and food supplies, the latest developments in the preparation for the signing of the post-Cotonou Agreement, and economic and trade cooperation under the current Cotonou Agreement.

Undersecretary Silli said: “The war in Ukraine is far from being a crisis that only interests Europe. It has strong global repercussions that threaten peace and stability far beyond the borders of the Old Continent, as it undermines the international order based on the law that ensures the sovereignty and independence of each State.”

The Undersecretary also added: “The Ukrainian crisis has led to a drastic increase in energy and food prices, with serious consequences for global food security, in a context already deteriorated by climate change, the pandemic and the loss of biodiversity.”

Against this backdrop, Italy strongly supported the “Black Sea Grain” initiative undertaken in the framework of the United Nations, which has enabled the negotiated recovery of traffic from Ukrainian ports through the Black Sea.

The Undersecretary then recalled Italy’s strong support to the European Union’s Action Plan for the “Solidarity Lanes”, which allow Ukraine to export grain to the Black Sea via alternative routes.

To face the energy crisis, in turn exacerbated by the war in Ukraine, the Undersecretary also reaffirmed that Italy firmly promotes the actions taken by the European Union to establish strong partnerships with third Countries based on technology investment, which aim at diversification and transition to a climate-neutral economy.

As for the goals of poverty eradication, the promotion of sustainable development and the gradual integration of OACP Countries into the world economy, Undersecretary Silli recalled that the G20, under the Italian Presidency in 2021, promoted an ambitious package of measures to support sustainable, resilient and lasting recovery in the most vulnerable Countries.

The conversation also focused on the Global Gateway, the European Union’s strategy to tackle the most pressing global challenges, from combating climate change to the loss of biodiversity and the security of global supply chains.

Cooperation between the EU and OACPS in international fora was also addressed, in particular at the recent 27th UN Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP27) and the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15).

The EU and OACPS Council of Ministers is the main body for political dialogue under the Cotonou Agreement, which frames the EU’s relations with the 79 Countries of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States.