(fa fede solo il testo effettivamente pronunciato)
Mr. Secretary General,
Mr. President and Members of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly,
Ladies and Gentlemen
I am particularly honoured to welcome you at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the 2012 OSCE Mediterranean Conference, which represents the main event throughout the annual calendar of the OSCE Mediterranean Partnership.
We all have perception of the Arab Spring and its implications in the international agenda nowadays.
But if we look back at the 1996, when the Partnership was set up, we can say OSCE was farsighted. Farsighted enough to believe that its role and its experience in the democratic transition since the Nineties could be extended to the Southern Mediterranean Countries.
For self-evident reasons, both geographical and political, Italy has constantly conferred the utmost importance to the development of new forms of multilateral engagement towards Southern Mediterranean Countries.
As for euro-mediterranean cooperation, we appreciate the key role played by the 5+5 Dialogue, whose recent Summit represented the occasion to reaffirm our common will to reinforce political dialogue between the two shores of the Mediterranean, on the basis of the shared values of democracy, freedom and respect for human rights. At the same time, we support any effort aimed at re-launching the UfM’s political role in the area as well as its capacity to achieve concrete goals, in terms of economic and social development.
In the OSCE framework, Italy believes that the existing Mediterranean Partnership ought to be strengthened and tailored to support the Partners’ path towards stability and democratization, consistently with the inclusive and holistic approach to security, which represents both the firm target and the historical heritage of OSCE.
In order to achieve the remarkable result of a strengthened Mediterranean Partnership, Italy vividly encouraged the former Lithuanian Chairmanship-in-office to promote the 2011 Decision on the OSCE Partners for Co-operation.
A milestone Decision, which triggered numerous patterns of academic cooperation, such as the IDEAS formula that was launched by France, Germany, Poland and Russia.
Therefore, the aftermath of the Vilnius Ministerial Decision was steadily and promptly endorsed by Italy.
Through an excellent cooperation which was effectively put in place between Italian think tanks such as IAI and IPALMO, the OSCE Secretariat, the current Irish and incoming Ukrainian Chairmanships (to which I would like to express my warmest gratitude), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs organised the Conference “The OSCE and a New Context for Regional Cooperation in the Mediterranean” which was held in this very same Hall the 28th of May 2012.
The Conference paved the way to the establishment of new patterns of multilateral academic cooperation. Exactly to this purpose, Minister Terzi promoted on that occasion the idea of a centre for standing interaction between the OSCE, think tanks and civil society across the Mediterranean.
A centre that could help generate and sustain new ideas and approaches in all the three baskets of the Organisation (economic cooperation included), providing a platform for sharing experiences and raising the profile of the OSCE, the awareness of the values and the work of the Organization with respect to the Mediterranean Partners.
Bearing such a commitment in mind, I am extremely glad to share with you all today that Italy already submitted the Concept Paper on the OSCE-MED Centre to the delegations of OSCE participating and partner States.
We firmly believe that this is the most consistent and effective testimony of the Italian readiness to finalise a concrete follow-up for the future definition of the Mediterranean dimension of the Organisation.
On the basis of the first seconded expert, we would be capable to structure and refine our shared commitments in a credible manner.
Italy is ready to engage with all the counterparts to have the Centre effective as soon as possible and I am confident that you would all agree to have this Conference as an ideal occasion to achieve this goal.
Italy is vividly and convincingly engaged towards the OSCE. The role that Vienna has played in order to set the balance between East and West is irreplaceable. With a view to the 40th Anniversary of Helsinki Final Act and in the current debate concerning the future of OSCE, we ought to renovate our sincere commitment towards the Organisation. Italy firmly believes that also through the development of its Partnerships, OSCE would find new stimulus to push forward an effective and credible reform process, which will adapt the Organisation to the present and future challenges of the international agenda.