Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Vincenzo Amendola, took part in the 126th session of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers in Sofia today, in which Bulgaria handed over the Committee’s rotating semester of chairmanship to Estonia.
After the Secretary-General’s report, the 47 heads of delegation discussed the Continent’s state of democracy, the rule of law, the fight against violent extremism and radicalisation, and the response to the refugee crisis.
In his address, Undersecretary Amendola underscored Italy’s commitment in promoting intercultural dialogue at international level. To fight terror and an armed minority advocating hatred and war, it is necessary to invest more in security and culture. We need to design the architecture of peace-building along the lines indicated by the United Nations Secretary General.
Shifting his focus on the issue of refugees and migrants, the member of the Italian Government emphasised that it is our duty to save human lives and help anybody escaping from war and terror: “Today is the time in which to show courage and not to build walls.” Mr Amendola went on to highlight the value and importance of the ‘Migration Compact’, Italy’s proposal to create a long-term partnership with Africa through innovative and sustainable forms of economic development funding, asking in return from African Countries more effective border controls and greater cooperation in managing migration flows.
Italy’s goal, stressed Mr Amendola, is to pursue a new pact on development between Europe and Africa. “Our Country – he concluded – is ready to put its stakes on the African Continent and the Italy-Africa being held at the Foreign Ministry today, with the participation of 52 African Countries, is further proof of our commitment and of our determination to tangibly cooperate with the African Continent.”
On the sidelines of the meeting of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, Undersecretary Amendola held a bilateral meeting with the Foreign Minister of Bulgaria, Daniel Mitov, and with the Deputy Foreign Minister, Rumen Alexandrov. During the talks, they took stock of the excellent bilateral relations between the two Countries.