The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Luigi Di Maio, participated together with the French and Spanish Foreign Ministers, Jean-Yves Le Drian and Arancha González Laya, the EU High Representative, Josep Borrell, and his Latin American counterparts in the videoconference on the relaunch of the Dialogue between Europe and Latin America and the Caribbean, focusing on countering the health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges posed by the economic and social recovery from the crisis.
Minister Di Maio thanked his colleagues for the help given to Italy during the most acute phases of the pandemic, expressing solidarity with those who are in similar conditions today. The Minister then highlighted the importance of the primary measures that have enabled Italy to emerge from the emergency, such as the massive mobilisation of the health system and the importance of lockdown in the containment of contagion, which has proved crucial in the fight against the virus at the national level. On the international level, Di Maio highlighted the centrality of cooperation for a shared approach on the fight against the pandemic and economic and social recovery.
To this end, the Minister called for a strengthening of the partnership between the EU and Latin America to respond jointly to the economic, scientific, health and social challenges of the post-COVID era, also collaborating in multilateral fora to promote effective action on dossiers such as vaccines, Agenda 2030, the fight against climate change and the protection of biodiversity. Di Maio recalled, in this regard, how Italy was the first country to promote a global platform for the development of a vaccine, the "Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator", and among the first supporters of the GAVI Advance Market Commitment to ensuring access to a vaccine to developing countries. Minister Di Maio also assured that health as a global public good and opportunities for socio-economic recovery would be priorities of the upcoming Italian G20 Presidency. As co-president of COP26, Italy also intends to continue the work done by Chile and Costa Rica, working with Latin American countries on issues such as energy, transport, adaptation and resilience, nature, and finance.
The videoconference resulted in a joint statement summarising the terms of the discussion and the commitments made.