Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Marina Sereni and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Achim Steiner met today at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. During the meeting, which took place just a few days before the G20 foreign-development ministerial meetings, Steiner thanked Sereni for Italy's commitment to the organisation. He expressed deep appreciation for the concrete results of the G20 events in Matera and Brindisi. Both stressed the excellent level of cooperation between Italy and UNDP in sustainable development in its three dimensions (economic, social, and environmental). A complete convergence emerged on the importance of a multilateral approach in addressing global challenges, especially in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic crisis and implementing the SDGs and ensuring their adequate financing.
Vice Minister Sereni appreciated UNDP's leadership in implementing the Onusian Development System's reform and appreciated the modernisation of the Programme, which has made it a particularly relevant Onusian partner in the socio-economic response to Covid-19 in developing countries. Mr Steiner underlined how in a few years, UNDP's role as a development actor capable of aggregating and "mobilising resources" has been relaunched through the definition of targeted strategic plans ready to respond to the main global challenges.
Vice Minister Sereni and Mr Stenier agreed on the centrality of financing for development and the excellent level of cooperation between Italy and UNDP in this field, and the Italian G20 Presidency framework. Sereni confirmed that "Italy's focus on financing for sustainable development and the SDGs will continue, not only at the G20 Finance Ministers' Meeting but also with the 'Finance in Common' meeting of development banks organised by Cassa Depositi e Prestiti this autumn, which will also involve UNDP". Vice Minister Sereni reiterated how this political commitment is reflected in concrete projects in Africa and other fragile areas and how the Rome Centre for Sustainable Development could be developed and could serve as a platform for more intense UNDP liaison with the Rome-based agencies on food security and agricultural and rural development.
Finally, Sereni agreed on the importance of providing concrete responses in particular to the poorest countries, an aspect on which the UNDP Administrator hopes that the G20 Presidency as a whole will continue to devote particular attention, with specific regard to the issue of debt, to ensure that the resources deriving from the IMF's Special Drawing Rights reach the countries in need.