“I strongly believe in decentralised cooperation and in the role that local authorities can play in cooperation thanks to their ability to involve the communities, which is fundamental”. This statement was made by the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Marina Sereni, speaking at the International Conference on energy transition and local policies promoted by the Coordination of Municipalities for Peace of the Province of Turin, in the framework of the NUR (New Urban Resources) development cooperation project in Palestine (which in Arabic means “light”), involving the Municipalities of Turin and Bethlehem. “This is why”, Ms. Sereni added, “I think it is paramount to develop partnerships, such as in the case of the NUR project, with the local authorities, universities, cultural bodies and civil society organisations, each of which is a key player in our development cooperation”.
“Palestine – the Vice Minister emphasised – is a priority area for Italian Cooperation, which finances and implements interventions in various fields, from healthcare to human rights; from gender equality to business development programmes. The NUR project regards the energy sector, in which Italian Cooperation is active the 1990s, having set up collaboration programmes with the Palestinian Authority for the rehabilitation of the electric grid in the West Bank, financed through aid credit. The challenge we all face, both in Europe and on the other side of the Mediterranean, is to work together to promote the transition to clean energy sources. This is why Italy and the Foreign Ministry attach great importance to the renewable energy production sector and to boosting energy efficiency, as key elements in promoting peaceful sustainable development”.
“Projects such as NUR are even more important today, in light of the recent dramatic events in the Occupied Territories and the Middle East. Italy is now committed to consolidating the ceasefire, to preventing unilateral actions from creating new tensions, to providing humanitarian aid to the Palestinian population and to planning, together with the United Nations, the reconstruction of what has been lost in Gaza in recent weeks. But above all, we are committed to strengthening any action that can revitalise dialogue between the parties for a two-state solution, which can only be achieved through direct negotiations. In all of this,” the Vice Minister concluded, “cooperation working to achieve sustainable development is of enormous political value, as a driver of peace and prosperity”.