Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Emanuela Del Re, spoke at the 2020 Afghanistan Conference, a pledging conference co-hosted by the Governments of Afghanistan and Finland with the United Nations, to promote peace, prosperity and sustainable development in the country.
"This is a decisive moment for Afghanistan: after decades of conflict and suffering, we finally have an opportunity to set the country back on a path to peace. The opening of negotiations in Doha can pave the way for peaceful coexistence in Afghanistan and restore peace and stability in the region as well". - the Vice Minister highlighted - "However, to achieve reconciliation the process must be fully inclusive and Afghan-led for the Afghan people: Italy hopes that the negotiating parties will seize this historic opportunity".
"The urgency to reach a ceasefire is a humanitarian obligation. Humanitarian conditions in Afghanistan are already severely strained and the COVID-19 pandemic risks exacerbating the situation further, adding another threat to the most vulnerable communities". - she continued.
The Vice Minister then pointed out that, over the last 19 years, Italy has been at the forefront of the international partnership to support Afghanistan with the aim of building a country where all citizens can enjoy the same fundamental and inalienable rights. Protecting human rights, and especially the rights of women, children and minorities, remains a priority for us.
Vice Minister Del Re therefore announced Italy's renewed commitment to finance cooperation programmes in 2021. "Our initiatives will focus on key areas where Italian expertise can provide real added value: connectivity infrastructure development, rural development and support for gender equality. We will also support the strengthening of health care, which has become vital for all countries due to the COVID-19 epidemic". - she concluded.