Mr. President, Mr. Secretary-General, Heads of State and Government, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Millennium Development Goals that world leaders undersigned in the year 2000 provide us with a roadmap we must follow to assure a better future, in 2015 and beyond: a world that is less unjust, less divided, less unstable.
Has this formula of international cooperation for development worked so far?
Yes, because it has provided a framework for the efforts of all the international stakeholders in development and helped improve living conditions in the poorest countries.
No, because not all of the MDGs promises were kept and major international changes have taken place in the past ten years.
From now on, we need to multiply our efforts to meet the MDGs and to focus on concrete results. With the emergence of new stakeholders and global challenges, development can only come about through shared responsibility and a broader array of initiatives. Global challenges require ambition and a global vision.
Reports by the Secretary-General and UNDP confirm that progress has been made and that the MDGs are within reach, although much remains to do, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, least developed countries and fragile states. The Donors community will have to accelerate the MDG process by forging a broader partnership with non- government actors and with developing countries, which hold the primary responsibility for their own development. Harmonization, coordination and aid effectiveness are the ruling principles of our action.
Ten years later, it is clear that the MDGs were never meant to be exclusive strategies. The MDGs are a formula to shape a partnership for development beyond the traditional pattern of a donor-receiver relations. Far too often we have found ourselves trapped in a “statistical logic” consisting of percentages and figures rather than policies.
The Millennium Development Goals philosophy entails a major reconsideration of the entire international agenda, including development. Good governance and taxation, better economic and financial regulations, a more equitable distribution of wealth, the tackling of climate change, market access: providing these and other Global Public Goods is closely interlinked with development goals. Unless these policies are given high priority, development will not be sustainable enough to resist possible future tempests in world politics and the international economy.
This is all the more true in light of the recent financial crisis. Europe financial security has teetered on the edge. Our governments had to fall short of their commitments to development because of financial constraints and, in the EU, budget requirements. In these circumstances, the most useful single thing Europe can do for developing countries is to put its own economy back on a path of sustainable growth so that the South can fully benefit from an expanding demand in the North.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
One third of people living below the threshold of extreme poverty reside in fragile and post conflict States. Hence, the role of peace and stability to fight poverty cannot be denied.
Italy is the sixth largest contributor to the UN regular and peace-keeping budgets, and in light of the priority we give to institutional building and to increasing peace and stability as a basis for sustainable development, we are also one of the largest contributors of troops.
But we are also convinced that development is the result of deep transformation in society and of full respect for human rights.
With is in mind, Italy is has been engaged together with a group of like-minded countries in the campaign for the elimination of female genital mutilation. FGM has a negative impact on the achievement of the MDGs – specifically MDGs 3 and 5. We are fully committed – together with like minded countries – to enhance the campaign against FGM through a Resolution of the United Nations General Assembly.
Mr. President, Mr. Secretary General, Excellencies,
Italy's entire foreign policy is grounded in our constitutional values of peace and justice among nations. Italian people have always been, and still are, on the side of development and solidarity.
Our national strategy is inspired by the principles of aid effectiveness, a holistic vision of development and a whole of country approach.
I would like to point out that food security continues to be a high political priority for Italy. We remain strongly committed to the process that was initiated during Italy's G8 Presidency with the “L’Aquila Food Security Initiative” (AFSI) later endorsed by the FAO “World Food Summit” in November 2009 and adopted as the “Rome Principles”. And it is those same principles that are now at the heart of the much needed Global Partnership for Agriculture, Food Security and Nutrition (GPAF), to which we are firmly committed in order to achieve a new, more effective governance structure in global food security.
We have been particularly active in the field of innovative financial resources, encouraging the work of the “Leading Group on Innovative Financing for Development” and supporting the Advanced Market Commitment (AMC), the International Finance Facility for Immunization (IFFIm) and the migrant remittances initiatives discussed at the 2009 G8 Summit in L’Aquila.
The EU’s positions at this high-level meeting, to which we have contributed, are a call for a more action-oriented solidarity with all our partners and stakeholders in development. Let us join efforts to assure that the MDGs become a reality.