EU foreign ministers endorse new Africa-EU Partnership Strategy

EU foreign ministers have endorsed a new joint EU-Africa Strategy that seeks to strengthen mutual engagement, address security, and promote sustainable, inclusive economic African development. The Strategy Communication, launched in May 2017, identifies two strands for these objectives. First, the strategy aims at building more resilient states and societies, with a focus on 1) preventing conflicts, address crises and peace-building, 2) strengthening governance systems; and 3) managing migration and mobility. Second, it aims at creating more and better jobs, especially for youth, with a focus on 1) attracting investments, 2) promoting renewable energy, 3) transforming African agriculture and agro-businesses, and 4) improving knowledge and skills in the African continent. The European Council’s endorsement underscored the importance of human rights, gender equality, and sexual and reproductive health and rights in the work to be supported by the new strategy.

Press release - Council of the EU

Italian health NGOs denounce lack of attention paid to health at G7

Several Italian health NGOs have claimed that this sector was a missing piece of the G7 Summit in Taormina, noting that the language around health in leaders’ communiqué is weak compared to the previous G7.  Representatives of a variety of organizations pointed out that this year health was not openly recognized as a human right, nor were there explicit references to Universal Health Coverage (UHC), GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, or the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

News article - Sociale Corriere (in Italian)

Italy Global health Global health R&D

France, Germany, and Italy issue statement on non-renegotiation of Paris climate accord

On June 1, 2017, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Italian Premier Paolo Gentiloni released a rare joint statement noting "with regret" the US' decision to pull out of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. They reiterated that the pact cannot be ‘re-negotiated’, as per President Trump’s suggestion. The three leaders also highlighted the importance of the agreement as "a cornerstone in the cooperation between our countries, for effectively and timely tackling climate change”, called on allies to speed up their efforts to combat climate change, and said they would do more to help developing countries adapt.

News article - Reuters

France Germany Italy

Italy launches initiatives supporting sustainable development in Africa

Under the framework of its G7 presidency, Italy announced that the Infrastructure Consortium for Africa (ICA) Plenary Session - to be held in Rome in October 2017 - will be dedicated to the promotion of smart and integrated infrastructure in Africa, with a specific agenda for digitalization, de-carbonization, and mobility. Italy also announced its intention to launch a pilot program, ‘G7 Exchange and Empowerment Program for Emerging African Innovation Leaders’. Proposed by Politecnico di Torino and Politecnico di Milano, and supported by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the program will contribute to fostering a qualified generation of African Innovation Brokers (AIBs).

Summary of the Outreach Session on Africa - G7 Summit 


Italian development agency joins ‘Practitioners' Network’

On May 18, 2017, the Director General of the Italian Agency of Cooperation (AICS) Laura Frigenti announced that the agency will join the ‘Practitioners' Network’, an open platform for exchange, coordination, and harmonization between European development cooperation organizations with a public service mission. The Practitioners’ Network is open to all European non-profit national bodies with a mandate to directly implement European or bilateral development assistance. It aims to create opportunities for cooperation and synergies at the implementation level, while enabling an exchange of information and experiences, providing feedback on European development policies from a practitioner’s perspective, and enhancing the visibility of its members.

News update - AICS (in Italian)


Italy's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Special Commission for Missing Persons pledge humanitarian cooperation

The Secretary General of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Elisabetta Belloni, and Italy's Special Commissioner for Missing Persons, Vittorio Piscitelli, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen cooperation around identifying victims of shipwrecks in the Mediterranean Sea. The MoU outlines the ways the two institutions will cooperate in order to support the International Red Cross and the Italian Red Cross in acquiring personal data and/or biological samples that would allow for the better identification of victims. Officials hope the MoU will become a best practice to be exported to the EU.

Press release - Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation


In-country refugee spending helps boost Italy’s net ODA by 20% in 2016

According to preliminary data from the OECD, Italy's net Official Development Assistance (ODA) reached US$4.8 billion in 2016 based on 2015 prices and exchange rates - up from about US$4 billion in 2015. This is a jump of 20%. As a result, Italy’s ratio of ODA to GNI also grew from 0.22% to 0.26%. The increases in Italy's ODA were driven largely by the costs of hosting in-country refugees.

Summary - OECD


G7 Energy ministers fail to agree on climate-change statement at Rome forum

On April 9 and 10, 2017, G7 energy ministers met in Rome to review the progress of the 'Rome Energy Initiative for Energy Security', which was launched in 2014. Italian officials were hoping that the ministers would reaffirm the G7′s clear commitment to both the Paris Agreement and decarbonization targets. However, delegates failed to sign a joint statement at the end of the meeting. Carlo Calenda, Italy’s minister of economic development and the event's host, said that it would not be possible to sign such a statement as long as the US administration is still reviewing its energy policy.

News release - Italian Ministry of Economic Development
News article - Corriere della Sera [in Italian]

Global Italy

David Beasley appointed new Executive Director of World Food Program

David Beasley, a U.S. national, was nominated new Director of the Rome-based World Food Programme (WFP) by UN Secretary-General António Guterres and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Director-General José Graziano da Silva. He assumed office on April 4, 2017, succeeding Ertharin Cousin, also from the U.S. From 1995 to 1999, Beasley was governor of the U.S. state of South Carolina. He is also founder and current chairman of the board for the Center for Global Strategies, a group that helps facilitate economic ties between developed and developing countries. 

Press release - World Food Programme


Italy Nutrition

Italy approves new guidelines for 2016-2018 development cooperation

On March 23, 2017, the Italian Interministerial Committee for Development Cooperation (CICS) approved Italy’s new three-year guidelines for development cooperation. Drafted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the guidelines have not yet been published, but are expected to be made publicly available shortly. The CICS is chaired by Italy’s Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, and comprises the current Minister of Foreign Affairs and his Deputy Minister as well as the ministers of economy, environment, defense, and development.

Website - Italian government [in Italian]