EU Trust Fund for Africa provides €46 million to Libya

The EU Trust Fund for Africa has adopted a €46 million program to strengthen Libyan authorities’ border-management capacity related to migration flows, migrant rescue, smuggling networks, and human rights. The Italian Ministry of the Interior will implement the efforts.

This iniative bolsters other actions that the Trust Fund is already undertaking to reduce migratory pressure along the Central Mediterranean Route. Overall, €136 million have been committed to Libya under the Trust Fund since January 2017, including a €90 million package adopted in April 2017 to reinforce the protection and resilience of migrants, refugees, and host communities.

Press release - European Union

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The Italian Ministry of Health establishes taskforce for the Decade of Action on Nutrition

On July 11, 2017, the first meeting of the Italian taskforce to implement the ‘Decade of Action on Nutrition’ took place. The Italian working group specifically aims to identify actions and strategies to take under the framework of the United Nation's Decade Work Program, jointly launched by FAO and WHO. The Ministry of Health wants to improve dialogue with international institutions -- in particular FAO and WHO -- to better coordinate cross-cutting actions addressing the "triple burden of malnutrition - with undernourishment, micronutrient deficiency, and obesity".

The United Nations' Decade of Nutrition runs from 2016 to 2025, aiming to increase nutrition investments and implement policies and programs to improve food security and nutrition. It builds on the 2nd International Nutrition Conference in 2014.

Press release – Ministry of health (in Italian)

Italy Global health Nutrition

Launch of the Italian Parliamentarian alliance for food security

On July 19, 2017, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)  and a group of Italian Parliament members, led Stella Bianchi, launched the Italian Parliamentary Alliance for Food Security. At the launch event, Mario Lubetkin, Chief of Cabinet of FAO’s Director General, emphasized that an enabling legislative environment is fundamental to achieving food and nutrition security, and flagged the role of legislators in improving nutrition and food security.

FAO has made it a priority to work with parliamentarians in donor and implementing countries; it is likely that FAO will increase collaboration with them, and provide technical advice and support.

 Press release – Democratic Party (in Italian)

Italy Agriculture Nutrition

Italian diplomat appointed OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities

Italian diplomat Lamberto Zannier has been named the new High Commissioner on National Minorities for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) by the OSCE Ministerial Council. Zannier joins a list of Italian politicians in leadership positions of key international institutions, including Antonio Tajani (President of the European Parliament), Federica Mogherini (High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy), Mario Draghi (President of the European Central Bank), and Filippo Grandi (UN High Commissioner for Refugees).

Along with Zannier, the OSCE Ministerial Council appointed:

  • Thomas Greminger of Switzerland as OSCE Secretary General
  • Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir of Iceland as Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights
  • Harlem Désir of France as OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media

Press release - OSCE

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Italian foreign minister publishes op-ed on agenda for Africa

"Europe is starting to understand that it ‘has no reason to fear Africa’ and that, with Africa, it must have the confidence to jointly build the foundations for a common partnership for growth and security," wrote Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Angelini Alfano in an op-ed in La Repubblica. In it, he also explained how Italy’s agenda is shaped by its specific Mediterranean interest and responsibility – “a vocation”, due partially to its geographic position connecting the two continents.

The article followed a July 6, 2017 ministerial conference initiated by Italy in which foreign ministers of several European countries and the main African states of transit met to discuss common challenges in managing migration flows. At the meeting, participants agreed to provide immediate support to Libya and other major African countries of transit that are willing to organize their border controls, with full respect to the rights of migrants and refugees and in line with IOM and UNHCR protocols. €60 million was also raised for Italy to support these countries of transit.

News article - La Repubblica (in Italian)

EU Italy

Italian development committee approves package of nearly €53 million

The Joint Committee for Development Cooperation has approved a new development package totalling almost €53 million. With the funds, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Angelino Alfano underlined a particular focus on the Country Programme for Ethiopia 2017-2019 and cooperation initiatives with Sudan and Tunisia, who are among Italy's priority partners.

Other highlights of the package include:

  • A new regional initiative financed by €3.5 million from the 'Fund for Africa', to support the protection of child victims of human rights violations in Senegal, Mali, Gambia, Guinea Conakry, Guinea Bissau, and Niger 
  • Continued commitment in Iraq, Lebanon, and Palestine through interventions dedicated to assisting refugees and supporting local small- and medium-sized enterprises

News article - Agenzia Nova (in Italian)

Website - Joint Committee for Development Cooperation (in Italian)


Italy reiterates commitment to fighting global hunger

At the opening of the 40th conference of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Paolo Gentiloni, Italy’s Prime Minister, reinforced Italy’s commitment to leadership in the fight against hunger, noting that "there is no acceptable number of people suffering hunger and famine in the world". Nutrition and food security were at the heart of the Milan EXPO 2015, and the Italian government has put the UN's zero hunger target (SDG 2) on the agenda of the G7 Minister of Agriculture meeting on October 14-15, 2017, and of the High level event on Nutrition to be held in Milan on November 4, 2017.

Video - Italian government (in Italian)


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

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