Italian Premier, ‘the time of courage’

Premier Conte addresses UN General Assembly

 ROME - Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte addressed, via video link from government’s headquarter in the Italian capital, the 75th United Nations General Assembly saying that the COVID-19 pandemic is tragedy but it is also an opportunity for a “new beginning which is up to us to seize: after these months of suffering, today we look at each other in a different way, appealing to a new mutualism and a renewed spirit of solidarity.” Italy was the first country in Europe and in the West that found itself facing this large-scale emergency. “Our country has become a symbol of a collective effort, human even before health and political, then brought as a dowry to the entire international community,” he added, stressing that Italy “has resolutely passed the most acute phase of the health emergency, building on the experience gained directly in the field, on the front line, in hospital wards, in research laboratories. A commitment that today we feel we share in a reinvigorated multilateral system, with the United Nations at its center, to make the idea of​​a world equal to the challenges posed by the pandemic as concrete as possible.”

 On this background, Conte assured that Italy is ready to do its part, starting with the first Italian presidency of the G20 scheduled in 2021: “Italy will do everything to make this opportunity become a moment of collective rebirth.” The Premier recalled that his government immediately proposed the establishment of an international alliance to fight Covid-19. “This initiative has helped to mobilize, in extraordinarily rapid times, over 40 billion euro for the European Union’s global response to the crisis, in particular to ensure equal and universal access to vaccines, diagnostics and therapies. Italy considers vaccines global public goods, with the aim of leaving no one behind. We have worked in all the main international and global governance for a multilateral response articulated in exceptional measures.” In addition to its health and economic consequences, the pandemic will have a dangerous impact on international peace and security. Among the various theaters of crisis, Conte focused on the situation in Libya, reiterating that “the only way out is an inclusive solution with the UN in an essential mediating role, preventing external interference and
“giving room to intra-Libyan dialogue.” The next step should be to “allow the resumption of oil production throughout the territory, promoting fair management of resources for the benefit of the Libyan people.”

 Other issues addressed by Conte in his speech concerned environmental issues and the related challenges and commitments for Italy, empowerment for women, the moratorium for the elimination of the death penalty where it still exists, recalling that the death penalty was abolished for the first time in the world in 1786, in the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, the fight against trafficking in human beings. He concluded his speech with elements of ethics and hope, saying, “Once again it is time to set out. It is the time of courage, it is the time of vision, like 75 years ago. So let's all together renew our commitment to work to build the future of our children.”