NEW YORK, JULY 17 – The eradication of hunger and malnutrition in the world, and the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) contribution to the sustainable development are the main topics highlighted by Silvia Velo, Under-Secretary of State of the Italian Ministry for the Environment, in her speech delivered during two events at the United Nations in New York focused on the evaluation and implementation the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In the first meeting, co-organized by Italy together with FAO, Maldives, IFAD, WFP, DESA and OHRLLS, the participants discussed on how to end all forms of hunger and malnutrition by 2030, a huge target in line with the second goal set out by the SDGs Agenda. “Italy will continue to play an active part in helping the international community with these important achievements, because today more than 800 million people are estimated to have no access to sufficient and nutritious food, as a direct consequence of poverty, environmental degradation, drought and loss of biodiversity – Undersecretary Velo said -. We are proud of hosting the two Rome-based UN agencies – the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) – with which our country shares a common vision of promoting food security by alleviating hunger through food assistance. Italy also aims at strengthening its commitment to support the two UN organizations’ programs both financially and politically. “
According to Velo, promoting food security through sustainable rural and agricultural development is not only a priority of the Italian Cooperation, but it is a central component of Italy’s Foreign Policy as prime minister of Italy Paolo Gentiloni remarked in his keynote speech at the FAO Conference who took place in Rome two weeks ago. He described the UN’s Zero Hunger objective as a way to attain peace, justice and equality and preserve the world for the future. But development efforts must go beyond responding to emergencies, he added mentioning the migration crisis in the Mediterrenean, stressing also that extreme hunger and malnutrition remain a huge barrier to development in many countries. Despite progress, there is still a huge work to do to fight poverty and this involves promoting sustainable agricultural practices: supporting small scale farmers and allowing equal access to land, technology and markets. It also requires international cooperation to ensure investment in infrastructure and technology to improve agricultural productivity.
The second meeting, arranged by Vietnam at the UN in New York, dealt with the contribution that a wider access to new information and communications technologies (ICT), can give to sustainable development. New ICT technologies, in particular high-speed internet, can offer a relevant contribution to the development of a country and these new technologies are helping to change people’s lives, production and trade in unprecedented ways.
“New ICT technologies – Velo outlined – are increasingly bringing market information, financial services health services to remote areas, and they represent a key factor that has to be taken into account in SDG Implementation Process. “Italy has pledged to play an active role in eradicating poverty, fighting against climate change and respond to the multiple challenges set out by hunger”, Velo concluded, underling the importance to “seize the opportunities given by new technological tools, so that no one is left behind”, and the process for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, can be accelerated.
(@onuitalia, 18 July 2017)
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