COVID-19: Zappia, “Italy’s G20 presidency priority will be worldwide access to vaccines”

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NEW YORK, NOVEMBER 5 – “The international response to COVID-19 will remain a prominent issue throughout 2021 and the Italian G20 Presidency”, the Italian Permanent Representative to the UN, Mariangela Zappia, said today during a virtual event organized by the outgoing Saudi Presidency to illustrate the action of the G20 during the pandemic.

“Our goal is to promote global health as a global public good. The first objective of the Italian Presidency will be to provide equitable, worldwide access to vaccines. The G20 is already working on this crucial issue, in particular by promoting the implementation of the ACT-Accelerator and Italy will do all it can to ensure that these efforts are enhanced and brought to completion”, said Zappia, adding that “it is our duty to look beyond the immediate crisis and focus our efforts on fostering an inclusive, sustainable and resilient recovery. To this end, the agenda of the Italian G20 Presidency will build on three P: People, Planet and Prosperity”.

Putting people at the center – said the Italian Ambassador – means working to reduce inequalities and guarantee equal opportunities, ensuring assistance and the ability to participate to the most vulnerable groups, women, young people, small and medium-sized enterprises, precarious workers. Gender equality is a cross-cutting objective, a premise for achieving more inclusive and resilient societies.”

The Ambassador added that the protection of the planet and climate action constitute the second pillar of the Italian agenda. To this aim, Italy will leverage the synergies with the UK in the respective role as Presidents of the G7 and the G20 and in the framework of the partnership on COP26.

The third pillar of the Italian Presidency will focus on the prosperity of our people and societies through the promotion of a strong, sustainable and inclusive growth. In this perspective, the digital revolution is a fundamental tool toachieve prosperity and better quality of life.

Another fundamental issue that the G20 will have to address is financing for development, with particular attention to the African continent. Italy has been among the promoters of the implementation and extension of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI), and looks favorably to an extended use of the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights to provide additional liquidity to the most vulnerable actors of the International Community. (@OnuItalia)