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“It is an honor for me to represent Italy before the United Nations General Assembly. An honor which, however, is not as light as privilege, but as heavy as responsibility. Because we live in an era complex, made up of emergencies and continuous mutations, and we cannot afford the luxury of casual phrases, of principles praised but not implemented, of easy choices instead of the right ones. We need to return to the profound meaning of what gave life to this place , the Community of Nations and peoples who recognize themselves in the 1945 United Nations Charter, created to find shared solutions that could guarantee peace and prosperity”. With these words, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni begins her speech at the United Nations General Assembly (FULL SPEECH: VIDEO).
The war in Ukraine
For the Prime Minister “there are basically two elements that have given meaning to this place. On the one hand the Nations, which exist because they respond to the natural need of men to feel part of a community of destiny, to belong to a specific people and of being able to share with other people the same historical memory, the same laws, the same habits and customs. In a word, the identity. And on the other hand the inspiration of those Nations, different from each other, to find a place in which resolve international disputes with a tool that is more difficult to use but decidedly more effective in its results than force, that is, the tool of reason”.
“If these two elements, the Nation and Reason, are still the foundation of what moves us, then we must reject the utopian and interested story of those who say that a world without Nations, without borders and without identity, would also be a world without conflicts, and with equal determination we must prevent the return of force as a tool for resolving international disputes. The war of the Russian invasion of Ukraine tells us exactly this. In the face of those who would like to take us back to the time of wars of domination and -imperialist from which we thought we had freed ourselves in the last century, Reason can still have the upper hand, and that the love of the Fatherland, the value of the Nation, can still be defended beyond the unimaginable”.
“Italy – he continued to the Prime Minister – has clearly chosen which side to take. It did so out of a sense of justice. It did so because it is aware of how difficult it would be to govern a world in which those who bombed the civil infrastructures hoping to bend a people with the cold and darkness, those who use energy as a weapon and blackmail developing nations by preventing the export of wheat, the essential raw material to feed millions of people”. –
“Don’t look the other way on migrants”
“Can an organization like this, which states in its founding act ‘faith in the dignity and value of the human person’ really turn the other way in the face of this massacre?”. Thus the Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni launched the appeal to act “all together” on migrants to combat “human traffickers”.
“I am convinced that it is the duty of this organization to reject any hypocrisy on the issue of migrants and to declare a global war without concessions on human traffickers”, continued Meloni. “And to do this we must work together at every level, and Italy – you assured her – intends to be in the front row on this front”. A “certain hypocritical approach to immigration has made these people enormously rich. We want to fight the mafia in all its forms, and we will fight this too. It must be an objective that unites us all”. Then Meloni adds: “Africa is not a poor continent” but “it has often been and is an exploited continent, too often the interventions of foreign nations on the continent have not been respectful of local realities. Often the approach has been predatory, and yet even paternalistic. We need to reverse the trend.”
“Even what at a superficial glance may seem like a tool to improve the well-being of humanity, upon closer analysis reveals its risks. Let’s think about artificial intelligence. The applications of this new technology certainly represent a great opportunity for many fields – says the Italian Prime Minister in a passage of her speech to the United Nations General Assembly – but we cannot pretend not to also understand the enormous risks it brings with it. I am not sure that we are realizing enough of the implications connected to one technological development that runs much faster than our ability to govern its effects”.
“We were used to progress that had the objective of optimizing human capabilities, and today we are faced with a progress that risks replacing human capabilities – he adds -. And if in the past this replacement focused on physical work, so that men could focus on conceptual and organizational work, today it is the intellect that risks being supplanted, with consequences that could be devastating, particularly in the job market. More and more people will not be needed, in a world increasingly dominated by inequality, from the concentration of power and wealth in the hands of a few. It is not the world we want. And therefore we cannot make the mistake of considering this domain a “free zone” without rules”, warns the prime minister.
Meloni did not go to Biden’s dinner
In the early evening in New York, the Prime Minister treated herself to an informal moment, a dinner in a well-known Italian restaurant – the specialty is “old style” Neapolitan pizza – with her staff and with her daughter Ginevra, who also accompanies her on this trip to New York. No Joe Biden reception for her, the traditional appointment that the American president offers to world leaders on the occasion of the UN General Assembly. The prime minister did not attend the evening at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (which did not appear on the official agenda). Like other leaders, they point out from Palazzo Chigi, recalling that Meloni has continuous opportunities for exchange with the American president, most recently just a few days ago on the occasion of the G20 in India.
The prime minister did not speak to the Security Council
Meloni also missed – this time his participation had been announced – the speech at the special session of the United Nations Security Council dedicated to Ukraine. The absence is justified by the Prime Minister’s staff due to commitments in bilateral meetings with African countries which are constantly changing (Algeria, for example, was already on the agenda and then postponed). Palazzo Chigi specifies that the prime minister “participated this morning in the debate in the United Nations Security Council, where she listened to the main speeches, including that of Volodymyr Zelensky”, with whom she then had a meeting on the sidelines, as well as seeing the leaders of Algeria, Rwanda and Malawi and Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau. In place of the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani spoke, to reiterate that Italy’s position remains firmly alongside Kiev as long as there is a need, that we must pursue a “just” peace and that Rome is and will be also in the front row for reconstruction.
The bilateral with Guterres and then the speech
The prime minister’s agenda in New York is very busy. After taking part in the opening of the general debate at the UN Palace, you met with Turkish President Recep Tayyp Erdogan, Umaro Sissoco Embalò of Guinea Bissau, Macky Sall of the Republic of Senegal and William Samoei Ruto of the Republic of Kenya. In the afternoon she laid a wreath in Columbus Circle.
Palazzo Chigi, in recent hours, has underlined how the Italian government’s attention towards Africa is also demonstrated by the meetings the prime minister had with the presidents of Guinea Bissau, Senegal and Kenya. At the center of the talks, Palazzo Chigi further explained, was the desire to strengthen the fight against human trafficking, also through the promotion of the economic development of these territories, the joint planning and implementation of initiatives in strategic sectors. Meloni also met Erdogan: a “long and cordial” conversation, Italian government sources said. Among the topics, the war in Ukraine, the commitment to strengthen collaboration with African nations on the issue of food security, the importance of addressing the issue of migration in the Mediterranean by fighting human traffickers, the economic and commercial relations between two countries. “With Erdogan I also spoke about migrants, about the role that Mediterranean countries play. In the case of Turkey it is a doubly important role because it concerns both the Mediterranean route and the Balkan route”, said Meloni. “Turkey has given signs of attention with visas, but I believe more can be done,” he added. And again: Turkey is “in the front row” to reactivate the agreement on Ukrainian wheat, “it is carrying out useful work and we must all collaborate to unblock the wheat issue, which especially impacts Africa”.