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UNGA 76: Draghi updates the General Assembly on G20 Afghanistan

NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 23 – Humanitarian aids, security and human rights are the priorities for the extraordinary G20 Summit on Afghanistan that PM Mario Draghi addressed in a video-message at the 76th UN General Assembly in New York.

“The extraordinary G20 Summit must give its utmost support to these objectives”, said the Prime Minister relaunching the need for multilateralism in order to deal with global challenges, from the pandemic to climate change, economic recovery and the struggle against inequality, food security, conflict resolution and the fight against terrorism.

Draghi, who had just spoken at the Food Systems Summit convened by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on many of these same issues, launched the extraordinary G20 under the Italian presidency sending a warning against the risk of terrorism and of a “social and civil catastrophe” in Afghanistan, whose humanitarian situation is the most immediate and shared concern in light of the approaching winter. “We must prevent the country from becoming once again a threat for international security”, he also warned, referring to the presence of groups affiliated to Al-Qaeda and Daesh and inviting the international community to “cooperate effectively, starting with sharing intelligence”.

The PM also criticised the new Taliban government, which “does not meet the expectations of the international community for a government that is inclusive and representative of the country’s diverse ethnic, social and religious components”. The summit on Afghanistan is the concrete proof that Italy wants to revamp multilateralism. “In recent years we have witnessed a progressive weakening of multilateralism, which has guaranteed peace, security and prosperity since the post-war period. However, we are now facing problems that we cannot solve on our own”.

Another key theme dealt with by Prime Minister was COVID: “More than a year and a half after the beginning of the global health crisis, we can finally look at the future with greater optimism. The vaccination campaign gives us confidence in our ability to return to a new normal. After months of loneliness, our social life has finally resumed”. However, “the pandemic is not over and even when it will be, we will have to deal with its consequences for a long time”, warned Draghi.

He then defined “morally unacceptable” the disparities in the distribution of vaccines: “In high-income countries, more than 65% of the population has received at least one dose. In the poorest ones, only 2%”.

“Fewer vaccinations mean more deaths”, he reminded, adding that “the huge differences in vaccination campaigns risk worsening inequalities between countries”. This is the reason behind Italy’s commitment in favour of the poorest nations, starting from those of the African continent, “increasingly central for security and economic growth globally”, to facilitate debt restructuring for the most vulnerable countries under the G20 presidency.

Later, the PM reintroduced the concern over climate in order to “protect the planet, our economy and future generations” by stating that young people “will inherit the planet and it is our duty to listen to them”. Draghi also reiterated “strong support” to the EU leading role in the ecological transition and encouraged governments to “stand ready to help citizens and businesses”. He discussed Libya and migration flows (with the need of a joint European response and responsibility. Lastly, Security Council reform: Draghi highlighted the need of a Council that is “more representative, democratic, efficient, transparent and accountable”. (@giorgiodelgallo)


Il giornale Italiano delle Nazioni Unite. Ha due redazioni, una a New York, l’altra a Roma.

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