LINK 2007 makes a motivated and documented appeal to President Draghi and Ministers Di Maio and Franco to change the international development cooperation policy as from the next budget law. More or less cooperation in fact means a greater or lesser presence of solidarity in the world, justice, opportunities for dialogue, political relevance, economic partnership, weight on global issues, the possibility of agreements on matters of mutual interest and priority issues for peace and security .
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Italy is struggling to give international cooperation a long-term vision, with precise planning and with the strategy, impetus and commitment that are required by the needs and opportunities of partner countries and ours: investments for the growth and quality of numerous and diversified sectors, infrastructure, sustainable agriculture, manufacturing sector, gender inclusion, training, education, health, digitization, removal of economic and social imbalances and more equitable distribution of resources, ecological transition, debt conversion to guarantee liquidity to crushed countries by its weight, taxation. And much more, in order to be able to exploit the enormous potential and capabilities present in areas and countries of our interest and to create, together and with equal dignity,
The financial commitment of Italy – member of the G7 – for public development cooperation (PSC) is barely sufficient to maintain a difficult buoyancy among the big seven, positioning itself in 10th place among the 30 OECD-DAC countries (which adopt principles , common standards and objectives in the CPS). While in relation to GNI it is in 20th place , after countries such as Ireland, Austria, Iceland, Hungary, New Zealand, Spain.
Instead of continuing the progression to exceed 0.30% of GNI in 2020, reaching the average of disbursements of the OECD-DAC countries as indicated by law 125/2014, Italian funds suffered a collapse which brought the percentage compared to GNI back to 0.22% both in 2019 and 2020 and probably also in 2021. In parallel, government “commitments” abound for a gradual increase in resources up to 0.70% of GNI as internationally agreed. Little vision and political coherence: our country’s credibility is at stake.
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The multilateral instrument represents 73% of the overall PSC (2020). But also the remaining bilateral part is often implemented through multilateral organizations and agencies, with the instrument being referred to as “ multi-bilateral ” cooperation. “Basically, Italy tends to delegate its international cooperation for development, what the law defines as an integral and qualifying part of Italian foreign policy», says the president Roberto Ridolfi. «The part of Italy’s bilateral cooperation based on direct, non-mediated action and encounter in developing countries, on decades-long knowledge of the territories, communities and local realities, as well as proving to be less expensive, involves Italian subjects of society civil society, diaspora organizations, universities, regional and territorial bodies, companies that have been able to establish equal, lasting relationships of mutual interest, is more effective and the results are verified and evaluated. Unfortunately, this direct bilateral cooperation remains limited to 5% of the overall PSC. And that is clearly unacceptable.”
For Link 2007, multilateralism undoubtedly remains fundamental in the face of global challenges which can only be faced together, as an international community, under penalty of irrelevance of the answers. Italy has multilateral commitments which it must honor but which must not replace, as is unfortunately happening, the initiatives carried out directly by Italian public and private subjects – by that repeatedly mentioned “Italian system” – in developing countries with important and widespread presences particularly in Africa, the Mediterranean, the Middle East.
Direct bilateral cooperation must be strengthened not at the expense of multilateral cooperation but through a significant increase in resources allocated to PCD . The assessment of the figures reported in detail in the document must inform the definition of the budget law. PCD will continue not to exceed 0.22% of GNI also in 2021. To reach 0.70% in 2030, seriously aiming at the sustainable development goals of the 2030 Agenda, an allocation of 0.30% is needed in 2022 of GNI, with an annual progression of 0.05% established by law. Otherwise, political inconsistency would continue to dominate, as often in the past. It is a challenge of high political valuethat the Government and Parliament must know how to collect, finally passing from words and solemn commitments, continuously contradicted, to deeds, to their implementation. Otherwise, even the functions of minister and deputy minister for international cooperation and the vision and contents of Law 125/2014 risk losing their true meaning.
The objective of bringing the Italian CPS to 0.70% of GNI is now being pursued collectively by the 070 Campaign launched by FOCSIV and the AOI, LINK 2007 and CINI networks, already sponsored by the Alliance for sustainable development AsviS, the Forum of the Third Sector, Caritas Italiana, Missio while the membership of many other civil society organizations and other cooperation actors is expanding who, together, intend to make themselves heard and be heard.
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