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Contribution to ESCAP Trust Fund for Tsunami, Disaster and Climate Preparedness

Italy announced today in Bangkok, in the framework of the Seventh Session of the Committee on Disaster Risk Reduction and Third ESCAP Disaster Resilience Week, a contribution to the UNESCAP Trust Fund for Tsunami, #Disaster and #Climate Preparedness in Indian Ocean and Southeast Asian Countries of 260,000 Euro as part of the agreement signed on 25 August 2021 by the Italian Ambassador H.E. Lorenzo Galanti and UNESCAP Executive Secretary Ms. Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana to collaborate in the area of disaster risk management and in building resilience in the Asia Pacific. The initiative takes place in the framework of Italy’s strong engagement, as co-chair of COP26, and president of the G20, as well as development partner of ASEAN and observer at the Indian Ocean Reef Organisation and at UNESCAP, on climate change.

Here is the speech delivered by Ambassador Galanti during the Cerimony:

“Ms Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, Executive Secretary of ESCAP
H.E. Ms Khaderia Naseem, Minister of State for Environment, Climate change and technology of the Maldives,
distinguished Ministers and delegates,
ladies and gentlemen,
I am delighted to represent Italy at the Ministerial Panel on Disaster, Climate and Health Resilience, in the framework of the seventh session of the Committee on Disaster Risk Reduction at ESCAP.
Today I had the honor to sign, on behalf of my country, the Trust Fund agreement with ESCAP by which Italy joins the community of donors of the Multi donor trust fund on Tsunami, Disaster and Climate preparedness with a contribution of 260,000 euro to the Fund.
I would like to briefly illustrate why Italy, why now and why we chose this Trust Fund.
In more than 15 years since its foundation by Thailand and Sweden, the Trust Fund has acquired an excellent reputation thanks to its achievements.
The Fund’s realm of action is in fact placed at the intersection of several challenges. These challenges, which today include the effects of the pandemic and the ensuing, increased frailty and vulnerability of several communities in the Asia Pacific, these transboundary challenges all interact creating a complex environment. Madame Under Secretary general, you illustrated the nexus among all these challenges in your op-ed on the Bangkok Post just last week. As you mentioned, Madame Under Secretary general, there are in the region – and I quote ‘’multiple overlapping crises — which often cascade, with one triggering another’’ end of quote.
Covid-19 interacts with the rapidly deteriorating effects of climate change, to which the Asia-Pacific region is particularly exposed. This not only directly affects human lives; it also has a severe impact on livelihoods and potentially on the very fabric of our societies.
This is why we welcome that the Multi donor TF promotes a multi-hazard early warning system, and an integrated and people-centred approach that looks at prevention and also at building resilience among the population, particularly the most vulnerable and marginalized communities.
In fact, the TF is best placed to harness the entire toolbox that ESCAP has identified to deal with these challenges in the region, which include improving data collection (allow me to reference COSMO-SkyMed, an Italian Earth-observation satellite space-based radar system), leveraging technology and innovation, building on partnerships and fostering regional and sub-regional cooperation.
This year, Italy is co-chair of the COP26, engaging globally, together with the UK, to ensure that COP26 is not a failure. The world cannot afford it. As president of the G20 this year, Italy’s agenda revolves around its theme, people, planet, and prosperity. As development partner of ASEAN since last year, we strive to collaborate with ASEAN and its member states on climate change, health and rebuilding our economies. As observer of IORA, the Indian Ocean Rim Association, we aim to offer our expertise on blue economy and maritime security. As a long-time partner of Pacific small island developing States, we appreciate the Fund’s widened focus on the South-western Pacific.
Finally, as an observer at ESCAP, Italy is proud to initiate a new page of its engagement within ESCAP by contributing to this Trust Fund. I wish to thank you Madame Under Secretary general, and your staff, and particularly Ms Tiziana Bonapace, for making it easy for us to reach this very positive outcome. When we met to first discuss the idea of Italy contributing to the Fund, it was September 2020. The fast pace at which things unfolded is testimony to our deep commitment in the region, in support of sustainability and the SDGs, while upholding effective multilateralism.
Thank you.”