President Sergio Mattarella of Italy has called for global partnerships, not only in defining but, in implementing sustainable and equitable programmes for human development.
He stressed that such partnerships will enhance the fight against hunger and poverty which are at the heart of global human conflict. Mattarella made this call in his address to the opening session of the Thirty-Ninth Session of the Governing Council of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) held at IFAD headquarters on 17th February. He emphasized that the right to food and water underscore the very idea of humanity; and reiterated his call for enhanced international commitment to develop and implement shared solutions to poverty and malnutrition.
Referring to the current refugee problem, the Italian President urged unity of purpose in responding to the multifaceted nature of the phenomenon, which he referred to as an epical challenge affecting millions of people. He appealed to all actors to perform an extra call of duty to serve humanity in the face of this challenge.
To end poverty President Mattarella called for a deliberate focus on initiatives to eradicate inequality. In his view ending poverty is both an ethical as well as economic imperative. Among the key mechanisms for helping the drive towards ending poverty he named credit (finance capital), scientific knowledge, business acumen as well as wealth-generating agricultural practices.
With regard to the specific IFAD mandate of lifting small-holder farmers out of poverty, the President offered the Italian Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) model that had helped lift his country out of poverty. He hailed IFAD for the active role it is playing in breaking the chain of hunger and poverty; and committed his country to play the necessary supportive role in IFAD's poverty-reduction efforts.