JOINT PRESS RELEASE
MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION OF ITALY,
MR PAOLO GENTILONI
PEACE AND SECURITY COMMISSIONER OF THE AFRICAN UNION COMMISSION,
MR SMAIL CHERGUI
• On the occasion of the first Italy-Africa Ministerial Conference, which aims at providing new impetus to the multifaceted relationship between Italy and the African Countries and Organizations, we wish to reaffirm the pivotal role of the African Union (AU) for the continuous advancement of this process.
• While acknowledging the crucial importance of encouraging sustainable socio-economic development as well as the need to manage migration flows, we recognize that the promotion of peace and security in Africa still remains a priority.
• Italy is committed to support the structures and initiatives of the African Union Commission, and in particular its Peace and Security Department (AU-PSD).
• We will continue to do so within the partnerships established by the AU with the European Union and the United Nations, and by relying on bilateral instruments, such as the Italian-Africa Peace Facility (IAPF), which has been operational since 2007 and whose financial resources currently amount to about 10 million Euros.
• Italy welcomes the designation of the former President of the African Development Bank , Dr Donald Kaberuka, as the AU High Representative for the Peace Fund and expresses its full support to his mission.
• We will contribute to the further operationalization of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), also through new joint initiatives to be defined by the Italian Foreign Ministry and the AU-PSD, especially focused on the Horn of Africa.
• The Italian Foreign Ministry and the African Union Commission reaffirm their willingness to continue cooperating on African crisis scenarios and to promoting effective cooperation between the AU, African sub-regional Organizations, and other international Partners. We recognize that the execution of APSA and the fulfilment of security sector reforms in key African Countries are goals of mutual interest, which will continue to underpin our common action.