January 26, 2023
Ministry of Foreign Affaires
(As prepared for delivery)
Good morning. Thank you, Undersecretary Tripodi, Minister Pastorelli, and good to see you again Alessandro. It is my pleasure to join you today at the Joint Commission Meeting. Thank you for hosting us at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and thank you also to our Italian colleagues for their work over the past four years.
As President Biden noted last year on World Science Day, “science has the power to solve our toughest challenges, help us build a better future, and make the impossible possible.”
We have come a long way since the United States and Italy signed the bilateral Science and Technology Agreement 35 years ago. Thanks in part to the Commission’s work, thousands of U.S. government-affiliated scientists and technical experts travel to Italy each year for research exchanges and other professional activities. An even larger number of private-sector scientists collaborate with their Italian counterparts across all fields of research.
This outstanding cooperation is needed to address difficult global challenges, including climate change, food and energy security, and health. Such problems cannot be solved by governments alone, but require cooperation by academia, NGOs, and private enterprises.
I would now like to introduce my fellow Georgetown Hoya, Monica Medina, who is the Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs. She is joining us remotely from Washington. A former Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, she has also served as General Counsel for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and received the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service. Earlier in her career, Assistant Secretary Medina was the Senior Counsel to former Senator Max Baucus on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. She was also Senior Director for Ocean Policy at the National Geographic Society. Assistant Secretary Medina, the floor is yours.