Op-Ed by Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State and Luigi Di Maio, Italian Foreign Minister
(This op-ed appeared in La Repubblica in Italian on April 1, 2021.)
This year marks the 160th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Italy and the United States, dating back to 1861, when Italians came together, propelled by the momentous awakening of the Risorgimento, under the banner of a single, unified Nation.
Over the past 75 years, our ties have grown ever closer and our friendship ever deeper. Our bonds are rooted in our shared values and in a common engagement to promote civil liberties and democratic principles, building on strong people-to-people ties, including millions of American women and men of Italian descent. Our societies are enriched by the numerous and dynamic exchanges between our people, businesses, civil society, and academia. Our economies maintain a strong and long-lasting relationship, spanning from the most traditional sectors to innovation, technology, scientific research and space.
During this time of unprecedented global challenges – ranging from the COVID-19 pandemic, to climate change; from authoritarianism, to economic and technological disruptions – the strong U.S.-Italy partnership has never been more important.
We share the same goals on the issues that are at the heart of the Italian Presidency of the G20 and of the upcoming UN Framework Convention on Climate Change COP 26.
2021 will be crucial to finally turn the page on the pandemic and to trigger a much needed paradigm shift in how we confront the joint challenges of climate change and economic recovery.
Italy and the United States will work together and with our partners in all relevant multilateral fora to increase global access to vaccines, raise climate ambition, and kick-start the post-pandemic recovery along a path of environmental and social sustainability.
The solutions to today’s challenges require bold leadership and unity of purpose by the transatlantic community. Now is the time to revitalize transatlantic relations and strengthen EU-U.S. cooperation across the board.
When it comes to our security, our mutual commitment to NATO is steadfast.
Stability in the broader Mediterranean, extending from Afghanistan to the Sahel, is a primary focus of our cooperation. We support the Libyan people and institutions in their path towards free and fair elections and a sustainable political solution to the crisis within the UN framework. We are on the frontline in fighting terrorism through the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS.
In Afghanistan, Italian and American troops have stood shoulder to shoulder for the last 20 years – and we will not allow terrorists to use Afghan soil to threaten our and our allies’ security. We are working to advance solutions for the crises in Yemen, Syria, Iran, Burma, the Sahel and the Horn of Africa.
Every day, Italian and American diplomats across the globe work side by side, together with our allies and partners, to prevent crises, alleviate tensions and advance our common interests and values. Together with our closest allies, we will continue to coordinate regularly and speak with one voice on the most pressing global issues.
Italy and the United States share an unshakeable conviction that respect for the human rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice, and peace in the world.
The rights and freedoms protected by the U.S. Bill of Rights and the Italian Constitution constitute the moral and legal architecture that upholds our societies and allows them to flourish.
To strengthen our democracies, we recommit to countering any form of discrimination and intolerance, including when based on race, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion or belief. Achieving gender equality, women’s empowerment and promoting the full enjoyment of human rights by all members of minority groups and of vulnerable groups are fundamental objectives of our international action.
Central in our foreign policies is our strong commitment to multilateralism. The United States’ re-engagement with the UN Human Rights Council represents a renewed commitment to advance our common values through the relevant multilateral fora. To this end, we intend to strengthen further our cooperation in the field of human rights.
We mark the 160th anniversary of our diplomatic relations with the commitment to further strengthen our partnership, and to continue working together to advance respect for human rights, peace and security worldwide.
This op-ed appeared in La Repubblica in Italian on April 1, 2021.