Italian Solidarity Day at Expo 2020 Dubai

Italian Pavilion celebrates Italian Solidarity Day at Expo 2020 Dubai with a forum on solidarity and international cooperation and a student workshop

Italian Solidarity Day Expo Dubai

The International Human Solidarity Day to Expo 2020 Dubai is a part of the "Program for People and Planet" a project with and for the global community that aims to find solutions to the most pressing problems for a healthier, safer, cleaner, and fairer world for all people.

"is divided into 10 thematic weeks and 18 International Daysincluding theInternational Human Solidarity Day of the United Nations.

Italian Solidarity Day Expo 2020 Dubai

The Day of Italian Solidarity at Expo 2020 Dubai is part of theUnited Nations 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)with particular attention to those concerning social equity, intergenerational justice, gender equality, the fight against poverty and the impact of investments on society, the worsening correlation between environmental impact and health emergencies and social inequalities after the impact that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on some of the 17 SDGs affected by the crisis.

Initiatives were presented that aim to consolidate and renew collaboration on issues of international solidarity, cooperation, social reconstruction, starting with the contribution of the Third Sector. 

It was also an opportunity to promote international advocacy based on the values of the fund. Next Generation EU and outlined in the PNRR (National Recovery and Resilience Plan) launched by the Italian government (with an investment of EUR 20 billion allocated on the basis of the cooperation model). Third Sector - public-private-enterprise). 

Forum Italian Solidarity Day

Social equity, justice between the generations, gender equality, the fight against poverty, and the impact of investments on inequalities were the main themes of the "Italian Solidarity Day "which took place in Italy Pavilion and co-promoted by Rai for the Social.

A day of debates with representatives of the third sector, national institutions and international agencies come together, both in person and remotely, in the light of the serious setbacks that the Covid-19 pandemic has caused with respect to some of the 17 goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda: growing poverty, widening gender gaps and social distances, loss of education and training, falling incomes and employment. All this is also marked by a imbalanced distribution of Covid-19 vaccines between different areas of the world. 

The two-session event, moderated by RAI journalist Lucia Goracci, was opened by the institutional greetings of the Minister for the Family and Equal Opportunities Elena Bonetti and the Under-Secretary to the Social Development of the United Arab Emirates Hessa Tahlak.

"Solidarity is part of our history and identity and today we are delighted to be celebrating Solidarity Day at Expo 2020 Dubai, a crucial opportunity to inspire hope". The Minister of Family Affairs and Equal Opportunities, reporting from Italy, said. Elena Bonetti.

"Cooperation at national and international level is the greatest act of solidarity to achieve equality," she added, "The Covid-19 pandemic has increased inequalities and now we must remove them, to ensure new, true, effective and sustainable development, as called for in the 2030 Agenda. "We need to promote new partnerships between institutions, civil society and the private sector to build a new model for our society and solidarity is a cornerstone of the world we want to build," she concluded.

The United Arab Emirates' commitment to promoting solidarity was discussed by Hessa TahlakUndersecretary for Social Development of the United Arab Emirates.

"Cooperation and partnership are the main values of our ministry for the care and development of society and families. The social sector is a priority for us. In the UAE there are more than 400 non-profit organisations working with the ministry to achieve its goals. The strong impact of the pandemic, which had economic consequences, was a time of transformation to address global challenges and leave no one behind. Our ministry has initiated education and health projects, involving the public and private sectors, to support and sustain youth, women and people with disabilities". 

Human rights, justice, ethics

In the first of the two panels, dedicated to the theme "Human rights, justice, ethics", the following debates took place with Maher Nasser, General Commissioner Onu - Expo 2020 Dubai; the President of "Free" Don Luigi Ciotti; Githinij Gitahi, CEO of Amref Health Africa; Tariq Al Gurg, CEO and deputy chair of Dubai Caresa non-governmental organisation committed to promoting children's rights through education; Gaela BerniniGeneral Secretary of the Bracco Foundation; Father Philip Larrey, from Pontifical Lateran University. 

Equity distribution of Covid-19 vaccines

The United Nations Commissioner-General - Dubai Expo, Maher Nasser emphasized the importance of providing the entire world population with the Covid vaccine.

Maher Nasser

"In some countries the third dose of the vaccine is already available, but in other parts it is only available to about 10% or less of the population". "The world needs to do more to ensure access to vaccines. If we want to overcome the pandemic, there are two major challenges we need to overcome. One is to overcome the indecision of those who have access to the vaccine but do not take it. The other equally important problem we need to address is that we have inequality in access to vaccines, worldwide".

In order to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic has been organized the COVAX (Working for global equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines), a structure to work together to ensure access and help countries that need the vaccine to receive it.

Also Githinij Gitahi, CEO of Amref Health Africa turned the spotlight on the issue of inequality in the distribution of covid-19 vaccines around the world. "Africa, a continent with 17% of the world's population, received less than 3% of the vaccines."

Githinij Gitahi

Gender equity and women's empowerment

What can be done to combat the gender gap was discussed in her speech Gaela Berninigeneral secretary of the Bracco Foundation, born from the heritage of values matured in over 90 years of history of the Family and the Bracco Group, Official Gold Sponsor of the Italian Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai.

"Fondazione Bracco promotes female empowerment through the affirmation of role models of women active in sectors where, for example STEMwomen are severely under-represented. Building skills in fast-growing sectors means building resilient skills. And more women in the labour market is not only a human rights issue but a promotion of economic growth and prosperity for all".

Gaela Bernini

"Education is a facilitator of the future," he concluded, "The Sheltering talents project started in 2015 with the University of Pavia, is an example of how social change can be promoted through access to education. Thanks to this project we provide scholarships to enable young refugees to attend degree courses at the University of Pavia. We have 20 students and 10 have graduated. The programme offers bureaucratic simplification, free enrolment in degree courses and, thanks to the network of higher education institutions in the Municipality of Pavia, board, lodging and access to libraries".

During "Italian Solidarity Day" initiatives were presented that aim to consolidate and renew collaboration on issues of international solidarity, cooperation and social reconstruction, starting with the contribution of the Third Sector. 

Third sector and international cooperation

The Third Sector and international cooperation" was discussed in the second panel of the Italian Solidarity Day forum: Khaled Khalifarepresentative of theUNHCR in the Gulf countries; Clare Daltonhead of the mission of the Red Cross in the UAE;Hussain Al Balooshi  – representative of Emirates Foundation. In connection Manoj JunejaCFO and Deputy Executive Director of the World Food Programme; Giovanna Melandri, President of the Human Foundation and MAXXI Foundation; Francesco Profumo, President of the Compagnia di San Paolo Foundation; Dominique de la Rochefoucauld-Montbel, Grand Hospitaller of the Sovereign Order of Malta; Marco Impagliazzo, President of the Community of Sant'Egidio; Claudia Mazzola, Director of Ufficio Studi Rai

"International solidarity is a hugely important issue for us at the Red Cross, because when we talk about tackling global challenges, such as pandemics, these require many different types of responses, to ensure that people get the assistance they really need." Clare Daltonhead of the International Red Cross in the United Arab Emirates at the Italian Solidarity Day.

Clare Dalton

Clare Dalton also spoke of the need for equitable distribution of covid-19 vaccines around the world. "The most important political activity is to support a vaccination equality between poor and rich countries - she added - We are trying to encourage all stakeholders to ensure that everyone has equal access to vaccines and that they are vaccinated in the same way. This means that even the poorest countries have access to health facilities or that health workers in these countries are able to access them.

World Volunteering Conference

On the occasion of the Italian Solidarity Day at Padiglione Italia the head of the Emirates Foundation Hussain Al Balooshiannounced the "World Volunteering Conference" to be held in Abu Dhabi in October next year, the same month in which an initiative on the same themes will be held in Sicily, with the participation of associations and young people from the United Arab Emirates.

Hussain Al Balooshi

"During the Covid-19 emergency we had 3000 volunteers all over the territory and our platform counts up to 600 thousand volunteers active on all fronts. With the international conference on volunteering to be held in Abu Dhabi and attended by some 120 countries, our aim is to become a regional and increasingly international volunteering hub".

Hussain Al Balooshi invited all the organisations attending the event to participate in the World Volunteer Conference.

MODE 4 Solidarity

During the course of the two sessions 25 students from all over the world were connected by the Academy of the Italian Pavilion. 

The Italian initiative therefore involved young people to be an active part of the debate through a workshop open to students aged 16 to 20, called MODE 4 Solidarity. An international student debate on the theme of promoting solidarity as a means of strengthening international cooperation and sustainable development. Participants had the opportunity to exchange ideas and knowledge on the fundamental role of intergenerational relations in building a more cohesive and equitable global society. They produced a document 'Youth Charter for Solidarity', which was brought to the attention of all the speakers.

The meeting were closed by Paolo GlisentiCommissioner General for Italy at Expo 2020 Dubai.  

"Italy in a historic occasion like Expo 2020 Dubai involves above all young people as "voices" in the debate and is linked to intergenerational justice, therefore to the ethical principle of sustainable development. Young people are not only the beneficiaries, but also the main actors of the policies of the future in terms of solidarity, sustainability and cooperation".

"From today's discussions," he added, "key points have emerged that will form the legacy not only of this event, but for the years to come. Italian Solidarity Day is launching at the international level a new paradigm of solidarity-sustainability, built on cooperation between the public and private sectors and on the education of new generations".