The Secretary General of the CIHEAM, Mr Plácido Plaza, welcomed Ambassador Mr Antonio Bernardini, the Permanent Representative of Italy to International Organisations based in Paris, as well as the First Counsellor, Ms Alessandra Pastorelli during an exchange visit. During the meeting, they particularly mentioned the strong support of Italy to the CIHEAM and addressed priority areas of action for agricultural cooperation and Mediterranean dialogue in times marked by the COVID-19.
An online discussion was also held with the Delegate of Italy and Vice-President of the CIHEAM Governing Board Professor Teodoro Miano, and with the Director of the CIHEAM Bari Institute, Mr Monsieur Maurizio Raeli.
Italy is one of the founding countries of the CIHEAM and hosts one of its Institutes in Bari (Puglia region).
16 September 2020, CIHEAM Headquarters (Paris, France)
H.E. Mr Antonio Bernardini and the Secretary General of the CIHEAM were able to discuss the priority lines of action of the Organisation in the fields of agricultural cooperation and rural and coastal development with particular attention given to the socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19.
The importance of actions in favour of Mediterranean societies that are more resilient in the face of crisis, including the fields of food security was recalled. Training adapted to the needs of local development as well as the creation of sustainable jobs for youth and women in Mediterranean food systems were especially presented as opportunities in the construction of a prosperous and peaceful Mediterranean region.
Among these sustainable and responsible consumption systems, the “Mediterranean Diet” listed on the Intangible Cultural Heritage of humanity by UNESCO, represents a set of know-how and practices that can not only meet the current environmental requirements but also constitute a reservoir of attractive professions for new generations.
Discussion with the CIHEAM Bari Institute (Italy)
Reaffirming his interest in the fields of cooperation presented in the CAPMED 2025 (CIHEAM Action Plan) – a Mediterranean version of he United Nations Sustainable Development Goals – the Ambassador was able to discover the extent of actions carried out in the field by the CIHEAM Bari Institute, during an online video discussion with the Delegate of Italy and Vice-President of the CIHEAM governing Board, Professor Teodoro Miano, and with the Director of the Institute, Mr Maurizio Raeli.
The latter have particularly highlighted the collaboration of the Institute with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the organisation of the World Food Day, for the international meetings entitled “Mediterranean Dialogues” that mobilise a wide variety of actors in favour of a new positive agenda for the region, or even for the “One Health” initiative, an integrated approach to public, animal and environmental health in which the agricultural and nutritional dimension is central.
Lastly, then mentioned their support to the Italian Agency for Cooperation and Development (AICS) in the framework of the organisation of the G7 and the G20 and presented the new pole of the Institute of Tricase exclusively devoted to the sustainable management of coastal areas and to the strengthening of fishing communities.
With this strong experience with International Organisations, the Ambassador Antonio Bernardini wished to enhance these exchanges and stated that he was ready to support the CIHEAM in these future developments in favour of regional cooperation, especially in its technical and operational dimensions for which the added value of the CIHEAM is widely recognised.
Previously the Ambassador of Brazil and Suriname, H.E. Antonia Bernardini was also Deputy Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations and then Deputy Secretary General of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. His long diplomatic career began in 1984.