Working together for the common good
G20 Summit

Working together for the common good

Giuseppe Conte, Prime Minister, Italy


The international community has been experiencing upheavals that have provided extraordinary opportunities while also posing existential challenges. These challenges transcend borders and require internationally shared responses. The Osaka Summit will thus be a great occasion to come together and design the effective solutions that our citizens are demanding.

Italy firmly believes that a fair and truly effective multilateralism is the only way to defend the interests of the whole international community. In this spirit, we are ready to do our part to foster the adoption of relevant and concrete actions.

We are fully aware of the complexity of the issues before us, but we are optimistic that the international community can accomplish meaningful results by working together in true partnership.

In a moment characterised by low levels of investment, low productivity growth and increasingly frequent natural disasters, we fully back the choice of Japan’s presidency to identify quality infrastructure as a priority. Italy welcomes the development of ambitious G20 principles for quality infrastructure investments, such as transparency throughout project lifecycles, anti-corruption and resilience to natural disasters. As our long-standing experience shows, such principles are also crucial to mobilise private and public resources.

In shaping more inclusive growth, Italy attaches the highest priority to equality and women’s empowerment. Italy fully supports Japan’s presidency in stepping up the efforts of all members – in adherence with the commitments the G20 took in Brisbane – to close the gender gap in labour market participation. We agree to strengthen girls’ and women’s education potential and we are making efforts at the national level to enhance the development of women’s entrepreneurship.

For a more equitable society, we are also committed to spare no effort to shape an inclusive, fair, sustainable future of work. Globalisation and technological progress have created unprecedented opportunities and lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty, but they have also deepened inequalities, impoverishing the middle class of advanced economies, above all through a decay in labour conditions. A joint international effort is thus needed to return dignity to workers negatively hit by these processes. Italy is fully committed to promote this goal in all international forums, including as a founding member of the International Labour Organization, which celebrates its centenary this year.

This does not mean, of course, rejecting globalisation; rather it implies the need to better govern this complex phenomenon. To this end, Italy fully backs G20 efforts to relaunch negotiations to reform the World Trade Organization, restoring its central function as a guarantee for a fair international rules-based system.

Digitalisation is among the most radical changes characterising the global economy. Italy endorses the Japanese presidency’s initiative on ‘data free flow with trust’. Digitalisation and the use of data could promote inclusion and sustainability by fostering innovation, but privacy and personal data protection are essential to strengthen confidence and trust in the digital economy.

To maximise the benefits and minimise the risks related to the digital revolution, it is high time for the G20 to support the momentum of Society 5.0, appropriately regarded as a priority by Japan’s presidency. Society 5.0 embraces concepts such as the Internet of Things, robotics, artificial intelligence and Big Data. These are the key drivers of economic growth and social well-being of the very near future. It will be important to agree on a common view in Osaka.

Two further challenges are of paramount importance to strengthen the resilience of our societies and guarantee a better future for our citizens: ageing populations and environmental protection.

Although G20 members face different stages of this demographic transition – Italy, for instance, is affected by a downward demographic trend – population ageing is common to both advanced countries and emerging economies. Therefore, it is important to share best practices in the G20 in order to understand how to tailor economic policies to address this new challenge.

Recognising the importance of environmental protection for the future, and also for the present, we appreciate the decision of Japan’s presidency to include marine plastic litter in the G20 debate, rightly reflecting its global nature. We therefore share the commitment to facilitate implementing the action plan through the G20 marine plastic litter implementation framework. We also recognise the crucial role of international cooperation and the promotion of innovation in achieving our common goals. At the same time, we consider it necessary to reiterate the importance of the  Paris Agreement and the implementation of its commitments.

Building on our broad support of the work of Japan’s presidency, we look forward to collaborating with it and with the 2020 Saudi presidency in order to guarantee the continuity of the work of the G20, making the transition as smooth as possible. As Italy will hold the presidency in 2021, we are ready to enhance the G20’s effectiveness at this historic moment when global cooperation is no more a matter of choice – but of necessity.