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PM Draghi’s address at the meeting with representatives of the Labour 20 Presidency

Wednesday, 27 October 2021

Secretaries-General,
it is a real pleasure to welcome you to Palazzo Chigi on the eve of the G20.
The Rome Summit to be held later this week marks a return to multilateralism, after the dark years of isolationism and isolation caused by the health crisis. We’ll be discussing the most complex issues of our time, with the aim of finding ambitious and shared solutions.  

One of the major issues is the COVID-19 pandemic and, in particular, inequalities in accessing vaccines.
In Italy, Europe and other advanced economies, the vaccination campaign has achieved very satisfying results.
However, only 3.1% of citizens in low-income countries have received at least one dose.
We must speed up the distribution of vaccines to these nations and offer them logistical support.
It is essential to help them protect their citizens and prevent the emergence of new and dangerous variants.
Production activities have recovered rapidly in places where the vaccination campaign has made better progress.
I wish to thank Italy’s trade union organisations for showing a great sense of responsibility in helping us to draw up clear rules for reopenings.
However, people returning to work in person and an acceleration in economic activity have, often dramatically, highlighted the problem of workplace safety.
With the help of the trade union organisations, the Government has taken important measures in this regard.
In particular, we have increased inspections and introduced tougher sanctions for companies that do not respect the rules. 
These regulations now need to be swiftly and rigorously implemented.

Another of the summit’s focus points will be the ecological transition.
During the G20, we will discuss how to reduce climate-altering emissions in order to meet the international targets we have set ourselves.
On this front, the EU has taken action with great determination.
However, the climate crisis can only be addressed if all G20 countries decide to act in a simultaneous, coordinated and courageous way.

It is equally as crucial to focus on education, creating the expertise necessary to address the environmental revolution, together with the digital transition.  
These are historic changes that require ambitious investments.
Within the European Union, we have launched the NextGenerationEU programme, a plan worth EUR 750 billion to finance development projects and reforms.
We wish to foster innovation, reduce regional divides and boost employment among those who are most penalised on the job market, starting from young people and women.

Multilateralism refers not only to governments, but also to social partners.
Today’s meeting is proof of that.
As trade union organisations, you have a very important role to play.
Protecting the weakest, wherever they may be, is something that unites us.
Together, we must ensure that innovation and productivity go hand in hand with equitableness and social cohesion.
We must do so thinking about not only today’s workers, but those of tomorrow too.
Thank you.    

[Courtesy translation]