Meloni in Tokyo, Italy has made itself heard with authority in the EU on migrants

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By John

“In recent months the government played a key role in Brusselsmaking Italy’s voice heard with authority and contributing to the debate on major issues”. This was stated by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni in an interview with the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbunclaiming the “cultural turning point” with which other states and EU institutions have “progressively shared” the Italian position on the management of the migratory phenomenon, “privileging the external dimension as a way to limit departures”.

“This approach has been progressively shared by the other member states and EU institutions, and has been approved by the European Council – underlines Meloni in a “written interview” published by the newspaper on the day of his meeting with the Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida – It was a real cultural turning point, focused on the need to create comprehensive partnerships with countries of origin and transit that concern not only migration but above all the creation of the conditions to prevent departures in the first place.”

“Among the most significant concrete steps forward that have been made – adds the Prime Minister -, I would like to mention the Memorandum of Understanding between the EU and Tunisia and the new agreements that the European Commission is negotiating, primarily with Egypt, as well as the various EU initiatives to combat migrant trafficking, as emerges from the international conference last November and from the new EU legislative proposals on the matter. I am also referring to the important new funds for the internal and external dimension foreseen by the revision of the financial framework multiannual agreement, adopted by the European Council on 1 February this year”.

“My goal is to relaunch Italy-Japan relations”

As for the collaboration between Italy and Japan, said Meloni, “it is expanding on all fronts and my objective for the next few years is to support this important relaunch. I am thinking in particular of the launch of a structured mechanism of political consultation and security, the strengthening of industrial partnerships especially in high-tech sectors and the implementation of joint scientific research projects”https://gazzettadelsud.it/articoli/politica/2024/02/05/meloni-a-tokyo-sui -migrants-litalia-si-e-made-felt-with-authoritativeness-in-the-55874311-0bb8-499f-ab06-1583230d0f53/.”In the current geopolitical context, marked by multiple crises and attacks on the rules-based international order – underlines the Prime Minister -, it is essential that allied and like-minded nations like ours work together on major global issues, and my visit represents an important opportunity, at the beginning of the year, to carry out an in-depth exchange of opinions with Prime Minister Kishida, having Italy just assumed the presidency of the G7, in continuity with the impressive work carried out by Japan in 2023”. For Meloni “it is also essential to promote interpersonal contact between our citizens: the entry into force of our bilateral agreements on social security, working holidays and film co-production will play an important role. I also intend to support the impetus given to our collaboration in the defense sector with the launch of the program for the development of a sixth generation multi-role aircraft together with the United Kingdom, encouraging other projects of common interest”.

“On a personal level, I have always had great admiration for Japan – explains the Prime Minister -. It is a country that I have visited in the past, it is always a pleasure to return there and I do so with a sense of curiosity, attracted by its ancient culture , traditions and advanced technologies. Japan is also a source of inspiration for those, like me, who believe that the role of politics is to interpret the national interest and the deepest identity of a people, while at the same time supporting the peaceful coexistence and the rules-based international order”.
“The historic friendship that unites our two nations – underlines Meloni – was further strengthened last year when Prime Minister Kishida visited Italy on January 10 and we launched our ‘strategic partnership'”.

“AI has its risks, including fake news”

In the interview, the Prime Minister also said that “we are faced with the real possibility that many professions, even highly qualified, will be rapidly replaced by algorithms, causing social crises and contributing to widening the gap between rich and poor, potentially sweeping away the middle class”. reiterating that the Italian presidency of the G7 will keep high attention on the topic of AI, in continuity with the “extraordinary work” carried out by Japan in 2023 “in drawing attention to a technology that can generate great opportunities but can also hide enormous risks for our societies”https://gazzettadelsud.it/articoli/politica/2024/02/05/meloni-a-tokyo-sui-migranti-litalia-si-e-fatta-sentire-con-autorevolezza-nellue- 55874311-0bb8-499f-ab06-1583230d0f53/.”We intend to focus the attention of our partners on the impact of Artificial Intelligence on the world of work, involving not only companies but also civil society and trade unions to provide answers to what represents a concrete risk for our workers”, he adds, underlining that “generative AI systems can have a decisive impact on the world of work, on information, on global balances and on our safety. The Hiroshima AI Process is crucial importance in this context, as it states the need to adopt guiding principles and a code of conduct for companies developing artificial intelligence. For our part – assures Meloni -, we will further develop this work to ensure that AI is human-centered and human-controlled, taking into account the fundamental ethical principles of humanity”.

The political effects of the flow of false information caused by Artificial Intelligence, he explained, are “a very current problem that is spreading everywhere at great speed, with impacts ranging from the internal polarization of our societies to the interference in elections and democratic processes”https://gazzettadelsud.it/articoli/politica/2024/02/05/meloni-a-tokyo-sui-migranti-litalia-si-e-fatta-sentire-con-autorevolezza-nellue-55874311-0bb8 -499f-ab06-1583230d0f53/.”False information constitutes an important part of the hybrid war, which puts the cohesion of our democracies at risk – underlined Meloni, answering questions from the Japanese newspaper -. We must find the right balance, countering the attacks and external interference and, at the same time, guaranteeing freedom of expression, which is a founding pillar of our democracies. I believe that our responses, which we are continuing to define thanks also to joint work in fora such as the G7, must necessarily combine technical solutions and regulatory tools suited to the scale of the challenge”.
‘Our support for Ukraine is unwavering’ “Since the beginning of Russia’s brutal aggression, Italy’s support for Ukraine has been and will remain unwavering. This commitment has multiple dimensions and it is no coincidence that it is at the heart of the Italian Presidency of the G7, in continuity with the great attention also paid by the Japanese Presidency in 2023”, says Meloni, according to whom “the greatest weapon available is the unity of our action”, with which “we have adopted vital measures to also mitigate the global consequences of this wicked conflict.”

“This commitment arises first and foremost from the moral duty to help a sovereign nation that is fighting for survival, a duty from which we certainly cannot escape – explains the Prime Minister -. However, it is also a question of protecting our national interest, because the security of Ukraine is Europe’s security, and because the need to safeguard the rules of coexistence that form the basis of the international system concerns us all.” According to Meloni, “the greatest weapon we have at our disposal is the unity of our action. Thanks to this unity, we have adopted vital measures to also mitigate the global consequences of this wicked conflict. Food security, especially on the African continent , which has been the most affected by the impact of the ongoing war, remains at the center of our action, as does the resilience of value chains”https://gazzettadelsud.it/articoli/politica/2024/02/05/meloni -in-tokyo-on-migrants-Italy-made-it-felt-with-authoritativeness-in-the-55874311-0bb8-499f-ab06-1583230d0f53/.”Collaborating with various partners and allied nations – continues the Prime Minister -, Italy has rapidly ensured a clear and necessary diversification of its supplies (previously largely dependent on Russia) and its energy mix, demonstrating the ability of our democracies to manage crisis situations and counter blackmail. support for Kiev collapsed, that certainly wasn’t the case.
Today we are working to achieve a just peace and we will continue to support all efforts in this regard. However, a just peace cannot correspond to an unconditional surrender by Kiev, as this would deny the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of a sovereign state, which are fundamental principles of the United Nations Charter. We cannot accept a principle under which those with greater military power can invade their neighbors, reversing decades of progress towards the peaceful coexistence of peoples and nations.”

“The Silk Road did not create the hoped-for benefits”

As for the Memorandum on the Belt and Road Initiative, Meloni recalls that “it was signed by a previous government, in a different international context, and did not create the hoped-for benefits. In line with what I had announced before even taking on the role of Prime Minister, I have therefore decided not to extend its duration after the deadline, and to redirect the collaboration with Beijing towards more specific and suitable tools to achieve better economic results for both, pursuing our priorities and encouraging a constructive development of relations between Italy and China. This without the broad strategic sharing that belonging to the Belt and Road Initiative entails.”