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Voluntary National Review 2017

Facing a demanding challenge

Growing environmental, economic and social challenges put sustainable development at the core of the global agenda and induced the international community to act in order to strengthen and share worldwide sustainable development commitments.

The last decade-long economic crisis has provided evidence for the growth of inequalities in Italy as well. A number of factors underlie this long-term process. Many of them are directly linked to the creation of “new winners and losers” as well as to the lack of appropriate responses to several critical issues: globalization, trade and financial integration, technological transformation, labour market, demographic trends, migration.

Towards a new development path

Identifying and sharing policy solutions capable of reviving and balancing growth and making it sustainable is thus essential. Spreading the benefits of an increased prosperity requires in turn a multidimensional and country-specific approach, since there is no preordained and universal formula. A set of coherent and effective policies is needed, going beyond an income-oriented approach, addressing other key dimensions of welfare and targeted socio-economic groups (in particular middle-class, low-income families). Inequality can only be effectively fought by adopting an integrated vision and restoring a sustainable, balanced and inclusive development. To this end, all available instruments must be used, including budgetary policies and structural reforms.

More widely, the same approach continues to be followed – in line with the SDG’s domestic implementation policy agenda - for the management of our external relations and in the Italian participation to all major United Nations and international fora starting from our responsibility for 2017 of UN Security Council member. Italy, being fully aware of the global dimension of this challenge, has been actively promoting Agenda 2030 and its SDGs also in the context of its current G7 Presidency.

Shaping and sharing a policy framework for sustainable development

The definition of a strategic framework is crucial to lay the foundations for a sustainable future and adjust the undertaken national reform route in a long term perspective. To this aim, Italy is actually engaged in integrating the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals to the economic, social and environmental programming, through drafting the “National Sustainable Development Strategy 2017/2030” (NSDS).

Following the 2030 Agenda, the Strategy shapes a new vision towards a circular, low-emission economy, resilient to climate impacts and to other global changes endangering local communities, prioritising the fight against biodiversity loss, alteration of the fundamental biogeochemical cycles (carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus) and land-use change.

At the same time, together with the European Union and its Member States we are working to define a common framework for addressing and reflecting the challenges of the 2030 Agenda. Once defined, the EU framework for SDGs will provide a main reference for Member States in setting their final strategic objectives.

The external dimension: contributing to SDGs implementation all over the world

The NSDS recognises that global challenges can be solved only through a joint effort of the international community and that Italy has to help partner countries to reach the same Goals that have to be reached domestically.

The Three-year Strategic and Planning Document of the Italian Development Cooperation (which was reformed just before the adoption of the 2030 Agenda) related to the 2016-2018 period already adopts both content and structure of the Agenda. Macro-areas for action - that are reflected in the Partnership Section of the NSDS - have been re-arranged to take into account the integrated nature and the structure of the 17 SDGs and include new sectors for action – such as data for development and domestic resources mobilisation – together with those of more traditional engagement.

The Three-year Document served as a basis also for the active commitment of Italy in the elaboration of the new EU Consensus on Development. Consistently with the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the Government proposed and the Parliament approved a substantial increase of Italian Official Development Assistance funds for the year 2016. The increase has been doubled in 2017 and will be tripled in 2018 in order to allow Italy to contribute to the implementation of the “external dimension” of the Agenda.

Feeding a multilevel process

Following the spirit of the 2030 Agenda, civil society engagement and consultations with public and private institutions have been at the core of the NSDS process, from the context analysis drawing the distance in the SDGs achievement (“Positioning”) to the identification of main strengths and weaknesses to be addressed, leading to the definition of widely shared national objectives.

More than 200 NGOs have been involved providing a valuable contribution to the context analysis and useful inputs to reflect the vision of the 2030 Agenda into the NSDS. Public national administrations cooperated throughout the process in order to set shared National Strategic Choices and Objectives, as well as to identify viable and existing means of implementation. Universities and research agencies were also hugely involved to verify and consolidate the technical-scientific basis and contents of the context analysis. Regional authorities also had an active role in collecting territorial issues and priorities.

Stakeholders involved in the NSDS definition process are directly engaged in carrying out initiatives linked to SDGs and NSDS implementation. Among the others, the Italian Alliance for Sustainable Development (ASviS), which gathers over 150 organizations in the economic and social field, launched in May 2017 the first Sustainable Development Festival, a large-scale awareness raising campaign to foster cultural-political reflections on the issue across the country. Asvis, in partnership with the Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea, is working to turn it into a yearly event and a point of reference for all SDGs-linked initiatives.

Multilevel participation will also inform the NSDS implementation process, through the NSDS forum, where stakeholders and experts will contribute to monitoring and assessment activities. Contributions from the Third Sector will be ensured, also thanks to a recently renewed regulatory framework.

The 5Ps to deliver integrated strategic choices

The NSDS is organized in five core areas: People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnership. The former four areas mainly cover the domestic dimension; the latter covers principles and purposes of international cooperation, as integrating and qualifying part of Italian foreign policy, draft by law 125/2014.

Each area identifies a system of priorities (National Strategic Choices), delivering strategic goals. The goals are strongly integrated, as they embody and synthesize the most relevant issues emerged from the consultation process.

The implementation of the NSDS is tightly interlinked with the existing national programming documents, namely the National Reform Programme and the Economic and Financial Document, as well as with the existing and binding objectives set by the European Semester (i.e. EU2020 targets) which have to be fulfilled and are accounted for.

*Images and tables are available in the attached PDF

Setting National Priorities at short term

In the next five years, Italy will focus on bringing the country back to at least the pre-crisis socio-economic prosperity conditions. The strategic topics to be addressed by the Government and envisaged within the framework of the NSDS are the following: decreasing poverty, inequality, discrimination, unemployment (particularly among youth and women), ensuring an environmentally sustainable economic development, increasing the opportunities for training, education and social progress, restoring the competitiveness of Italian companies through a “fourth industrial revolution” based on innovative and sustainable technologies.

Implementing, monitoring and assessing NSDS results

The NSDS is endorsed by the Italian Council of Ministers. A future Plan of Action will be developed by the end of the year and will include numerical and quantitative targets at 2030, as well as monitoring and review mechanisms and analytical models capable of measuring the impacts of policies on the NSDS objectives. The NSDS will undergo an annual review and monitoring process.

The Prime Minister will take the lead in coordinating and managing the Strategy, with the support of the Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, respectively for the internal and external dimension. The Ministry of Finance will be tasked to create strong synergies between the NSDS implementation and the formal economic policies and to coordinate models required to define such objectives. Given the importance of declining the SDGs on a local scale and provided that some of the areas of competence and responsibilities rely not only on the central administration, the Government, through the State and Regions Conference and in accordance with Art.34, of the Legislative Decree n.152 (April 3rd 2006), will enhance local and regional authorities to be active and take part to the implementation process.

The Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea will ensure the participation of civil society and relevant stakeholders by creating a Forum on the Strategy for Sustainable Development building on the positive experience of the NSDS consultation process and ensuring continuity by setting up similar multi-level consultation processes.

A huge effort is also being made by the Italian statistics system, together with the European, in order to guarantee at the earliest the availability of data and indicators gearing the Inter-agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal Indicators (IAEG-SDGs). To this aim, the National Statistical System is progressively releasing sets of indicators widely based on the BES project, launched in 2011 to measure equitable and sustainable well-being (BES) besides economic conditions. It considers economic parameters alone as inadequate to evaluate the progress of societies and views them to be complemented by social and environmental information as well as by measures of inequality and sustainability. For the first time, in 2017 4 BES indicators have been introduced within the Economy and Financial Document, following national legislation promoting the integration of BES within economic programming (L.163/2016).

Focal point
Mr. Giovanni Brunelli
Italian Ministry for Environment and Protection of sea and land
Directorate General for sustainable development, climate and energy

Counsellor Ms. Cristiana Mele
Permanent Mission of Italy to the United Nations - II Committee

Ms. Eugenia Palagi
Permanent Mission of Italy to the United Nations - First Secretary for II Committee
Documents & Reports

Partnerships & Commitments
The below is a listing of all partnership initiatives and voluntary commitments where Italy is listed as a partner in the Partnerships for SDGs online platform.
Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC)

The best opportunity to slow the rate of near-term warming globally and in sensitive regions such as the Arctic is by cutting emissions of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) – most notably methane, black carbon and some hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). Widespread reductions, which complement the need for aggressive global action on carbon dioxide, contribute significantly to the goal of limiting warming to less than two degrees. Reducing SLCPs can also advance national priorities such as protecting air quality and public health, promoting food security, enhancing energy efficiency, and allevi...[more]

111 Partners, 50 State and REIO, 16 IGO and 45 NGO partners (as of April 2016). Full list:
Action Network
Sustainable Development Goals
Global Island Partnership (GLISPA)

Led by the Presidents of Palau and Seychelles, the Prime Minister of Grenada and the Premier of the British Virgin Islands, the Global Island Partnership promotes action to build resilient and sustainable island communities by inspiring leadership, catalyzing commitments and facilitating collaboration. It is a partnership for all islands, regardless of size or political status, to take greater action to conserve and sustainably utilize invaluable island natural resources that support people, culture and livelihoods around the world.

GLISPA Members: Palau, Seychelles, Grenada, British Virgin Islands, Association for Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTA), Conservation International, County of Hawai’i, Municipality of Cozumel, Global Environment Facility, GEF Small Grants Programme implemented by UNDP, Hawai’i Green Growth, Indian Ocean Commission, International Union for Conservation of Nature, Italy, Micronesia Conserv...[more]
Action Network
Sustainable Development Goals
Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data

The Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data is multi-stakeholder network of more than 150 data champions harnessing the data revolution for sustainable development. Its members represent the full range of data producers and users, including governments, companies, civil society groups, international organizations, academic institutions, foundations, statistics agencies and data communities. The Global Partnership serves as an invaluable convener, connector and catalyst, building trust and encouraging collaboration among stakeholders to fill critical data gaps and ensure data is acc...[more]

Abia State, Nigeria, Accur8Africa, Africa Gathering, African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS), African Development Bank (ADB), African Development Fund, African Union Commission, Agora, AidData, Asian Development Bank, Barclays, Base of the Pyramid (BoP) HUB, Bretton Woods II, Brookings Institution, Cámara de Comercio de Bogotá (Bogota Chamber of Commerce), Canada (Government of), CARE Inter...[more]
Action Network
Sustainable Development Goals
Global Partnership on Marine Litter (GPML), Global Partnership on Wastewater Management (GPWWM) and Global Partnership on Nutrient Management (GPNM)

Reduce pollutants from sea and land-based activities, including litter, harmful substances and nutrients from wastewater, industrial and agricultural runoff entering the world's oceans. All countries would have set relevant national targets for nutrient loadings, marine litter reduction and wastewater discharges . The planning of strategies for achieving these targets would have been commenced, through processes such as Regional Seas Action Plans and through functioning Global Partnerships on Marine Litter, Nutrients, and Wastewater Management.

Governments of Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, USA, the European Union; the International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA); the International Nitrogen Initiative (INI); International Fertilizer Development Centre (IFDC); the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO); UN-HABITAT; IOC-UNESCO, UNDP, NOAA; UN-Water; UN-Oceans
Action Network
Sustainable Development Goals
IHO Hydrography Capacity Building Programme for Coastal States

The IHO capacity building programme seeks to assess and advise on how countries can best meet their international obligations and serve their own best interests by providing appropriate hydrographic and nautical charting services. Such services directly support safety of navigation, safety of life at sea, efficient sea transportation and the wider use of the seas and oceans in a sustainable way, including the protection of the marine environment, coastal zone management, fishing, marine resource exploration and exploitation, maritime boundary delimitation, maritime defence and security, and o...[more]

International Hydrographic Organization (IGO); 87 IHO Member States (Governments); International Maritime Organization (UN); World Meteorological Organization (UN); International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (NGO)
Action Network
Sustainable Development Goals
Livestock Environmental Assessment and Performance (LEAP) Partnership

The Livestock Environmental Assessment and Performance (LEAP) Partnership is a first-of-its-kind, multi-stakeholder partnership of Governments, Private Sectors, NGOs and CSOs.LEAP guiding principles include: global, inclusive, consensus, transparency, scientific, comprehensive, continuous improvement and adoption. Objective: To build global consensus on science-based methodology, indicators and databases for understanding the environmental performance of livestock supply chains in order to shape evidence-based policy measures and business strategies. Vision: To support the transition towards m...[more]

Countries: France, The Netherlands, Ireland, New Zealand, Switzerland, Italy, Nigeria. Private sector: International Feed Industry Federation (IFIF); European Vegetable Oil and Proteinmeal Industry (FEDIOL); International Meat Secretariat (IMS); International Egg Commission (IEC); International Poultry Council (IPC); International Federation for Animal Health (IFAH); International Dairy Federation...[more]
Sustainable Development Goals
Master of Sciences on the Sustainable Development Goals

Following the integrated and holistic approach of the 2030 Agenda and Pope’ Francis Encyclical, the MSc in Sustainable Development Goals (MSDGs) aims to generate new college graduates who are able to analyse and face the several and interrelated questions linked to global sustainable development by a problem-oriented, creative and innovative, learning by doing approach.

LUMSA UNIVERSITY - Libera Università Maria Santissima Assunta - Rome, Italy MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, Italy ENEL, Italy POSTE ITALIANE, Italy
Sustainable Development Goals
MoU: Cooperation on climate change vulnerability, adpatation and mitigation between Italy and the Caricom member States

The MoU aims at creating a partnership between Italy and all Caricom member States and at the same time among Caricom member States themselves. With funding (6 million euros) provided by the Italian Government and technical assistance by the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, projects for promoting sustainable energy and fighting climate change will be implemented nationally.

Permanent Mission of Italy to the UN ; Permanent Missions of Caricom member States to the UN ; Italy's Ministry of Environment, Land, Sea ; Italy's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation ; Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (in Belize) ; local national Authorities in Caricom countries
Action Network
Sustainable Development Goals
Partnership to support health of individuals, environmental health projects and capacity building building

This partnership aims to: 1) make and disseminate results of researches about agenda 2030 coherent mechanisms of sustainable environmental health; 2) disseminate knowledge on United Nations' Agenda 2030 among stakeholders in small and isolated communities; 3) technically support agenda 2030 target sound projects in small and isolated community; 4) develop information and communication technologies for learning at distance in environmental health and support projects on environmental health. 5) preserve the cultural integrity of indigenous community while making use of modern information and...[more]

1) University of the State of Amazonas (Brazil); 2) Occupational Medicine Unit, University of Catania (Italy); 3) Occupational Medicine Unit , Polytechnics University of Ancona (Italy); 4) Labour Union CISL-Marche (Italy); 5) Representation of Brazil of WHO; 6) Hydrogeology Unit, Geological Sciences, University of Urbino (Italy); 7) International Cooperation Agency of the Ministry of Foreign Aff...[more]
Sustainable Development Goals
Wash in schools Brazil

The project Wash in schools is an initiative of the “Instituto 4 Elementos” (Brazil) and CeTAmb Lab (Italy). The objective of the project is to improve the sanitary and environmental conditions of the public schools of Anapolis and to guarantee access to safe drinking water and sanitation. The beneficiaries of the project are the students, professors and officials of the 12 public schools of Anapolis.

Fondazione SIPEC, CeTAmb Lab, University of Brescia, University of Goias (UEG), Aqualit Tecnologia em Saneamento Ltda, Municipal Secretary of Education, University Fama
Sustainable Development Goals
18 Jul 2017
6 Jun 2017
20 Sep 2013
22 Jun 2012
13 May 2011
7 May 2010
7 May 2010
6 May 2010
15 May 2008
12 May 2008
12 May 2008
9 May 2008
9 May 2008
8 May 2008
9 May 2007
2 May 2007
8 May 2006
8 May 2006
2 May 2006
20 Apr 2005
29 Apr 2004
United Nations