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Development issues are traditionally at the heart of the United Nations agenda. The greatest efforts today are focused on the achievement of the eight Millennium Development Goals, with a priority, in line with the Millennium Declaration, on halving poverty by 2015.

The eight development goals are: 1) the fight against poverty and hunger; 2) universal primary education; 3) the elimination of gender disparity; 4) the reduction of infant mortality; 5) the improvement of maternal health; 6) the fight against AIDS and other infectious diseases; 7) the protection of the environment; and 8) the creation of a global partnership for development.

The United Nations development activity involves an analysis and monitoring dimension, in which the main role is played by the Secretariat, an intergovernmental dimension of guidance and general policy, which pertains to the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), and an operative dimension on the ground, which is expressed through the action of the UN Funds, Programs and specialized agencies.

The Permanent Mission of Italy in New York and, on certain occasions, delegates from Italy, represent the Country in the debates and intergovernmental negotiations on development issues, both in the General Assembly and in the ECOSOC framework (in which Italy is a member for the 2010-2012 triennium).

The Italian Government actively supports the United Nations Funds and Programs (UNDP, UNICEF, UNFPA, UN Women) through its development cooperation funding that is channeled towards core resources as well as geographic or sectoral projects.

Italy’s development policies are inspired by the pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals, especially the fight against poverty, improvement of health care, and protection of the environment and sustainable development.

In this perspective, Italy advocates a holistic approach to development, based on the harmonization, coordination, and effectiveness of aid, but also good governance, taxation, openness to private investments, access to markets, equitable distribution of wealth, gender equality and responsiveness to climate change. Essential points of reference are the principles and criteria sanctioned in the Declarations on financing for development of Monterrey (2002) and Doha (2008).

Italy is also directly and actively committed to innovative mechanisms for development financing, by playing a leading role in the Advance Market Commitments and International Finance Facility for Immunization initiatives, pertaining to the health sector.

Italy is also deeply committed to the international action to reduce the costs of transferring migrants remittances, which is being promoted in the framework of the G8, the G20, the World Bank Global Remittances Working Group and the Leading Group on Innovative Financing for Development.