It is a great pleasure and honor for me to host you today to celebrate the National Unity and Armed Forces Day.
Last year when I hosted my very first reception for the Armed Forces Day as Ambassador designated to Japan, I never thought that we could meet again in a year’s time in a completely different world.
The brutal war of aggression that Russia waged on Ukraine gravely undermined international peace and stability, in defiance of the very core principles and values, underpinning the international order, and plunging Europe back into the nightmare of war.
Tensions and instability are equally dangerously on the rise in the Indo-Pacific, also for the unprecedented series of unlawful ballistic missile launches, which seriously threaten the regional security.
In this new complex geopolitical landscape, Italy and Japan as longstanding friends, allies and G7 partners are working in lockstep in all relevant international fora to uphold our shared values and a rule-based international order and to ensure that any challenges to peace and the international laws will receive a strong response by the international community.
Most recently, Prime Minister Meloni and Prime Minister Kishida held phone talks and Foreign Minister Tajani met his counterpart Minister Hayashi on the sidelines of the G7 Foreign Ministers meeting in Munster, stressing the importance of a stronger partnership and industrial cooperation and confirming our mutual commitment to preserve peace, freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
These values, which are enshrined in our Constitution, are the guiding stars of the women and men of our Armed Forces who, with bravery and altruism, safeguard them at home and abroad.
At home, they ensure a significant contribution to our European Common Defense and offer an indispensable contribution to protect our national community during emergencies, such as the COVID19 pandemic, earthquakes and other natural disaster.
Abroad they participate in many UN, NATO and international missions, putting at the service of international peace and stability their outstanding professionalism and competence that gained them a widespread recognition and appreciation.
Finally, also thanks to the technological and industrial assets that our Country can provide, they play a crucial role in facing new challenges in domains such as space and the cyber dimension, which have a lot to do with our security.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
With their sacrifice, commitment and patriotism our Armed Forces greatly contributed to the unity of our Nation in 1918, and ultimately to the creation of a democratic Republic, firmly anchored, as founding Member of the EU, to its European vocation and fully committed to promote multilateralism and to uphold the values that lay at the core of the UN Charter.
In this spirit, let’s celebrate this Day, we owe it to our history and we owe it to the many women and men in uniform of our Country,
Viva le nostre Forze Armate! Viva l’Italia!