ROME --- “To tackle today’s and tomorrow’s challenges we must succeed in promoting and developing international synergies on the political and industrial plan, and reaffirm the value of political, military and industrial partnerships as an accelerator for development and stability,” [Italian Defense] Minister [Lorenzo] Guerini said in his opening video-message for the panel on “Aiming Ahead: New Security Trends and the Future of the Defence Industry” at the 2020 Med Dialogues.
The conference sees the participation of representatives from major international organizations, academia, entrepreneurs as well as scholars and experts from all over the world, with over 40 political leaders: Presidents, Prime Ministers and Ministers from a range of international realities.
“We are going through a geopolitical season of critical changes, whose effects criss-cross in our major area of national interests: the Enlarged Mediterranean, characterized by growing complexity. A complexity fostered by the increasingly aggressive posture of relevant international actors and, lately, the systemic shock of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Lorenzo Guerini said, recalling that crises in Libya and Syria, maritime disputes in the Eastern Mediterranean, the access to commercial routes and exploitation of energy resources are only some of the instability sources that we are currently tackling.
“(Such effects) originate from a decade of crises, conflicts and radical changes in the relationships between international actors, organizations and States, whose consequences are made swifter and deeper by the pandemic”, the Minister said, underscoring the critical support provided by the Defence to tackle Covid-19, in full synergy with other institutions.
An added value that the Defence was able to express thanks to the capabilities that must equip the Armed Forces to enable them to implement their primary mission. Those capabilities showed to be not only functional, but indispensable to respond to the health crisis with preparedness and responsiveness.
Therefore, there is a clear need to strengthen the capabilities of the State system to respond and react to crises by investing in the security and defence sectors with a long-term vision for the entire country system.
“Two fundamental, inescapable aspects are part of this vision: on the one hand, relaunching the political debate on Defence and its role; on the other, a motivated industrial sector able to tackle, emerging crises in unison with the Armed Forces,” Guerini said.
With a view to this, the Minister implemented a fundamental action to make the Italian people fully aware that Defence investments are not detrimental to other sectors deemed socially more useful: on the contrary, they foster security, freedom and prosperity.
“The security and defence industry is an incubator for research, development and technological innovation. It is able to join essential international security aspects with an industrial dimension that is a catalyst for, and multiplier of investments. It is an enabling factor which drives our prospects for the relaunch and growth of national and international economy, especially at a time of crisis like this one,” he explained.
In closing his speech, Lorenzo Guerini underscored the synergic engagement, at the international level, of the institutions, including the Defence, to support the defence industry.
“(The latter) must be able to maintain and increase its technological and commercial relevance. All this -the Minister said- can be achieved by a continued engagement in broadly sharing efforts aimed at tackling and meeting global challenges - including technological ones- jointly, thus contributing to strengthen a technologically state-of-the-art Italy, European Union and NATO, always able to tackle emerging challenges and threats.”