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Italian National Day, June 2nd 2020

Excellencies, dear colleagues,

the difficult situation we are facing these days and the respect for the many tragedies which have occurred over the last months call for a different celebration of our National Day.

This Day reminds us of the efforts and of the courage of a country that has chosen the values of solidarity and democracy. These very principles permeate our Constitution, in which multilateralism holds a special place, among others. The roots of our unwavering engagement at UNESCO also derive from this founding Text, which reads: «The Republic fosters the development of culture as well as scientific and technical research. It protects the landscape and the historical and artistic heritage of the nation » .

This moment in time is unprecedented. The Covid-19 crisis has disrupted the lives of millions of people across the world and highlighted the need for collaboration among countries to overcome all challenges.

Our Organization has been put to the test in all its fields of competence. Right from the start, however, it has been capable of becoming a platform for dialogue where Member States can share experiences and possible solutions. We can all be proud of this accomplishment, which is the fruit of a commun engagement and of the willingness to support each other.

But we are also called to bear a bold vision for our future and to work together in order to turn it into reality. With the support of its core values, Italy is ready to do its share to rise to the occasion.

In its Address to the Nation, the President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, has wished to reiterate the importance of recovering « moral unity, a shared commun destiny and a feeling of accountability towards one another ». This is indeed the spirit which inspires our country’s commitment at UNESCO to work with all partners on a commun project to enhance peace and solidarity for the well-being of all, through culture, education and science.

The past has taught us that when we work together we can achieve remarkable results. This belief now prompts us to tackle these new challenges together, with confidence and determination.

Not being able to meet in presence for now – which I hope will be possible very soon – we are glad to hold a virtual celebration of our National Day with you in the name of the spirit which brings us together at UNESCO: the promotion and the protection of Culture in all its expressions, in order to guarantee peace and progress for all.

We invite you to an exclusive virtual tour of the most beautiful Italian squares as you have never seen them: « The In-visible Squares », as photographed during the quarantine.

You may download this ebook made of images and text through one of the following links:  (for a PDF version)  (for an ePub version)

We also invite you to discover a special version of our National Anthem which was recorded by the 108 choristers and musicians, both students and professors, of the Chigiana Academy of high musical training, virtually reunited for the occasion:

Finally, here you may listen to the Address of the President of the Italian Republic.

With kind regards,

the Italian Delegation to UNESCO

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