The Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe
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Maria Assunta Accili

Maria Assunta Accili

Maria Assunta Accili obtained a degree in political science from the University of Rome in 1979 and a post-graduate degree in public organisations management from the College of Europe, Belgium, in 1980. She entered the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1980 to serve in the diplomatic corps and worked for the ministry’s Cooperation and Development Department in the office for Latin America and Asia until 1983. She subsequently held senior posts in the Italian embassies in Morocco, China and Pakistan, was first counsellor at the Permanent Mission of Italy to the OECD in Paris, and headed the Special Delegation of Italy in Taiwan. She became Italy’s ambassador to Hungary in 2012.

A message from H.E. Maria Assunta Accili
Through its technical and financial support for the REC, Italy has aimed to assist Central and Eastern European countries in promoting social awareness and in designing appropriate policies in all areas related to green governance.

The Italian Trust Fund, established in 2001, has made a major contribution to the implementation of several programmes related to sustainable development, environmental innovation and renewable energies, with a special focus on education, institutional capacity building and transnational cooperation. The activities carried out thanks to the Italian Trust Fund were instrumental to the EU enlargement strategy and provided assistance to candidate countries by means of technical consultancy, advice in policy planning, and involvement in international partnerships such as the “Environment for Europe” process, as well as the Carpathian and Aarhus conventions.

Among the various initiatives funded by the Italian Trust Fund, it is worth mentioning, on the one hand, the extensive training platform for civil servants, administrators and technical staff that led to the creation of the Sustainable Development Academy in 2008, and, on the other hand, the SEARCH programme on children’s health and the school environment. The strong support of the Italian Government is clearly shown in the restructured REC Conference Center, a zero-emission building that constitutes a unique example of energy efficiency with low environmental impact.

Italy also values the expansion of REC activities in a wider area that includes the Black Sea and Turkey, Russia and Central Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, with a view to involving as many partners as possible. Environment is definitely the most global of all issues and a global effort is needed to face problems like climate change, waste and water management, food safety and agricultural production, the evaluation of environmental risk, and industrial pollution control.

The results of the activities carried out by the REC during the past 25 years appear very positive. The REC has worked satisfactorily with public and private stakeholders to broaden the understanding of the environmental challenge and to encourage positive action through dialogue, education and research.

Green economy is the answer to the wellbeing and to the prosperity of humankind. The REC has consistently contributed to disseminating this message, and Italy commends its role in advancing cooperation among governments, NGOs and international bodies.

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