Italy champions Odesa’s rebirth at global summit in Berlin

Rome: Ahead of the Ukraine Reconstruction Conference, the Italian Foreign Ministry announced plans to sign a bilateral agreement for the redevelopment of Odesa. The conference, drawing leaders and businesses from around the world, seeks to rally international backing for Ukraine’s recovery and foster an environment conducive to private investment in the country

Italy supports Odesa. In the lead-up to the Ukraine Reconstruction Conference in Berlin, Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani reiterated the country’s steadfast devotion to developing the port city of Odesa in southern Ukraine. On Tuesday, he will sign the bilateral memorandum of understanding on patronage for reconstructing the city and region of Odesa.

Last September, Italy’s Ambassador to Ukraine, Pier Francesco Zazo, inaugurated the first Italian Honorary Consulate in Odesa to support Ukraine “given its future reconstruction.”

Italy has also taken steps to promote the inclusion of the historic centre of Odesa in the Unesco World Heritage List and thus in the Unesco List of Heritage in Danger while also making a financial contribution to securing the landmark Transfiguration Cathedral.

The memorandum of understanding aims to establish a general framework of cooperation and coordination with Ukrainian authorities in order to maximise efforts and capabilities for reconstructing Odesa and its region after the conflict.

Reviving Ukraine together. The Ukraine Reconstruction Conference, a pivotal annual event, is set to take place in Berlin this year. This conference holds immense importance as it serves as a platform for discussing economic support, reforms, and the reconstruction of Ukraine. Its objectives are to mobilise international support for the resilience, recovery, and modernization of the country, and to provide assistance in the implementation of recovery projects, while also creating favourable conditions for private sector investment.

The first ministerial-level meeting of the Donor Coordination Platform for Ukraine will be held on June 11th, followed by the opening ceremony in the presence of German Chancellor Scholz, Ukrainian President Zelensky, European Commission President von der Leyen, and European Council President Michel.

The closing session of the conference will be held on June 12th, with a handover ceremony to Italy, which will organise the event in 2025. Deputy Foreign Minister Edmondo Cirielli will attend.

The conference is set to be a truly global event, with heads of state and government from 77 countries in attendance. A total of 1,800 participants are expected, including 500 companies. This diverse participation, with 150 German, 150 Ukrainian, and 200 companies from other participating countries, underscores the international support and interest in Ukraine’s recovery.