70th Anniversary of the Italian Republic celebrated
1 June 2016
Ambassador of Italy Mr Pier Giovanni Donnici and Mrs. Martina Donnici hosted a reception to celebrate the National Day of Italy. Pictured with Ambassador Donnici is Mr Obed Bapela, Deputy Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs of South Africa.
Remarks by Ambassador Donnici
Distinguished Ministers, Your Majesty, ladies and gentlemen,
I wish to give you a warm welcome to the Celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Italian Republic. Our Republic was established in 1946 after the tragedy of WWII, through a democratic election open to all Italian citizens. For the first time Italian women expressed their vote, marking the opening of a true democratic system. Since then the Republic grants individual rights, civil rights, political rights and social rights to all its citizens. Human rights are also granted to all foreigners which are on the territory of the Republic. The first sentence of the Constitution, which is in the heart of all Italians, states that Italy is a democratic Republic founded on labour.
I am also glad to celebrate the Italian National Day for the first time here in South Africa, in this wonderful and admired country.
Italy and South Africa, Italians and South Africans, are joined in a longtime relationship of friendship and solidarity. Italians still recall the support they gave to the long and successful struggle for a Democratic South Africa. South Africans still remember the many friends they had, and still have, in Italy during the hard days of their exile. Let me recall President Tambo, sheltered in Reggio Emilia, and whose daughter is today the capable and very popular Ambassador of the new South Africa to Italy.
Today the two Democracies, Italy and South Africa enjoy a strong relationship of friendship and cooperation. Bilateral trade is in steady increase, as well as investment. High technology, research, high level education are among the most thriving sectors. I just quote SKA for Radio astronomy, the common work on environment and clean energy and the over hundred Italian professors and researchers contributing to South African Universities.
A strong factor for interaction between the two countries is the large Italian community rooted in South Africa. It is a community which through hard work, tenacity and commitment built a successful life here and is contributing to the prosperity and well-being of South Africa. A country they deeply love.
These days, our bilateral relations are experiencing new impetus. The successful visit to Rome last November of the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs Nkoana-Mashabane laid the basis for a new common endeavor. Minister Nkoana-Mashabane and Minister Gentiloni designed a new roadmap for cooperation.
Italy and South Africa both believe in multilateralism, they both contribute to the action of the United Nations for peace, for peaceful conflict resolution and for economic and social development in every region of the world. May I recall here the participation of both countries to UN peace keeping operations.
Before I leave the floor, Your Excellency, let me say for my compatriots a few words in our beloved language, to salute the Republic and our friends.
vorrei sottolineare che quest’anno abbiamo completato, con la formazione del COMITES di Pretoria, l’ammirevole rete dell’ ássociazionismo della Comunita’ italiana in Sud Africa. Asssociazioni regionali, associazioni d’ árma, Camera di Commercio, Clubs, Dante Alighieri, Circoli, istituti di solidarieta’ e di formazione. Non e’ un caso che il membro nel CGIE della nostra importante Comunita’ sia adesso nel Consiglio di Presidenza mondiale.
Anche noi qui in Sud Africa, possiamo percio’ unirci con fierezza ai nostri compatrioti nel mondo e in Italia per celebrare la nostra amata Patria e i valori fondanti di liberta’ e solidarieta’ della nostra Repubblica.
Possiamo dire assieme con orgoglio, Viva l’amicizia tra l’Italia e il Sud Africa, Viva l’Italia, Viva la Repubblica.