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China-Italy Philanthropy Forum Holds Signing Ceremony of the Second Term

The signing ceremony for the second term of the China-Italy Philanthropy Forum (CIPF; 2022-2025) took place on November 18, 2022, in Beijing, China, at the "2022 Beijing Forum" hosted by Peking University, and simultaneously in Rome, Italy. President of Peking University and Academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences GONG Qihuang was present at the ceremony. Three parties – the China Development Research Foundation, the TOChina Hub at the University of Turin, and the National School of Development of Peking University – signed the Memorandum of Understanding.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the first term of the China-Italy Philanthropy Forum (2019-2021) had been signed in Rome, Italy in 2019 during a state visit to Italy by President Xi Jinping. At the time, the CIPF Memorandum represented the only philanthropic cooperation agreement signed in the presence of the two leaders of China and Italy, as well as one of the highest-level philanthropic exchanges ever held between the two countries.

The signing ceremony for the second term of the Forum was hosted by Wang Bo, Vice President of Peking University, and Andrea Silvestri, Director General of the University of Turin, Italy, who announced the appointment of the members of the China-Italy Philanthropy Forum's Steering Committee for the second term.

Romano PRODI, former President of the European Commission and former Prime Minister of Italy, and LU Mai, former Vice Chairman of the China Development Research Foundation, will serve as Honorary Co-Chairpersons of the Forum. Francesco RATTALINO, Dean of ESCP Business School Turin Campus, and LIN Yifu, Dean of the Institute of New Structural Economics of Peking University, will serve as Co-Chairpersons of the International Board of Advisors of the Forum. Anna CAFFARENA, President of the Torino World Affairs Institute, and YAO Yang, Dean of the National School of Development of Peking University, will serve as Co-Chairpersons of the Scientific Committee of the Forum. Giovanni B. ANDORNINO, Coordinator of the TOChina Hub at the University of Turin, and FANG Jin, Vice Chairman and Secretary General of the China Development Research Foundation, will serve as Co-Secretaries General.

In Rome, Italy, Honorary Co-Chairman Romano PRODI spoke as the keynote speaker during the signing ceremony. He noted that, since its founding, the leaders of China and Italy have given the China-Italy Philanthropy Forum their personal attention and encouragement. On the occasion of the launch of the second term of the Forum, Presidents Xi Jinping and Sergio Mattarella have written personal letters commending the role of the CIPF in fostering philanthropic exchanges between the two peoples. According to Mr Prodi, the world is witnessing a new era of complexity, which requires the wise promotion of justice and peace in areas of conflict, including in Europe, to avoid repeating historical mistakes. Similarly, as climate change is accelerating and threatens the sustainability of life across the planet, it is necessary to mobilize the increasing awareness of leaders and society to stimulate policies that will hand a more livable world to our children. Philanthropy can act as an instrument for collaborative innovation on critical issues, and the China-Italy Philanthropy Forum can do so especially, while continuing to energize people-to-people relations between the two countries.

LU Mai and LIN Yifu delivered remarks as representatives of the Steering Committee of CIPF for the 2022-2025 term. LU Mai commended Mr Prodi's efforts to promote philanthropic exchange and cooperation between the two countries. He emphasized that, through the Forum, China and Italy can enhance bilateral exchange and cooperation in the field of public welfare and charity, carry forward friendly traditions, forge a stronger bond between the peoples, seek common ground and set an example for countries with different systems and cultures to jointly meet global challenges. LIN Yifu reminded the audience that Chinese modernization is a modernization in which all the people should partake in common prosperity. To ensure that all of society shares the fruits of economic prosperity, it is necessary to achieve equity and efficiency in the primary distribution, and to pay more attention to equity in the secondary distribution so that the vulnerable groups can be cared for. In addition, mutual support within society should be encouraged, while preserving the noble legacy of traditional philanthropy. Italy, with its fine Catholic culture of fraternity, and China, with its excellent Confucian civilization of benevolence, are ideally positioned to work together to promote common goals in this respect.

FANG Jin, YAO Yang and Giovanni B. ANDORNINO signed and exchanged the MoU for the second term of CIPF on behalf of the three institutions, and delivered speeches. Mr ANDORNINO commented that the China-Italy Philanthropy Forum must be worthy of the encouragement of the two Heads of State, developing into a hub for cross-cultural philanthropy competence building and encouraging greater engagement with European philanthropic best practices. FANG Jin emphasized that through the joint efforts of all parties, the first term of cooperation has been very successful. The CIPF can now be expected to fully utilize the strengths of all parties involved to carry out innovative research and project collaborations across China, Italy, and Europe. YAO Yang stated that the National School of Development of Peking University hopes to bring its own philanthropy expertise to a new height by participating in the China-Italy-Philanthropy Forum and looks forward to collaborating with all parties to promote future-proof cross-cultural philanthropic studies.

The non-governmental China-Italy Philanthropy Forum aims to promote meaningful and sustainable dialogue and outcome-oriented cooperation between key players from the philanthropy sector of China and Italy, including family foundations, public foundations, and corporations committed to the highest standards of corporate social responsibility.

In its first term (2019–2021), the Forum produced a wealth of creative examples of philanthropic cooperation and served as an innovative platform for forging constructive ties between the peoples of China and Italy.

A new International Board of Advisors will be established as part of the China-Italy Philanthropy Forum second term to promote mutually beneficial relations with international peers and especially European philanthropic institutions. To mark the beginning of the new term, a twin fundraising initiative has been announced, aiming to support the "China REACH" (Rural Education And Child Health) project in Hebei, Shaanxi and Gansu provinces of China, and the efforts of Rome's Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesù in conducting capacity-building in partnership with Chinese medical institutions and continuing the treatment of children requiring humanitarian oncological assistance from countries around the world, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Lebanon, Libya, Moldova, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Somalia, Ukraine and Yemen.