A Statement by the Permanent Representative of Italy at the Human Rights Council on Italy’s Commitments in the Field of Human Rights

HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL, 26th SESSION, HIGH COMMISSIONER ANNUAL REPORT, 10 JUNE 2014.

On 10 June 2014, the Permanent Representative of Italy at the Human Rights Council, Amb. Maurizio Enrico Serra, delivered a speech on the priorities of Italy in the area of human rights protection, both within the Human Rights Council and the European Union, in view of the upcoming Italian Presidency of the EU Council. The Ambassador said that Italy is determined to fight against death penalty, female genital mutilations, forced child marriage and against serious violations of human rights taking place in countries such as Syria and South Sudan. He said:

Human rights are a pillar of our foreign policy, and from July 1st will be among the priorities of the forthcoming Italian Presidency of the European Union. In close partnership with the EU Delegation, Italy will be on the forefront to advance the cause all rights and fundamental freedoms also in this Council […]

He continued:

The fight against death penalty is paramount in our agenda. The priority remains promoting a global moratorium of executions that may lead to full abolition of capital punishments. To this end, we consider essential to ensure appropriate coordination among relevant initiatives in the Human Rights Council and in the UN General Assembly, that next fall will negotiate the fifth resolution on the subject. In this context, we also call for a prompt judicial review of the judgment that sentenced the Sudanese Meriam Ibrahim to flogging and capital punishment on charges of adultery and apostasy.

He added:

Consistent with the commitment to protect human dignity from practices harmful to the health and the right to equal development and empowerment of women and girls, Italy will continue to support the international campaigns to eradicate; female genital mutilations and child early and forced marriage, and we look forward to the discussion that will be held in the related panels scheduled in this session.

He concluded:

Finally, we will address in detail the most serious country situations, notably Syria and South Sudan, where independent and credible reports confirm that human rights violations amounting to crimes of war and against humanity have been committed on an appalling scale under relevant agenda items. We expect all those responsible to be held to account and brought to justice as soon as possible, and we urge this Council to respond swiftly and effectively to any such emergency.

The full text of the Permanent Representative’s speech can be found at:

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/Pages/HRCRegistration.aspx (registration required)

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