Post-conflict Libya has been riven by internal conflict, institutional, political and social instability as well as a grave humanitarian crisis. The achievement of stability in Libya has been of concern to the international community, in particular in light of the serious consequences of internal conflict and fragmentation on, inter alia, the fight against terrorism and the Islamic State, as well as against human trafficking and migrant smuggling across the Mediterranean Sea.
Historically a prominent international actor in the country, Italy has strongly supported the Government of National Accord, formed under the terms of the Libyan Political Agreement signed in Skhirat, Morocco, on 17 December 2015, and endorsed by the United Nations (UN) Security Council as the sole legitimate executive authority in Libya. On 8 May 2017, during a briefing at the UN Security Council on the situation in Libya (7934th Meeting), the Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations, Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi, declared:
In the course of 2016, the controversy of Italy with India, widely known as the Enrica Lexie case, was an important subject of discussion and debate in the Parliament. The events triggering the dispute date back to 15 February 2012, when two Indian fishermen were killed off the western coast of India, after a shooting incident involving Italian marines on-board the Italian-flagged oil tanker Enrica Lexie.
The subsequent arrest by Indian authorities of two Italian marines, Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, sparked a controversy between the two countries; after unsuccessful attempts to settle the case through diplomatic means, on 26 June 2015 Italy decided to submit the dispute to international arbitration pursuant to Annex VII of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Additionally, Italy sought provisional measures before the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, which ordered the suspension of all court proceedings against the two Italian marines, Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, pending a decision on the issue of jurisdiction by the Arbitral Tribunal (The “Enrica Lexie” Incident (Italy v. India), Provisional Measures, ITLOS, Order of 24 August 2015). On 13 January 2016, the Indian Supreme Court was convened to discuss the situation of one of the two marines, Massimiliano Latorre, who had been allowed to repatriate to Italy for medical reasons.
The initiatives adopted by Italy in the case, including the position expressed before the Indian Supreme Court, were illustrated by members of the Government in particular in the two occasions detailed below:
SENATE OF THE REPUBLIC, XVII LEGISLATURE, 432nd MEETING, 16 APRIL 2015.
On 16 April 2015, the Deputy Minister for Home Affairs, Mr Filippo Bubbico intervened before the Senate of the Republic answering a parliamentary question concerning the legal status of children of people who benefit from international protection. At the outset, the Deputy Minister was asked to clarify whether it was true that, by means of a simple information circular, the Ministry of Home Affairs had intended to extend the acquisition of national citizenship on the basis of the ius soli principle to minors born in Italy from parents who benefit from international protection, similarly to what the law explicitly provides for minors born in Italy from stateless parents. Mr Bubbico said:
SENATE OF THE REPUBLIC, XVII LEGISLATURE, 372nd MEETING, 12 JANUARY 2015.
On 12 January 2015, in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks against the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris, France, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr Paolo Gentiloni Silveri, reported before the Senate of the Republic on the position of Italy in the international fight against terrorism. Mr Gentiloni illustrated, inter alia, Italy’s efforts against ISIL/Daesh. He said:
NEW YORK, 69th SESSION OF THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY, FIRST COMMITTEE, GENERAL DEBATE, 13 OCTOBER 2014.
On 13 October 2014, during the general debate in the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, Italy’s Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament, Amb. Vinicio Mati, expressed the position of Italy on disarmament and other related matters. First off, after declaring that Italy aligned itself with the statement made by the European Union, Mr Mati made some introductory remarks on the importance of a multilateral approach to the issue. He said:
NEW YORK, 69th SESSION OF THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY, THIRD COMMITTEE, FIRST MEETING ON ITEM 26 (SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT), 7 OCTOBER 2014.
On 7 October 2014, during the debate in the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly, Italy’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Lambertini, expressed the position of Italy on social development. After declaring that Italy aligned itself with the statement made by the European Union, Mr Lambertini addressed the issues of persons with disabilities, youth empowerment, rights of the elderly, gender equality, and role of families, including non-traditional couples, in the development process. He said:
On 22 September 2014, on the sidelines of the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Italy co-organised the event “Ending child marriage: towards a more gender equitable world”. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Federica Mogherini, gave a speech in which she highlighted the importance of the direct involvement and ownership of countries affected, in particular in matters of education, in order to progressively eradicate this practice. She said:
SANTIAGO (CHILE), ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMISSION FOR LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN, 5 AUGUST 2014.
On 5 August 2014, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Federica Mogherini, gave a keynote speech at the headquarters of the Economic and Social Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). In her intervention, the Minister focused on Europe’s past and future ties to Latin America, and underlined the capital importance of regionalism as a means to pursue peace and prosperity.
CHAMBER OF DEPUTIES, XVII LEGISLATURE, 5th MEETING, 27 MARCH 2013.
Following the resignation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Giulio Maria Terzi di Sant’Agata (whose statement before the Chamber of Deputies can be read here), the Italian President of the Council of Ministers, Senator Mario Monti, was asked to report at the Parliament on the Mr. Terzi’s resignation, as well as more broadly on the recent developments of the ongoing dispute between Italy and India. The dispute broke out after the arrest by Indian authorities of Sergeant Major Massimiliano Latorre and Sergeant Salvatore Girone, two italian marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen while embarked aboard the Italian-flagged oil-tanker Enrica Lexie in order to carry out anti-piracy activities.
Here follow some excerpts from Mario Monti’s statement before the Chamber of Deputies.