Popular protests have been taking place in Venezuela at least since 2014: their targets are the Government’s crackdown on civil and political liberties and the grave economic crisis afflicting the country, which has inter alia resulted in skyrocketing inflation and a persistent lack of essential goods.
In December 2015, parliamentary elections were held and won by the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD), a coalition of parties opposing President Nicolás Maduro and his United Socialist Party (PSUV). In the following months, President Maduro declared the state of emergency and assumed more powers, while the MUD started to collect signatures for a referendum to remove him from office before the natural end of his term. In October 2016, however, the National Electoral Council suspended the referendum process; new demonstrations against this decision took place.
UN MEETING “MOVING AWAY FROM THE DEATH PENALTY: NATIONAL LEADERSHIP”, NEW YORK, 25 SEPTEMBER 2014.
On 25 September 2014, at a High-level event of the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly organized by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights together with Italy and other three States, the Italian Prime Minister, Mr Matteo Renzi, delivered a speech on the death penalty and on the need to support a moratorium to stop it and eventually to abolish it. After mentioning Italy’s leading role in the abolitionist campaign (with the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Leopold II, having renounced to capital punishment already in 1786), he said that Italians
CHAMBER OF DEPUTIES, XVII LEGISLATURE, 286th MEETING, 9 SEPTEMBER 2014.
On 9 September 2014, on the occasion of an urgent speech at the Chamber of Deputies, the Minister of the Interior, Mr Angelino Alfano, commented on international terrorism motivated by religion. The Minister discussed the dangerous and aggressive nature of the Islamic State and addressed the phenomenon of foreign fighters.
CHAMBER OF DEPUTIES, XVII LEGISLATURE, 122nd MEETING, 20 DECEMBER 2013.
On 20 November 2013, the President of the Council of Ministers, Mr. Enrico Letta, gave an urgent report before the Chamber of Deputies on the so-called Datagate, the scandal initiated by the declarations of Edward Snowden. Mr Letta described how the US National Security Agency (NSA) could monitor the flow of metadata of Internet communications at a global level (PRISM Programme). Another surveillance programme (Tempora) would have been established by the British intelligence to monitor communications in submarine fibre-optic cables. In light of this background, he stated:
UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY, SIXTH COMMITTEE (LXVIII Session), DEBATE ON THE REPORT OF THE INTERNATIONAL LAW COMMISSION ON THE WORK OF ITS SIXTY-FIFTH SESSION (UN Doc. A/68/10), 29 OCTOBER 2013.
On 29 October 2013, before the Sixth Committee of the United Nations General Assembly, Min. Plenipotentiary Andrea Tiriticco, Director for Legal Affairs of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, expressed some remarks on the long-term programme of work of the International Law Commission, with reference inter alia to the topic of the Rule of Law. He stated:
UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY, SIXTH COMMITTEE (LXVIII Session, XIV Meeting), THE SCOPE AND APPLICATION OF UNIVERSAL JURISDICTION, 18 October 2013.
On 18 October 2013, during the debate in the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly on the Scope and Application of Universal Jurisdiction, the Legal Adviser of the Permanent Mission of Italy, Mr Salvatore Zappalà, submitted the comments of his delegation supporting a more thorough analysis of the topic by the Committee, and also the possible involvement of the International Law Commission. After expressing satisfaction for the unanimous recognition of the principle of universal jurisdiction as a fundamental tool in ensuring that perpetrators of heinous crimes are brought to justice, he stated that:
CHAMBER OF DEPUTIES, XVII LEGISLATURE, 54th MEETING, 16 JULY 2013.
On 16 July 2013, the deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Lapo Pistelli, explained before the Chamber of Deputies the Government’s view on the manifest violation of human rights contained in the recent Russian legislation against the LGBT community. He outlined the risks that such situations pose, the actions taken in the case and the role of EU organs and international organizations in the light of the universality of human rights.