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Death penalty: first Task Force meeting at Farnesina. Moratorium campaign to be an EU Presidency priority, says Mogherini

Italy is taking forward the battle for a universal moratorium on the death penalty. Today at the Farnesina, Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini chaired the first meeting of the task force that will coordinate Italy’s action in the run-up to the United Nations vote on a new resolution. Participants included representatives of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) Amnesty International, the Sant’Egidio Community and Hands Off Cain. The goal during the Italian Presidency of the European Union is to renew the campaign against capital punishment and seek to increase the consensus on the UN General Assembly resolution that will be put to the vote in New York in December 2014.

Today’s discussion included the initiatives organised by the Farnesina and the NGOs to raise the awareness of governments and public opinion in the countries where the death penalty is still in force. A strategy was also drawn up to prepare the terrain for the vote on the new resolution that will be submitted by the European Union. The task force met on the eve of the conference taking place at the UN headquarters in New York on 2 July to discuss the debate that has been taken forward since Italy submitted the first resolution in 2007. The Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, and the Italian Ambassador to the UN, Sebastiano Cardi, will both be attending the meeting.

“The Government, Parliament and civil society must work together to raise awareness in as many countries as possible to vote in favour of the resolution. This will be one of Italy’s priorities during our six-month Presidency of the Council of the European Union”, underscored Minister Mogherini. The task force meeting, she added, “is an important opportunity to build on the good practice developed thus far and increase the consensus on the need for a moratorium”.

Those attending today’s meeting at the Farnesina included the chair of the Italian section of Amnesty International, Antonio Marchesi, and the organisation’s coordinator of the campaign against the death penalty, Annunziata Marinari, and head of institutional relations, Elena Santiemma. The Community of Sant’Egidio was represented by Mario Marazziti and Leonardo Tranggono, and Hands Off Cain by the secretary, Sergio D’Elia, and the treasurer, Elisabetta Zamparutti.