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International Human Rights Day (10 December 2021) – Statement by Minister Di Maio

Statement by Mr Luigi Di Maio, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Italy

Chair of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe

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“Today we celebrate the International Human Rights Day. Respect for human rights has advanced significantly since the adoption of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights in 1948. The Council of Europe and the European Court of Human Rights have been instrumental in protecting the human rights of individuals and ensure that all people can live their lives in dignity.

The Italian Presidency of the Committee of Ministers considers that the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms lies at the very root of European common values. It is crucial that the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights are executed, thereby ensuring the effectiveness of the supervision system, which is one of the Council of Europe’s unique features.

Social rights are also a key aspect of the European construction and of Europe’s founding principles. It is our intention to contribute to the ongoing joint efforts to strengthen the European Social Charter system by simplifying its monitoring procedures and fostering a more regular dialogue with governments. Italy expects to achieve tangible results in this respect during its Presidency.

Our Presidency has made it a priority in particular to protect and promote women’s fundamental rights and the rights of the child, these groups having been particularly affected by the coronavirus crisis. We shall focus on the prevention of violence against women and domestic violence. The Istanbul Convention is central to this work and we will continue to promote its ratification by all member States.

The Council of Europe and its member States must also work together to meet new emerging challenges to human rights, such as artificial intelligence, for the benefit of the citizens of Europe, including its future generations.”