Today is the “European and World day against the death penalty”. On this occasion, Italy reaffirms its strong opposition to the death penalty in the belief that it can never be justified under any circumstances. Thanks to the joint commitment of both government institutions and civil society, Italy is a leader in the international campaign for a moratorium on the use of capital punishment. It both advances and actively participates in numerous international meetings where the death penalty is discussed. Italy takes an inclusive approach towards encouraging national debate in countries where capital punishment is still enacted to promote the progressive restriction of the death penalty, with a view towards eventually abolishing it.
There has been a death penalty task force in operation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation since July 2014, with representatives from the Community of Sant’Egidio, Nessuno Tocchi Caino (hands off Cain), and the Italian division of Amnesty International. It has worked hard to coordinate Italian action and raise awareness in other countries more effectively. Due in part to the work by the task force and involvement of our diplomatic network, Italy actively contributed towards the sixth resolution for a universal moratorium on the death penalty adopted by the UN General Assembly last December. Since another resolution is scheduled for December 2018, Italy will continue its efforts to obtain the broadest possible support for the new moratorium, in close cooperation with civil society organisations.
To mark the occasion today, Italy will also organise a very high-level event on the death penalty at the United Nations in New York, in association with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and other countries.