Today marks the start of the 48th session of the Human Rights Council (HRC), the last regular session of Italy's current three-year term as a member of the HRC (2019-2021).
In 2018, Italy was elected as a member of the Council with broad support: 180 countries considered us qualified to sit on the United Nations' leading body for the promotion and protection of human rights globally. Over the past three years we have worked tirelessly to honour this mandate, helping to raise the international community's attention to the most serious human rights situations, with a special focus on priority issues, such as promoting gender equality, combating all forms of violence against women and combating all forms of discrimination, including on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Benedetto Della Vedova, will address the UNHRC tomorrow, in the framework of the General Debate, to reiterate Italy's full support to the work of the United Nations human rights bodies, especially the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, and to ensure that Italy will continue –in its future role as an observer – to attentively follow and take an active part in the work of the UNHRC. Deputy Minister Della Vedova's presence in Geneva will also allow us to continue to stress the importance of keeping the international community's attention focused on the human rights situation in Afghanistan: in line with the motto of our three-year term in the UNHRC, "Human Rights for Peace", we are convinced that full and universal respect for human rights is a fundamental condition for building peaceful, inclusive and sustainable societies. With this in mind, the Deputy Minister will also meet with High Commissioner Bachelet at the Palais des Nations.
To UNHRC session will be streamed live at: https://media.un.org/en/webtv/