"Protecting and promoting human rights is a priority goal for Italy, which we are pursuing at national and international level. It is a goal that is enshrined in our Constitution and that translates into a consolidated relationship of full collaboration and support with the United Nations Human Rights Council. It is upon this commitment that we ground our candidacy for the term 2019-2021”. With this statement, the Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations in New York, Ambassador Mariangela Zappia, presented Italy’s candidacy to the UN’s second-most prestigious elective assembly after the Security Council.
The meeting, chaired by the Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Andrew Gilmour, enabled the 18 candidate Countries to present their lines of action to protect and promote human rights and fundamental freedoms prior to submitting them to the vote of the General Assembly next October.
Italy, which has been a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council for two terms (2007-2010 and 2011-2014), presented its document of pledges and commitments. Its priority objectives include combating all forms of discrimination, promoting the rights of women and children, upholding the universal moratorium on the death penalty, the freedom of religion or belief and the protection of religious minorities, fighting human trafficking, promoting the rights of persons with disabilities, protecting cultural and religious heritage and human rights defenders.
Ambassador Zappia went on: "We wish to advocate an inclusive and cooperative approach with civil society organisations, acknowledging the ownership of local players. We will place at the service [of the Council] the capacity of dialogue that has always characterised us with a view to contributing to enhance its role and effectiveness in the world.” She also recalled the fact that Italy was among the very first supporters of the International Criminal Court and Italy’s initiative to promote the management of the migration phenomenon according to principles of solidarity, partnership and shared responsibility.