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Governo Italiano

Dettaglio intervento

Data:

03/03/2009


Dettaglio intervento

(fa fede solo il testo effettivamente pronunciato)

Mr. President, Distinguished Delegates,
It is an honour for me to take the floor, on behalf of Italy, on the occasion of the tenth session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Let me start by saying that Italy fully supports the statement of the Czech Republic, on behalf of the European Union: We are determined to pursue our ongoing efforts to make a substantial contribution to the objectives of the Council.

Also, I would like to take this opportunity to warmly greet the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Madame Navanethem Pillay. Allow me to express our full support for her mission and our readiness to closely cooperate with her. We hope that, due to her determination and commitment, human rights will progressively take a more central position in the agenda of the International Community.

Mr. President, Distinguished Delegates,
This session of the Council falls in the year of the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Convention marked a turning point in the history of human rights law, enshrining in a single document the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the child. Every child has now the same rights and dignity as an adult. Moreover, the Convention has reached almost universal consensus, being one of the most widely ratified international instruments.

However, the contradiction between what was agreed in the Convention and what happens in reality remains striking. The gap between the law and its implementation challenges every day our capacity and our determination to live up to the expectations the text raised worldwide. We strongly encourage all States to become parties to the Convention and to effectively implement its provisions. In particular, we are deeply concerned about the very worrying phenomenon of juvenile executions which is expressly forbidden by the Convention.

In this regard, I would like to recall Italy’s strong commitment towards the universal abolition of the death penalty. The adoption of a new resolution on a moratorium on capital executions by the sixty-third session of the UN General Assembly proved to be an extraordinary success, thanks to a wide cross-regional alliance. This reflects the growing trend towards the abolition of the death penalty. At the same time, this new resolution is a starting point that must be followed by concrete implementation worldwide. We will continue to work in close collaboration with all States that have supported the campaign for the UNGA resolution and with those that, while not fully sharing our commitment, are ready to discuss this issue.

Mr. President, Distinguished Delegates,

This session of the Council provides us with a good opportunity to address the most urgent and critical human rights issues and to strengthen the capacity of the Council to tackle them. It should not be missed by letting political or ideological confrontation come in the way.

My country has constantly advocated the protection and promotion of human rights through dialogue and cooperation. I strongly hope that this spirit will guide us during this session.

We are fully aware that this Council has not been exempt from criticism and has not always been able to live up to the expectations it raised when it was created. Let’s not forget that we, each single State, bear the primary responsibility for the success or failure of the Council’s capacity to answer to these growing expectations. Let’s not forget that every session of the Council is a test of our willingness to seriously advance the protection and promotion of human rights worldwide.

Thanks to the decisions to be taken during this session, Italy is confident that the current system of special procedures aimed at protecting human rights will be maintained and reinforced. Country and thematic mandates are indeed crucial tools for the Council’s action. Moreover, some of them are of particular importance as they deal with situations that require full attention and cooperation by the International Community.

In this regard, I would like to mention the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar. Italy wishes this mandate to be renewed and strengthened so as to enhance the collaboration between the Government of Myanmar and the Special Rapporteur, resumed in 2008 by this Council after several years of interruption.

We believe that the situation of human rights in Myanmar should remain high in the agenda of the Council, also bearing in mind the general elections planned for 2010. We strongly encourage the Government of Myanmar to open a dialogue with all political and ethnic actors, with the aim of a substantial and swift transition towards democracy. We request this process to be credible and inclusive and in full compliance with international legal guarantees and human rights standards. We also believe that the Council must remain focused on this issue, in line with the commitments undertaken at previous sessions.

Italy also favours the extension of the mandate of the Independent Expert on Somalia. There is an increasing need for addressing the current human rights situation in Somalia, characterized by, inter alia, a growing number of internal displaced persons and recurrent violence affecting civilians. The Human Rights Council should not miss this opportunity to keep the Somali crisis at the centre of the International Community attention. We believe that the UN system should continue to make valuable contribution not only in monitoring the situation of human rights in the country, but also in providing assistance and support for the establishment of a durable and effective governance. For this reason, we support a resolution focused on cooperation and technical assistance, which will help strengthen the efforts of the Transitional Federal Institutions in this field.

Among the tools at the disposal of the Council, the Universal Periodic Review mechanism represents a unique instrument to review the human rights record of each and every UN Member State. This mechanism provides the opportunity for each country to enumerate the measures it has adopted to improve the domestic human rights situation and thus fulfill its human rights obligations. Currently, no other universal mechanism of this kind exists. However, we must not forget that its success will depend mainly on the commitment of States to ensure a credible follow up to the recommendations resulting from the review process.

The Universal Periodic Review is a long term process, where all stages are closely interlinked and equally important. We are confident that some of the worrying trends that had emerged in the last Universal Periodic Review session will be adequately addressed. We call on all States to engage in a constructive dialogue to devise effective solutions to these problems.

Mr. President, Distinguished Delegates,

Italy strongly believes that dialogue among cultures and religions is one of the keys to ensure peace and security in our increasingly interconnected societies.

In this respect, we are extremely concerned about the continuous reports of manifestations of intolerance and discrimination based on religion or belief. Italy urges all States to ensure the full protection of everyone’s right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, as recognized by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Council should continue to address this issue and we look forward to the report to be presented by the Special Rapporteur during this session. We trust that the discussions will take place in an open and constructive atmosphere.

The same spirit should steer the ongoing negotiations on the Durban Review Conference against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. The Conference represents a unique chance to take stock of our efforts in the fight against racism and discrimination and to renew our commitment to it. It is essential that the negotiations do not divert from this goal. Provided this is the case, Italy is ready to continue to engage in this process. We cannot allow ourselves to let this opportunity fall prey to other political or ideological agendas.

Mr. President, Distinguished Delegates,
In conclusion, I would like to thank all of you for your kind attention, and to extend my best wishes for a successful session. More than sixty years after the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights we have a further chance to prove the strength and vitality of its principles. We should not miss this opportunity.

Thank you.


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