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Thanks Ambassador,

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Allow me to begin by thanking you for organizing this side-event and to congratulate you on the success of your Resolution (L.35/Rev.1), which has received support from all regional groups.

I also wish to thank Rick Guidotti for his striking photos and for his commitment to this cause.

Under the Italian presidency of the EU, Italy welcomes this initiative indeed. As a matter of fact, this reflects one of our priorities for the semester and, more broadly, for the EU and its Member States: the fight against all forms of discrimination, in line with Art.21 of the Nice Charter of Fundamental Rights – which sets forth: “Any discrimination based on any ground such as sex, race, colour, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, disability, age or sexual orientation shall be prohibited”.

Ambassador, Excellencies,

We do appreciate this initiative and its inner focus on the need for increasing attention to: first, prevention measures, mainly through human rights education and training, especially awareness-raising campaigns; second, protection of the victims/survivors. In this respect measures should include prosecution of perpetrators, appropriate criminalization, redress and rehabilitation, including health-care, shelters and other services

As much as the Governments have the primary responsibility of steering these processes, the international community and other actors can provide critical support. The United Nations is also key to providing assistance and capacity-building to close all those gaps, namely knowledge, capacity and implementation gaps, which are common to all the UN membership.

To conclude, we have the tools to ensure that the vision enshrined in the UN Charter and in other relevant instruments become reality. It is high time we use them to turn a new page in the lives of many persons – women, men, and children – with albinism around the world.

I thank you!