National statement delivered by the Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations, Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi, at the 56th Session of the Commission for Social Development —
Ladies and Gentlemen
Italy, first of all, aligns itself with the statement delivered by Bulgaria on behalf of the European Union and wishes to add the following remarks in its national capacity.
Foremost, I would like to reinstate Italy’s firm belief in the relevance and the centrality of the Commission for Social Development (CSocD), with its focus on advancing social cohesion and prosperity of societies, and on making sure that adequate protection be lent to all individuals, and specifically to those vulnerable categories and social groups such as persons with disabilities, old people, youth and family. It fully embodies the concepts of “person-centred” approach and of inter-generational responsibility – on which Italy places a high premium – which is the only path that can guide us towards a development that proves inclusive and feasible in the long-term. The relevance of the Commission, in our view, has been enhanced even more by the Agenda 2030 and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): indeed only a balance between, on the one hand, the vision of development of the society as a whole and, on the other, the focus on the needs of each single individual – which is in synthesis what the CSocD is about – will allow us to really leave no one behind. And with the due reform, which this year resolution on the “Methods of Work” is taking in the right direction, the Commission will become even more relevant and actively contribute to the UN Agenda.
we commend the choice of the priority theme of the Commission: the connection between the eradication of poverty and attainment of the SDGs is evident, and in this vein the intimate connection between the social and economic dimension of development. Eradicating poverty, in accordance with SDG n. 1, would then trigger the enjoyment of all other objectives set forth.
As we know, poverty is a multidimensional issue that must be fought in each society and in each dimension. This is why Italy is fully committed to support, empower and enable those most vulnerable and in fragile contexts: discriminated women and girls, refugees, people with disabilities, children and people affected by conflict, instability and protracted crisis.
The Italian Development Cooperation puts at the core of its actions the social and economic development of every community by providing each person with tools, knowledge and contexts that will enable them to fully express every person’s full potential.
In order to eradicate poverty we need to avoid the vicious cycle of dependency: we ought to really empower people and communities, in order to make them grow while supporting them, to build resilience while protecting them, to allow them to be themselves actor while guaranteeing that they be not left behind.
among the categories of competence of the Commission, I would like to focus on two in particular: youth and persons with disabilities.
First, Italy invests in young people as key drivers for change, flywheels for development and builders of peace. Only the virtuous combination between full implementation of the Youth, Peace and Security Agenda, investments in education, empowerment and job opportunities will render them the actors of our societies. As an example of our investment in the youth, in connection with the UN Agenda, we have recently launched the programme “Responsibility to Protect in Schools” aimed at divulgating to high school students the concept and the tools of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) – whose Group of Friends Italy co-chairs this year – to make them acquainted since young age with the promotion and respect of human rights and with the principles of peace, respect for differences and dialogue among cultures.
Second, on persons with disabilities, Italy confirms its strong commitment to guaranteeing the full enjoyment of their human rights. We place a particular high premium on the mental and intellectual disabilities: while this year we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the so-called “Basaglia Law” – that allowed Italy to be the first country in the world to abolish psychiatric hospitals, paving the way for similar processes to unravel around the world – we are proud to continue pursuing our commitment in this field, having presented, among other things, here at the UN last December the project “Teatro Patologico” which empowers persons with mental and intellectual disabilities through their involvement in theatrical performances, making them actors of their own decisions and critically contributing to the implementation of the CRPD.
to conclude, let me remind that it is with this patrimony of achievements and commitments, and with the firm objective to help attaining a full-fledged connection between the enjoyment of human rights and the attainment of socio-economic development in the framework of the 2030 Agenda that we have put forward our candidacy to the Human Rights Council for the term 2019-21, confident that we will carry out our duty in the best interest and representation of the international community as a whole.
I thank you, M.me Chairman.