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UN Event – Science as a Right

Statement by Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi, Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations, at the UN Event on “The right to enjoy scientific progress and the freedom indispensable for scientific research” —

Ladies and gentlemen,
Dear friends,

Good afternoon everyone and thank you very much for being here today.

At the outset, I would like to thank the “Luca Coscioni Association” for having taken the initiative in organizing this panel discussion. The Association has been paramount in promoting important changes to Italian social legislation. Among these, it has brought to public attention the importance of the so-called “right to science”, as spelled out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (namely the right “to share in scientific advancement and its benefits”) and in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (namely “the right of everyone to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications” and “the freedom indispensable for scientific research and creative activity”).

Starting from this normative body, the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights is in the process of developing a draft General Comment on the right to science, as articulated in the Covenant.
We would like therefore to seize the presence of Dr. Mikel Mancisidor, member of that Committee, and other distinguished experts on the topic, to better understand the content of the right, the challenges in its interpretation and implementation of the right in practice.

Of course, we are not here to create or to bring new norms, because we already have a vast set or norms and decisions on human rights. Our intention is to enhance the dialogue, the awareness, and the visibility of this theme and seek ways to proceed all together in a concerted approach.
This is also the approach that will guide us if we are elected to the Human Rights Council for the term 2019 – 2021.

The celebration this year of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights gives us the opportunity to better reflect on how to implement all the instruments we have, also given the new framework of the 2030 Agenda.

I thank you again and I look forward to hearing the panelists on this very interesting topic.