National statement delivered by Ambassador Stefano Stefanile, Deputy Permanent Representative and Charge’ d’Affaires a.i. of Italy to the United Nations, at the General Debate of the 12th Session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities —
Italy aligns itself with the statement delivered by the European Union and wishes to add the following remarks in its national capacity.
The promotion and protection of the rights of persons with disabilities have always been at the forefront of Italy’s foreign policy in the field of human rights, long before the entry into force of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, of which we were one of the first signatories. Since then, we have strived to promote the full implementation of the Convention, both in our Country and internationally.
We wish to express our appreciation for the choice of this year’s overarching theme. Inclusion and participation are integral elements of Italy’s policies towards disabilities, particularly with regard to the involvement of civil society and of persons with disabilities in any decision regarding them, according to the principle “nothing about us without us”.
Italy is committed to the promotion and protection of the rights of persons with disabilities through a human rights-based approach.
At the national level, our Government includes a Ministry specifically dedicated to disability, tasked to coordinate and harmonize national policies on disabilities across the entire spectrum of the government action, with the active participation of civil society. In this context, particular attention is being paid to the strengthening of data collection, both quantitatively and qualitatively. The objective is to ensure the full interconnection of national databases on disabilities.
At the international level, we place persons with disabilities at the core of our development cooperation. Our Guide-Lines on Disability in this sector provide for a ‘twin-track’ approach: on the one hand, we promote development and humanitarian initiatives that promote “access to” and “inclusion of” persons with disabilities; on the other hand, we advocate for ‘mainstreaming’ disability across the span of development and humanitarian programs.
Last but not least, I wish to recall the presence in Italy of a wide spectrum of particularly active civil society organizations committed to the promotion and protection of the rights of persons with disabilities, which operate in synergy with Government institutions. Some of these organizations engaged in activities related to theatrical arts and sport – Progetto Filippide, Teatro Patologico and Inter Campus – are here with us and I would like to acknowledge their presence.
I thank you, Mr. Chair.