Pledge by Ambassador Mariangela Zappia, Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations, to encourage the UN to better address the fight against antisemitism delivered during the High-level online event on the role of the United Nations in combating antisemitism, organized by the World Jewish Congress.—
I am truly honored to be here today to reaffirm Italy’s steadfast commitment to the fight against anti-Semitism. I want to thank Ambassador Lauder and the Permanent Mission of Germany for taking the initiative here in New York.
As the Secretary General said last week: anti – Semitism is a poison, pure and simple.
It is a poison which thrives on the illusion that we are somehow immune from it because of our painful history. Nothing could be further from the truth, as we can see from the terrifying increase in anti – Semitic acts of hatred and violence across Europe.
A poison which infects the most impressionable members of our communities, starting with our youth.
A poison that finds fertile ground in the most economically and socially vulnerable corners of our society.
This are just some of the reasons why it is incumbent upon all of us to renew our collective commitment to fighting against anti-Semitism in the multilateral arena.
As a Member of the Human Rights Council, the fight against anti-Semitism has been a top priority for Italy and a constant feature of our action in Geneva.
In 2018 we inaugurated our OSCE Chairmanship with a Ministerial Conference dedicated to the responsibility of States, institutions and individuals to fight antisemitism. It has since become an annual tradition.
Last January the Italian Government embraced the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance working definition and appointed a National Coordinator for the fight against anti-Semitism.
But I am here today also to make a commitment about the concrete action we can take at the United Nations in New York. And I am pleased to pledge that the Permanent Mission of Italy will work to promote the importance of fighting anti-Semitism through education.
Every year, thousands of Italian schoolchildren participate in a national contest through essays, artwork and other creative ways to commemorate Holocaust Remembrance Day. A widely recognized best practice, which we will bring to New York and promote as a model of how to involve young people in the fight against anti-Semitism.