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11^ Sessione Conferenza Stati Parte della Convenzione sui Diritti delle Persone con Disabilità

Discorso pronunciato dall’Ambasciatore Inigo Lambertini, Vice Rappresentante Permanente e Incaricato d’Affari’Italia presso le Nazioni Unite, al Dibattito Generale della 11^ Sessione della Conferenza degli Stati Parte della Convenzione sui Diritti delle Persone con Disabilità (CRPD) —

Mr. Chair,

Italy aligns itself with the statement that will be delivered by the representative of the European Union and wishes to add the following remarks in its national capacity.

Mr. Chair,

This year in my Country we celebrate the 40th anniversary since the adoption of the so-called “Legge Basaglia”, the water-shed law that marked the end of the infamous institution of mental asylum. We were the first Country in the world to do so. That was a “revolutionary step” – as it has been defined also in the UN context – that enacted a true ‘paradigm-shift’ in the way we deal with persons with mental and intellectual disabilities – from a medical approach to a human rights one. This approach eventually fed into the very spirit of CRPD, of which this year we celebrate the 10th anniversary since its entry into force. Many countries followed through our example, but still a lot has to be done around the world to achieve the permanent closure of all psychiatric hospitals, to empower the skills and the rights of those persons not outside the society, but fully involved within the societies. We encourage all Members States to do so.

Few of you may know, also, that the very first draft of a UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was presented in 1987 exactly by Italian diplomats here in New York. Hence, promoting the rights of persons with disabilities has always been one of the cornerstones of Italy’s international activity in the field of human rights. We will continue to be at the forefront of these endeavours. In this regard, the rights of persons with disabilities are one of the priorities of the candidature of Italy to the Human Rights Council for the mandate 2019-2021.

Persons with disabilities, especially women and girls with disabilities, are also at the core of the Italian Development Cooperation and of its projects.

We adopt a so-called ‘Twin Track Approach’: on the one hand, we promote initiatives specifically addressing persons with disabilities in several countries such as Burkina Faso, Tunisia, Ecuador, Palestine and on the other hand, we include persons with disabilities in the definition of all projects, including but not only limited to the ones that regard persons with disabilities.

In conclusion, Mr. Chair, the message that we would like to leave to this year’s Conference is the importance of keeping on defining innovative policies, both at the bilateral and multilateral level, to promote the rights of persons with disabilities. In doing so, we must adopt a truly participatory approach of all the relevant stakeholders, including civil society, and chiefly persons with disabilities themselves.

I thank you very much, Mr. Chair.