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Evento – Lancio dello Studio Globale UNODC 2019 sull’Omicidio

Discorso pronunciato dall’Ambasciatrice Mariangela Zappia, Rappresentante Permanente dell’Italia presso le Nazioni Unite, all’Evento sul Lancio dello Studio Globale UNODC 2019 sull’Omicidio —

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

thank you for bringing this issue to our attention, it is really important issue. The Global Study on Homicide is a report that highlights and shows so many important data to understand how to better prevent a series of crimes and I will tell something about Italy later on. I really want to take this opportunity to highlight how important is the work that UNODC is doing on that and the research work that Angela is doing. Thank you very much for that and thank you very much for inviting me to the presentation of the report. The level of harm generated by organized crime is often underestimated. The 2019 Study illustrates clearly that, at the global level, the number of homicides connected to organized crime is similar to those connected to war and armed conflict. This should sound as an alarm for our society and for the international community at large.

We, as a Country, havea long-standing tradition in supporting criminal justice system as a tool to address and prevent serious crimes, including those perpetrated by organized criminal groups. Our commitment is clearly reflected in the data, which shows that the rate of homicides in Italy has steadily decreased in the last 30 years and is today 5 times lower than it was at the end of the 1980s, from 3.4 to 0.6 in 2016 per 100.000 people. It’s really an impressive decrease.

The point I would like to stress here is that a strong statistic system is an integral part of our strategy. At the national level, we have invested significant resources in the collection of relevant data in order to support the efforts of judicial offices. The database managed by the National Antimafia and Antiterrorism Directorate is a very effective instrument available for both investigators and prosecutors.

We have been proactively engaged in the work of the EU and UN statistics commissions, in the firm belief that the harmonization of criteria and methodologies is essential to information sharing and cooperation among countries and institutions. In Italy, we work to implement policies and programs that are based on the analysis of disaggregated data. In this context, UNODC’s “international classification on crime” framework is a very useful tool.

We promote recourse to data also in our international activity. As penholders and promotors of the “omnibus” crime resolution in the Third Committee, we introduced languages urging Member States to strengthen national statistical systems, collect and share data on statistics and data.

I am glad to see that the cooperation between UNODC and Member States has led to an improvement in the data collection for the 2019 Global Study. This represents an important step towards the 20th anniversary of the “Palermo Convention”, next year.

The 2019 Global Study on Homicide indicates clearly that collecting reliable and disaggregated data is crucial to support policy development and implementation. Access to timely, disaggregated data on violent behavior is useful, for instance, to understand to the phenomenon of juvenile criminal “gangs”, and assist young males who are particularly vulnerable to become victims and perpetrators themselves of violent crimes.

A data-based approach can also be fruitful in responding to violent crimes and homicides with a racial, cultural and religious background. Monitoring closely reported cases of “hate speech” – in line with the Secretary-General’s Plan of Action recently launched – is a crucial “early warning” mechanism.
Finally, the Global report shines an important light on the issue of killings of women and gender-related homicides.

There is solid evidence that killings of women are closely connected to crimes like sexual violence, slavery in all its forms, trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants. Women and girls are particularly vulnerable in violent environments in which, more often than not, men are the perpetrators of such crimes.

In addition to these instances of gender-related violence, statistics also show that killings of women are often the result of increasing violence within the private sphere and in the family environment. The report shows that aggressive behavior and “stalking” in the context of intimate relationships are important early signals of a deteriorating situation that may lead to physical aggression and even homicide.

All this demands strong and concrete responses. The Italian Government and Parliament are aware of these phenomena and have responded in a number of ways.

Just to mention some, at the legislative level, after the ratification of the Istanbul Convention on the prevention of violence against women, the Italian Parliament adopted a series of measures aimed at fighting violence by preventing crimes, ensuring accountability of the perpetrators and protecting the victims and their children. Our criminal code was modified accordingly, an extraordinary Plan of Action against gender-based violence was adopted, and special funds were allocated, within the national budget, to assist and support the victims.

Social services, medical officers and law enforcement officers in Italy are trained to detect early signs of trouble and prevent crimes. Moreover, the Italian criminal justice system also provides training to civil servants, prosecutors and judges to assist victims.
Reports like the 2019 Global Study on homicides are the cornerstone of any evidence-based policy and provide an indispensable frame of reference for a broad range of actors worldwide: lawmakers, governments, International Organizations, academia, and legal practitioners.

UNODC has an impressive track-record in producing such analysis. In recent years, it has published surveys on drugs, human trafficking, and the smuggling of migrants, which was financed by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
Italy is committed to enhance its support to UNODC’s action in the fields of legal reforms, technical assistance and analysis and research in the framework of the Sustainable Development Agenda. The financial resources invested in the review mechanism of the Palermo Convention go hand in hand with all human and financial resources provided to UNODC, inter alia, in order to address human trafficking and smuggling of migrant, as well as assist victims of trafficking, mainly women and children, or improve the conditions of detainees in Africa.

The Global Study on homicides is an important instrument to understand the trends and dynamics of homicides worldwide. Again, I commend UNODC for its commitment to data-driven analysis and I look forward to hearing more about the findings of this report.
And I have to say this liaise very well with the discussion we had recently in Rome during the Review Conference of the SDG16 where this particular aspect was highlighted, so the report will certainly give even more useful instruments to fulfill and attend the goals of SDG16.

Thank you very much.