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Webinar su "Death penalty: from application to a universal moratorium"

Data:

05/11/2020


Webinar su

Considerazioni introduttive dell'Ambasciatore Stefano Stefanile, Vice Rappresentante Permanente dell'Italia presso le Nazioni Unite, al Webinar su "Death penalty: from application to a universal moratorium" ---

The abolition of the death penalty for Italy is a top priority in terms of national foreign policy and this goes back in a very long way. Our Prime Minister, during the last High Level Week, recalled that the first abolition of the death penalty in the world was achieved in the Grand Duchy of Tuscany in 1786, which means well before Italy became a unified Country.

It is a longstanding tradition in our case, I would say it is an ancient tradition, and this explains why Italy has been at the forefront of the global campaign to abolish the death penalty since its beginning, back in the 1990s.

We believe death penalty is an inhuman and degrading punishment which denies the right to life which is the most fundamental of the all human rights. Statistics show that it is not a criminal deterrent, it does not ensure an increased level of security, and it makes judicial mistakes fatally irreversible and irreparable. The effects of the capital punishment can be asymmetric, unfair, hidden, and in most of the cases they affect the most vulnerable categories: women, the poor and social outcasts. It is indeed a shortcut, while prevention is the only possible solution to crime.

More than anything else, the right to life is the most fundamental of all human rights. It lies at the heart of international human rights law. The death penalty denies the right to life.

This is why we embarked ourselves in the initiative that brought the General Assembly in 2007 to take a significant step towards the ultimate goal of the abolition of capital punishment with the endorsement for the first time of the global call for a worldwide moratorium. Since that landmark voting in 2007 the trend against capital punishment has become stronger and stronger and over the years we have seen an increasing number of public awareness raising events, such as the one we are having right now

It is heartening to see the ranks of the like minded progressively as well and the world progressively is moving towards the universal abolition.

We have to be clear, we are far from there yet and we have a great deal of work to do.

Most immediately we have to focus on the adoption of this year’s resolution on the moratorium.

This year’s text contains a few important additions: first of all, the role of the civil society, which I have the pleasure in recalling during this discussion; there is also new language on the treatment of the families and legal representatives of the convicted persons, and a new reference to the gendered impact of death penalty. Italy organized a Side Event on this issue, the gender dimension and the application of the death penalty, during the last Ministeri-al Week together with the Gambia, the European Union, Amnesty International and other organizations.

We are happy to see that there is an increasing number of Member States which are already aligned with the substance and the contents of this resolution that is now under the attention of the General Assembly, either de jure or de facto, and we do hope this will translate in more positive evolution in their vote, in favour of the text, so that greater consistency can be assured between the situa-tion in their own Countries and the vote they cast in the General Assembly.

At the same time we hope that those Member States who voted against the resolution two years ago can now, after two years, consider this text in a more neutral, if not favorable, position.

Let me conclude by saying that the path towards the global moratorium and ultimately the abolition of the death penalty is long, requires courage, intensity, consistency and determination. I also would like to stress that what is needed is also a constant effort to dialogue towards those Governments and civil societies which hold a different positions and sensibility in this respect.

We do not see this as just an intergovernmental confrontation, we rather see this as an opportunity to march together towards the respect of the dignity and rights of every human being.

Merci beaucoup encore pour l'opportunité

 

 


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