GENEVA, FEBRUARY 26 – Italy’s Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Emanuela Del Re, used the UN’s 40th session on human rights in Geneva as a platform to express her grave concerns for humanitarian emergency gripping Venezuela. She appealed to the Venezuelan government to accept humanitarian aid that its citizens desperately need.
Del Re also announced that Italy will provide an emergency contribution of 2 million Euros and added that any violation of international humanitarian law and fundamental human rights is “unacceptable.” Del Re also said that “Italy joins the International call for a peaceful and inclusive solution to the current crisis based on a fully democratic national reconciliation that would meet peoples’ aspirations and prevent further conflicts.” She also noted Italy’s support of the International Contact Group which seeks to bring about free and fair elections as soon as possible.
The fight against trafficking in human beings represents another priority for Italy’s membership on this Council on Human Rights, which will last from 2019-21. The Vice Minister emphasized that Italy is engaged in cooperating with countries of origin and transit to prevent and fight human trafficking, and to ensure that the human rights of migrants and refugees are respected. “In this vein, [Italy] support[s] the efforts carried out by the Libyan Authorities, in close cooperation with the UN Agencies, to improve migrants’ living conditions and to ensure the respect of human rights in migration camps. However, more needs to be done and Italy will continue to support Libya in this critical endeavor,” said Del Re.
Emanuela Del Re used her platform to touch upon other crises that risk weakening the respect of human rights, most notably the situation in Syria to which she called “on all parties, especially the Syrian authorities, for full, unhindered and sustained humanitarian access.” She also took time to talk about the pejorative state of human rights in Yemen, Myanmar, North Korea, and Nicaragua. The Vice Minister reiterated Italy’s support for the High Commissioner of Human Rights, her office, and all special procedures to Treaty Bodies and other mechanisms. Additionally, Del Re noted Italy’s attention to the rights of women and girls, women’s empowerment, female genital mutilation, child force marriage, religious liberty, and the inclusion of civil society.
Today, the Vice Minister also participated in high-level events regarding capital punishment and the 2019 High-Level Pledging Event focused on the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, to which she announced that Italy would contribute a total of 5 million Euros to humanitarian relief efforts in Yemen. To complete her busy schedule in Geneva, the Vice Minister had various bilateral meetings with representatives from other participant countries, as well as a bilateral meeting with UNHC Michelle Bachelet and the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Peter Maurer. “Italy fully supports the work of your Office”, Del Re said to the High Commissioner.
To read the Vice Minister’s full statement in English click here.