Zappia: “Young people are agents of change, natural peace-builders”

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NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 15 – Young people are agents of change. “Italy recognizes the multi-faceted added value of an increased participation of young people in all aspects of society, as we deem youth flywheel of development and natural peace-builder. In this context, we believe education plays an essential role: a quality formal and non-formal education considerably facilitates youth development, at once reducing the number of NEETs (those not in education, employment or training). From the Erasmus Program to the EU Youth Guarantee programme, we support an integrated system of tools to encourage international mobility, promote youth entrepreneurship and smooth the access to labor market”, the Italian Permanent Representative to the Commission for Social Development.

Zappia firmly reaffirmed Italy’s firm belief and support to the very important role played by the Commission for Social Development in the UN system, not only as the main forum for an organic discussion of social development and of its outstanding issues – including youth, persons with disabilities, old people – but also and foremost as the forum that endeavors to establish the missing operational link between the safeguard of human rights and the promotion of social development policies. She recalled that Italy has established two years ago the programme of the national ‘Youth Delegates’: Pietro Fochi, a student at the University of Bologna, addressed the Commission, delivering the final part of the national statement.

Commending the timely choice for this year’s priority theme of the Commission, the Ambassador remarked that Italy has in recent months passed and envisaged an ad-hoc legislation on the fiscal, pension and social protection side. Among the categories of competence of the Commission, she also focused on persons with disabilities, passing the floor to Fochi: “Italy has been historically at the forefront of the efforts aimed at guaranteeing the social integration and work inclusion and the full enjoyment of the human rights of persons with disabilities, placing a high premium on the mental and intellectual disabilities. Our commitment in this field has been increasing with the adoption of a new law this year – the Youth Delegate recalled – which delegated the coordination of the full policies in disability to a single Ministry with a view of placing the issue at the top of political agenda”. Fochi also outlined the presence in his Country of very active civil society network that contributes to the commitment of Italy to fully involve persons with disabilities, in particular through cultural activities and sports. Specifically he mentioned Teatro Patologico by Dario D’Ambrosi on theatre and disability, and Progetto Filippide on sport and disability. (@OnuItalia)