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Statement of President Mattarella on the occasion of the Human Rights Day

“On December 10, 1948, the General Assembly of the United Nations officially approved and announced the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The international community thus acknowledged fundamental rights and freedoms for every human being – regardless of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political orientation or any other form of opinion, national or social origin, wealth, birth or other status.

That same heritage of values inspired the founding fathers, who laid the same principles as foundation of our Republic.

Protecting, maintaining and promoting this heritage means not only preserving ourselves and our freedoms, but above all ensuring a future of peace, security and development for the new generations.

In particular, the celebration of this year’s Human Rights Day is dedicated to young people.

A unique opportunity to ponder on the need for girls and boys to be fully aware of their rights and thus contribute consciously to the growth of our democracy. I look to them with hope and confidence, so that they may become promoters of initiatives, both individual and collective, useful to avoid the perpetration of human rights violations.

For Italy, the protection and promotion of the principles of freedom and equality is an indispensable aspect of the international community’s life. As a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council, our country continues to pursue with commitment the development of dialogue and cooperation between peoples to oppose all forms of discrimination and to support respect for fundamental rights and freedoms – especially for the benefit of the most vulnerable».