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Statement of Italy during the Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief at the 52nd session of the Human Rights Council

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The Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations and other International Organizations in Geneva, Ambassador Vincenzo Grassi, took the floor today during the Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, in the framework of the 52nd session of the Human Rights Council.

Amb. Grassi underlined Italy’s support for the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief and thanked Dr. Ghanea for her engagement and the written report, which properly underscores the universality of this freedom.

The promotion and protection of freedom of religion or belief, including the safeguard of religious heritage, and of the rights of persons belonging to ethnic and religious minorities are longstanding priorities of Italy’s foreign policy”, the Permanent Representative of Italy stated. He added that Italy staunchly champions these priorities in all relevant multilateral fora, including the Human Rights Council, through the Universal Periodic Review, as well in the bilateral relations, through development cooperation and humanitarian assistance programs, including the “Fund for direct support for Christian minorities persecuted in crisis areas” established in 2019.

While strongly condemning all forms of intolerance and discrimination based on religion or belief, Italy will continue to promote dialogue and cooperation among different religious leaders and communities, aiming at fostering mutual understanding, preventing conflicts and building peaceful, just and inclusive societies in line with the Agenda 2030”, recalling that in order to step up further the commitment in this domain and foster interreligious dialogue, the first-ever Italy’s Special Envoy for FoRB Protection and Interreligious Dialogue has been appointed.

Read the full statement here.