ITALIAN 'VICTORY' IN UN DEATH PENALTY VOTE
|United Nations General Assembly
December 18, 2007: the Italian government voiced ''great satisfaction'' over the approval of a United Nations resolution for a global moratorium on the death penalty.
Premier Romano Prodi said he was ''moved'' after the UN General Assembly voted 104 to 54 to approve the resolution, for which Italy had campaigned for several years.
''It is a source of pride that Italy was first to promote this initiative, which soon was transformed into a great international coalition for people's rights and dignity,'' he said.
Foreign Minister Massimo D'Alema, who was at the UN in New York for the crucial vote, said the strong majority in favour meant it was now possible to start talking about abolishing capital punishment definitively.
''This Italian victory will certainly go down in history and this date will be remembered around the world,'' said a visibly moved Emma Bonino, foreign trade minister and a longstanding campaigner in favour of the UN moratorium.
Italy has long been active in the fight against capital punishment and lobbied many governments to table a moratorium proposal at the UN, where it took up a non-permanent Security Council seat this year. (Sources: ANSA, 18/12/2007)