Quirinale Palace, 22/02/2016
"The death penalty ends up diminishing the value of life and its dignity. There will never be full justice in the world, as long as the killing of human beings will not be banned", Italian President Sergio Mattarella said, receiving the participants at "A world without death penalty" - the international conference against the capital punishment organized by the Community of Sant'Egidio.
The Italian President argued that Italy and Europe are on the frontline of the global abolition of the death penalty, and this is "an historic battle", which to Italy represents "a duty and a fundamental cultural commitment". It involved institutions and civil society, through organizations, including the Community of Sant'Egidio, Amnesty International and Hands Off Cain. Two years ago, their combined work brought to the approval of a UN resolution for a moratorium on executions, with a record of 114 votes in favor.
Mattarella also recalled that the abolition of the death penalty is not only an Italian battle, but also a European one: "Any country that wants to join the EU knows it has to abolish death penalty from its law. You can't be European if you doubt this principle. And there cannot be Europe without respect for life".