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50 years of Italy at the United Nations
(1955 - 2005)


The Research Project


Since Italy's admission to the United Nations in 1955, our participation at the highest level of representation has been a constant.


All the most important Italian political personalities have spoken at the United Nations. Either as Presidents of the Council of Ministers or as Ministers of Foreign Affairs, the big names of Italian politics have come to New York. This research have carried out with the invaluable help of a group of young students who checked all the dates and the occasions, an contributed to retrieve the original documents. 


Several Presidents of the Republic had this chance. On the other hand, considering the role of this institution in Italy, there are very few occasions for the Head of State to address the United Nations, so they are often pictured during visits to the Secretary General of the Organization.


The research has focused on official statements delivered by personalities. Official statements are essential elements for historians, researchers and for people interested in international relations, to understand how foreign policy evolves in our time. They represent the basis for further analysis and comparison with other sources.


The last 50 years have been filled with events that have profoundly changed the global political, social and economic scene. These changes inevitably reflected in UN activities and priorities and in the different statements made throughout the different phases of recent international politics.


Most of the statements were delivered during the opening sessions of the General Assembly. This is generally the segment at the Ministerial level that takes place in the first days of the General Assembly session in autumn when representatives of governments come to New York.


Collecting official pictures has also been an important part of the research. The UN Photo Library is an extraordinary source of visual material. The selected photos show us faces and concentrated expressions that can be fully understood only by those who have entered, at least once, the General Assembly Hall or the Security Council Chamber. The atmosphere of these places intimidate even the most experienced politician.


One special mention should be made of the Presidency of the General Assembly which is a once-in-a-lifetime occasion. In 1965, an Italian, Amintore Fanfani, had this important task. This moment is  documented in the research either with statements or photos. Under Fanfani’s presidency, the first papal visit to the United Nations took place by Paul VI. Another important milestone in the history of the United Nations in New York.


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Last update 24.07.06
© 2006 Stefano Baldi

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