The Ambassador of Italy to the United States Armando Varricchio represented Italy at the second annual Ministerial on Advancing Religious Freedom, organized by the U.S. Department of State in Washington D.C., from July 16 to 18. The conference was opened by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback and was attended by over 100 countries and international organizations as well as representatives of civil society and religious communities. Vice President Mike Pompeo and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi delivered remarks at the conference.
In his speech, Ambassador Varricchio stressed the importance of freedom of religion and of belief, which represents a priority for Italy, also in light of its role as a member of the U.N. Human Rights Council since last January, for the period 2019-2021. The Ambassador also announced the creation, by the Italian Parliament, of a specific fund for supporting persecuted Christian minorities in areas of crisis.