On January 1 2007, Italy joined the Security Council of the UN as a non-permanent member.
Its first proposal is very symbolic: Death penalty should be abolished around the world. Coming few days after the execution of Saddam Hussein, the proposal has a huge political impact.
American and Europe, though close on many aspects, do not share the same values when it comes to the desirability of the capital punishment.
Italy is one of the first country in the world where death penalty has been abolished. More importantly, Cesare Beccaria, a philosopher born in Milan in the 18th century, was one of the most outspoken advocate against the death penalty. His famous contribution to that debate, On Crimes and Punishments, is still worth reading for all those who are interested in the problem