No Peace Without Justice mourn the passing of Simone Veil and celebrate her contribution to the cause of human rights

Brussels-Rome, 30 June 2017


No Peace Without Justice mourns with great sadness the passing of Simone Veil, a woman whose life has embodied campaigns of vital importance for the affirmation of the rule of law and the conquest of fundamental spaces of individual freedoms and responsibilities.
Simone Veil, who experienced on her own skin the horror and trauma of the Shoah, has been a great supporter of the fight against impunity and the establishment of the International Criminal Court, endorsing in 2008 the presidency of the fund set up by the Court to support victims in contexts of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
As a French Minister of Health, she paved the way to the reform that led to the introduction in France of a law decriminalising the voluntary termination of pregnancy. Everyone remembers with emotion her words on abortion as a woman’s dramatic and painful choice, pronounced on 26 November 1974, in front of an Assembly made almost exclusively by men.
Last but not least, Europe has also been a crucial focus of commitments that she cultivated throughout her political career, notably by assuming the functions of President of the European Parliament. As the first woman to be invested in this responsibility, she used to remember how, looking at the last sixty years, the united Europe was the best we could have done.
Through her vision and determination in the fight for the affirmation of international law against impunity, the promotion of gender rights and full participation of women in the civil, political and economic life of our societies, and the construction of European integration as a tool for conflict prevention, she represented one of the most outstanding spokespersons of the main struggles and campaigns carried out by the Radical Party in Italy and around the world through organizations like No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ). The entire human rights international community has lost a true friend and advocate and a great source of inspiration. We urge all who knew her and whose lives she touched to carry on her legacy. NPWJ will certainly do so.