March 2020

PHOTO OF THE MONTH – Lechería, 29 March 2020: the house of Venezuelan MP Armando Armas smeared with serious threatening messages


Dear friend,

as the coronavirus crisis unfolds and it has forced us to call off the Assembly of our Global Committee in Palermo, it is probably the right time to start a monthly newsletter in English which hopefully will help us sail together through these troubled waters and keep all of us posted on the meeting that we are eager to catch up with as soon as possible.

As the newsletter will sum up the main events of the months, unfortunately the first news concerns the threats addressed to a member of our organization, Armando Armas, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Assembly of Venezuela. As you can see in his tweet of 29 March, the walls of his house in Lecheria were stained with vile and threatening messages.

On a definitely positive note, I’m very glad to inform that, while Taiwanese authorities have stressed once again that the Chinese government has withheld valuable information to the World Health Organization (WHO) regarding the new coronavirus, our Honorary Member, Senator André Gattolin, has just launched an appeal in support of Taiwan’s membership in the World Health Organization. The appeal has been published in French by “Le Nouvel Observateur” on 31st March and it will be available in other languages and open to more signatories from Friday 3 April on the website

As far as the COVID-19 pandemic is concerned, we highlighted two interventions by the President of the Global Committee for the Rule of Law, Giulio Terzi, who accused the Chinese government of the lack of transparency in the management of the emergency and the handling of its relations with Italy. Ambassador Terzi also criticised Italian authorities for not suspending the flights of Iran Air to Italy.

At a wider level, we looked at how the UK stepped up its initial strategy to deal with the COVID-19 crisis and we observed the measures put in place by South Korea and Taiwan, where the use of selective and mass testing on the one hand and the use of the civic technology on the other hand, made it possible to monitor and contain the spread of the virus. We are also happy to share with you a suggestion by Sam Rainsy about the implementation of a 3-phase plan which could prevent a global economic paralysis.

Speaking of technology, we recommend an article published on March 10th on Foreign Affairs on the implications of an adoption of Artificial Intelligence by authoritarian regimes.

Lastly, starting from 27 February 2020, Norway partially suspended a program of judicial cooperation with Poland because of the growing concerns regarding the politicization of Polish courts and the respect for the rule of law.

That’s it for the first edition of our newsletter. I want to thank Federica Donati who is editing this and future editions and please, should you have any comments or questions do not hesitate to send them by replying to this message.

All the best and be safe!

Matteo Angioli
GCRL Secretary General

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