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Madame President,

Madame Special Representative,


Ladies and Gentlemen,

Allow me to begin by thanking you, Madame President, for organizing this open debate of the Security Council. I also wish to thank Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Ms. Zainab Bangura, as well as the Secretary-General and the distinguished speakers for their important contributions to the discussion.

Madame President,

Italy aligns itself with the statement delivered by the European Union and wishes to make the following remarks in a national capacity.

No later than two months ago, Italy released a Revision of its National Action Plan on the “Women, Peace and Security” Agenda with a view to accelerating its implementation in the next three years. It not only reports about our progress, but also shows the efforts made to adopt a more effective approach. The paradigm of our new National Action Plan towards the realization of the WPS Agenda hinges on these main concepts: coordination and integration, and mainstreaming.

First, coordination and integration.

Our reference point at the national level is the Inter-ministerial Committee for Human Rights that coordinates within the various administrations all activities relating to women, peace and security issues. To facilitate communication and share information we are also setting up a specific on-line roster of experts that will be made available to relevant civil society organizations and Ministries.
Lastly, our revised National Action Plan introduces an exercise of self-evaluation, by which we are committed to a periodic self-monitoring of the degree of coordination of all initiatives, issuing an assessment report by the end of the year.

Second, mainstreaming.

For some years now we have been mainstreaming gender-related issues into all socio-economic initiatives and, at the international level, we have by far overcome the limitations of separate gender-emancipation targeted programs. We are convinced that by using this cross-cutting approach we will be more effective in preventing all forms of violence. We have promoted gender mainstreaming across the Armed Forces, in the training programs carried out by CoESPU, our internationally renowned police corps, and with the establishment of a specific Gender Perspective Unit at the Ministry of Defense. Close to 8% of Italian peacekeepers are women. Above the average ratio in peacekeeping operations.

Madame President,

Italy has been a strong advocate of the “Women, Peace and Security” Initiative since its inception, having been – inter alia – the first Country in 2010 to call for the WPS Agenda to be introduced into the framework of the Universal Periodical Review mechanism.

In 2015 the Security Council will hold a High Level Meeting to review the implementation of resolution 1325. It will be a moment, the moment, where we will have to give answers to the recommendations made and shape the way forward.
For the sake of brevity, I will make only two suggestions about what we see as considerable weaknesses in accomplishing the Agenda, where still more engagement is needed.

First, the lack of information. As the distinguished representative of the European Union has stated, we need to enhance data sharing, which can provide critical support to the advancement of the Agenda by unveiling a yet unclear picture of the reality and, in doing so, by exerting political pressure where needed.

Second, the lack of accountability and persistent impunity of perpetrators. Reversing the social dynamics that will allow us to move from the stigmatization of the victims to the criminalization of the authors is an attainable goal. In this fight, the International Criminal Court has a unique role in complementing the efforts of national courts when these are unable or unwilling to bring perpetrators to justice. This is an aspect that we tend to overlook, and that not always clearly emerges in UN reporting.

Madame President,

In the firm belief that all of the elements of resolution 1325 must be systematically addressed in the work of the Security Council, Italy stands ready to act. We cannot afford these issues to fall from the United Nations agenda. Women Peace and Security must continue to remain a political priority for the Security Council.

Thank you.