Statement delivered by Ambassador Mariangela Zappia, Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations, at the Security Council Open Debate on “Towards the successful implementation of the women, peace and security agenda: moving from commitments to accomplishments in preparation for the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of SC resolution 1325 (2000)” —
I would like to congratulate South Africa for the organization of this important debate, and we truly appreciate your presence, Madame President, here today. I also want to thank the briefers for their insightful contributions. for the adoption of the relevant resolution, that Italy co-sponsored.
Italy aligns itself with the statement to be issued by the European Union and by Canada on behalf of 56 Member States.
As we approach the 20th anniversary of Resolution 1325, we must redouble our efforts to fully implement the Women, Peace and Security Agenda, in order to fill the remaining important gaps, which were clearly highlighted by the Secretary-General in his latest Report. Italy strongly supports his call to action and the proposals he made to the UN System, the Security Council and all the Member States.
We are implementing our Third National Action Plan on Women Peace and Security, which was elaborated with the active engagement of civil society organizations, academia, NGOs, private sectors, and trade unions, and received public funding by the Italian Parliament. The Plan envisages a monitoring and evaluation mechanism, and periodic reports on the state of its implementation. A similar approach is inspiring the drafting of our Fourth National Action Plan.
In line with our commitment to empower women as vital agents for peace, fostering women’s participation in mediation was one of the major priorities of our recent mandate on the Security Council and our G7 Presidency. In October 2017, we launched the Mediterranean Women Mediators Network. We are very proud of the results it has achieved so far: new members joined; the first two local antennas – in Cyprus and Turkey – were established; training, capacity building and networking opportunities were provided; fruitful synergies with the UN, the African Union, other regional networks, various Member States were developed. The latest achievement is the creation of the Global Alliance of regional networks of women mediators, which was successfully launched in New York last September 26.
The next step is the organization in Rome of two events. On December 3 and 4, in collaboration with UN Women, we are hosting, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, an international seminar on “Strengthening Women’s Participation in Peace Processes”. And the question we are asking is: “What Roles and Responsibilities for Member States?”. Indeed, alongside the UN Member States have the responsibility to advance the full and effective participation of women in mediation and peace processes, and we would like to encourage further commitment to that end. The next day, in the framework of the MED Dialogues, we will organize the Third edition of the Women Forum.
The protection and promotion of women’s rights and the fight against all forms of violence and discrimination against women remain key priorities of Italy’s international action. Promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment means also fighting against all forms of violence on women, and viceversa. Indeed, we attach the greatest importance to the fight against all forms of gender based violence, in particular harmful practices such as female genital mutilation and child, early and forced marriages. We support several humanitarian initiatives aiming at preventing gender-based violence and protecting victims of abuse, as well as providing victims with education, livelihoods and other tools that allow them to become “agents of change” and build resilient communities.
We also support with determination the important role of Women Human Rights Defenders in promoting and advocating the realization of all human rights.
Italy is stepping up its efforts in order to increase the members of female peacekeepers. Over the last few years, our Ministry of Defense has incorporated the gender perspective in its policies and training curricula, has appointed a Gender Advisor and has established a Joint Council on gender perspectives. In order to increase the female presence within the Armed Forces and the Carabinieri, the Minister of Defence has commissioned a sociological investigation in order to identify the appeal of Armed Forces on young Italian females. This report should help to identify possible ways to increase the number of recruitments.
Italy is devoting increasing resources to the implementation of the WPS Agenda. The funds allocated to our National Action Plan helped the civil society and the Academia to realize many interesting projects. The Italian Development Cooperation, beyond the annual core contribution to UN women, provided financial support to the UN Women Flagship “Women, Peace and Security Global Facility” established in 2014. This multi-donor Women, Peace and Security Global Facility is designed to support women’s and men’s equal leadership and participation in shaping peace and security and humanitarian action. The Italian Development Cooperation provided ad-hoc in-kind contribution through our JPO Program, under which we deployed a Women, Peace and Security Analyst in Kinshasa with UN Women.
Italy is a staunch supporter of the Arms Trade Treaty, since the first stages of its negotiations. The ATT is the first arms-regulation treaty to recognize the link between conventional arms transfers and gender-based violence, with particular regards to the disproportionate impact of small arms and light weapons against women and girls. We strongly support the provision of article 7.4 as a concrete way to address the potential risk of serious acts of gender-based violence that arms’ transfers may contribute to generate.
Let me conclude by reaffirming that Italy will continue to play its part, in order to match commitments and actions, thus making the full implementation of the whole WPS agenda a reality.
I thank you.