Statement delivered by Italy at the Security Council Open Debate on “Women and peace and security: Investing in women in peacekeeping and peacebuilding.” —
Italy thanks the Republic of Kenya for convening this important Open Debate under the theme “Investing in Women in Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding”.
We align ourselves with the statement of the European Union and of the Group of Friends of Women in Afghanistan and would like to add some remarks in its national capacity.
Italy has a long-standing tradition of promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment. We have strongly supported Resolution 1325 since its adoption and we devote significant efforts and resources to promoting women’s participation in peace and international mediation processes.
Women have proven to be extremely successful in protecting civilians, accessing communities and creating relationships of trust with local populations, in particular with the most vulnerable categories.
We are fully committed to the implementation of the “Women, Peace and Security” Agenda and strongly support the Action4Peacekeeping Initiative and the incentives and measures planned under the Uniformed Gender Parity Strategy launched by the UN Secretariat.
Italy firmly believes in the benefits provided by the presence of well-integrated female personnel in peacekeeping operations and aims at increasing the number of civil and military female peacekeepers within its contingents.
Peacebuilding and Peacekeeping mean also mediation, a sector in which women have proved to be very effective. It has been demonstrated that a peace agreement is 20 % more likely to last at least two years and 35 % more likely to last 15 years when women are included in peace processes.
Hence, Italy is proud of the success of the Mediterranean Women Mediators Network, launched in October 2017 to promote gender equality and foster women’s inclusion in peace processes, mediation efforts and peacebuilding in the Mediterranean region. The membership of the Network has widened and the first three local antennas (in Cyprus, Turkey and Kosovo) have been established, leading the way for new ones to be opened soon. Moreover, the Network offers training, capacity building and networking opportunities and led to the establishment of the Global Alliance of Regional Women Mediators Networks in September 2019.
Italy is committed to the promotion and protection of all women and girls. We are particularly concerned about the situation of women in Afghanistan. In order to raise awareness on the vulnerability of Afghan women and girls in the aftermath of the Taliban’s return and to promote a coherent international action in support of their rights, Italy organized – together with a cross-regional group of Countries, UN Women, UNICEF, and UNESCO – a high-level event at the margins of the HLW of the 76th UNGA. The event was specifically focused on the need to ensure Afghan women and girls continued access to education as a key requisite for creating resilient, inclusive, and peaceful communities.
Furthermore, Italy’s Presidency of the G20 recently hosted an extraordinary Meeting of the G20 Foreign Affairs Ministers and an extraordinary Meeting of the G20 Leaders focusing on the situation in Afghanistan. On both occasions, particular attention was devoted to the need to support Afghan women and girls in their immediate needs and to enable them to contribute to a durable peace and an inclusive development to the benefit of all Afghans.
Italy, together with other 50 Countries, also advocated for the creation of an independent international mechanism to monitor human rights violations and abuses in Afghanistan and to promote accountability. This initiative prompted the recent establishment of a UN Special Rapporteur on Afghanistan, whose mandate now needs to be fully supported.
Empowering women and including them in peace processes should be a shared priority in pursuing international peace and security. Italy remains committed to this goal, in the context of its broader support for the reinforcement of the global peacekeeping and peacebuilding architecture.