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Madame Chair,

Italy aligns itself with the statement made by the European Union and wishes to add a few remarks in a national capacity.

Italy has always been strongly committed to the protection of the rights of children, and especially the rights of the girl child. With the same inclusive approach we adopted in the campaign to end Female Genital Mutilation since 2009, we are also determined to support Zambia and Canada in the negotiations leading to the resolution to end early and forced child marriages. This is another issue to which Italy attaches great importance, as recently reaffirmed by Hon. Federica Mogherini, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy, on the occasion of a side event we convened during the high-level opening week of the 69th Session of the General Assembly. We are also among the main partners of the UNFPA programme aimed at tackling this appalling phenomenon, with a new joint project of collaboration that Rome has just decided to support.

Madame Chair,

The year 2014 marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Since 1989, the Convention, which calls on all Governments to promote children’s rights as a distinct priority in laws and policies, has played a paramount role in advancing the rights of the child, including the rights to education, health, nutrition, safety and security. Nonetheless, there is still much that needs to be done. The omnibus resolution on the Rights of the Child, which will be discussed in a few days, gives us the opportunity to jointly renew our commitment to achieving these goals as soon as possible and moving forward along the right path.

Given the scope and complexity of the issue of the protection of the rights of the child, we firmly believe that a coordinated and integrated response by the international community is greatly needed. This approach applies, in particular, to the UN campaign “Children, Not Soldiers” for ending the recruitment of children by 2016. The same approach is needed when dealing with children with disabilities, so that these doubly vulnerable persons may integrate effectively and with dignity into the life cycle of the communities they live in. We thus confirm our strong support in both these fields.

Madame Chair,

Together we must create a world where violence against children is never tolerated and where young boys and girls are empowered to reach their full potential. To this aim, raising awareness and creating a legal framework are not enough: we must take action to provide each and every child with the knowledge, skills, security and safety that he or she needs to determine his or her own path in life.

I thank you.