Italy aligns itself with the statement made by the European Union and wishes to add a few remarks in a national capacity.
As Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated in his message on this year’s International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM, “There is no developmental, religious or health reason to cut or mutilate any girl or woman. All ‘traditions’ that demean, dehumanize and injure are human rights violations that must be actively opposed until they are ended.”
Italy has long supported the fight to end Female Genital Mutilations. Since 2009 we have been an assertive sponsor of the resolution on the elimination of FGM promoted by our African friends. We have been supporting the UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme for years, and have organized several events and initiatives. Most recently, on last 11th March, Italy co-hosted – with Burkina Faso, UNFPA, UNICEF, and UNESCO – a successful CSW side-event on the role of civil society and youth to end FGM.
Our strong cooperation with the African Group is also evident in the fight to end obstetric fistula, which brought Father Aldo Marchesini to the United Nations last June to be awarded the 2014 World Population Award.
Together with our EU and other partners, we fully support the fight to eliminate every form of violence against women, which is particularly frequent and heinous in situations of armed conflicts. Conflict prevention, training of armed forces, access to justice, and security sector reform need to include a gender perspective to prevent and redress violence against women in conflict situations. Italy is keen to play its role in this issue as well as in gender mainstreaming on all activities and initiatives. I am therefore pleased to announce that, in the context of its Presidency of the Council of the European Union, on 23-24 October 2014 we will host in Rome a major international conference on Gender Equality in Europe and the achievements of the Beijing Platform.
As we gather here in new York this morning to discuss advancing the role of women, millions of women and girls around the world struggle for equality, dignity, free and active participation in society, and the full enjoyment of the human rights to which they are entitled. We must not fail to meet their expectations.
Together with all willing partners, Italy is here today again to confirm its strong commitment in supporting the United Nations work for the advancement and the empowerment of women worldwide.