Ladies and Gentlemen,
Thank you, Madam President, for organizing this open debate of the Security Council on Women Peace and Security. The perspective you have given to this issue, with a focus on displaced women and girls, is particularly timely.
Italy aligns itself with the statement delivered by the European Union and wishes to make the following remarks in a national capacity.
All over the world women are disproportionally affected by armed conflicts and conflict-related situations. Violence, harassment, sexual abuse, lack of access to education and the most basic healthcare facilities, as well as water and food shortages, are only some of the many threats and challenges they face every single day. When it comes to displacement, up to 80% of the more than 50 millions refugees and displaced persons turn out to be women and children.
Italy has been a strong advocate of the “Women, Peace and Security” initiative since its inception. In 2010 we were the first Country to call for the WPS Agenda to be introduced into the framework of the Universal Periodical Review mechanism. Our National Action Plan has already been revised once this year to accelerate its implementation in the next three years. The latest version not only reports on our progress but also illustrates efforts that have been made to adopt a more effective approach. Our new National Action Plan hinges on two main concepts: first, enhancing coordination and integration between the various administrations dealing with women, peace and security; and second, mainstreaming gender-related issues into all socio-economic initiatives.
While National Plans are pivotal instruments, some fifteen years after resolution 1325 they are no longer enough. We need an International Plan that connects all the National ones.
In a globalized world, where international issues become domestic or domestic problems become international, the question of displaced people, refugees and induced migrations is a huge challenge for the countries under the most pressure. Italy is one of these.
With its tradition of tolerance, understanding, and inclusiveness, Italy will always stand by people who, against their will, find themselves in desperate situations caused by dreadful conflicts or human rights violations in their homeland. While entire populations have no other choice but to flee, too often without a destination, their migration can also create tensions in their new land, where people might be struggling to make a living. In this situation, no wonder women and girls become the most vulnerable targets.
Since conflicts and tensions migrate from one country to another together with population movements, the response must perforce be global. No Country in the world can react effectively on its own, and no Country in the world should be left alone to respond.
In this context, a new target of the WPS Agenda is needed to address, at a global level, the question of refugees and displaced women and girls as well as their forced migration. A target that treats women not only as victims but also as protagonists, with the opportunity and tools to play an important role as promoters of peace, security, understanding and integration.