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Discorso pronunciato dal Vice Rappresentante Permanente dell’Italia presso le Nazioni Unite, Ambasciatore Inigo Lambertini, in Terza Commissione alla 71ma Sessione dell’Assemblea Generale sulla Promozione della Donna

Señora Presidenta,

De antemano, quiero felicitarme con Usted por su elección como Presidenta de la Tercera Comisión de la Asamblea General y desearle mucho éxito para las semanas que siguen.

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

The implementation of the 2030 Agenda offers us the possibility to tackle and overcome gender inequalities and put the protection of all the human rights of women and girls at the center of sustainable development strategies. All countries should strive to tackle the structural causes of discrimination and violence against women and girls, transforming our world into a peaceful and equitable place, free from poverty.

Gender and women’s issues have a value that is both absolute and transversal in that they are multi-faceted and deeply intertwined with all matters regarding development, health, social equity and the enjoyment of human rights in today’s societies. Greater participation of women in decision-making processes, their full exercise of civil rights and equal opportunities, the elimination of violence and discrimination against them – ultimately their full social, economic and political “empowerment” – is not only an indispensable moral imperative and expression of justice, but also an outstanding multiplier of well-being and development of societies themselves. Many studies have indeed shown that Countries that involve women the most in political and productive processes, and that safeguard women and girls the most in their specific and diverse needs – whether tied to maternity or other – are wealthier, more efficient, more peaceful and balanced.

Madame Chair,

In order to promote women’s rights and enhance their contribution to development and inclusive growth, it is essential to strengthen the legal and policy framework for gender equality and women’s empowerment. We need to ensure full implementation of existing international human rights instruments and agreements, including the Convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.

Italy is at the forefront of international multilateral action to end harmful practices such as female genital mutilation and child early and forced marriage. As we approach negotiations on these two important resolutions, we would like to confirm our commitment to working together with partner countries and all concerned stakeholders to prevent violations of the human rights of women and to support victims.

We will not succeed in building sustainable peace in conflict areas unless we give the issue of sexual violence the centrality it deserves alongside the economic and political empowerment of women and their vital role in peace-building. Italy is strongly committed to preventing and responding to sexual and gender-based crimes in conflict, as well as to combating all forms of gender-based violence and discrimination against women. We are fully supportive of the UK-led initiative to prevent sexual violence in conflict, both at the political and the operational levels.

Italy also actively participates in the initiatives of the Call to Action to prevent and eradicate gender-based violence in all emergency situations: from conflict and post-conflict scenarios, to natural and men-induced disasters, to cases of violence against migrant women and victims of human trafficking.

Madame Chair,

Despite considerable progress, women continue to be disproportionately affected by war and conflicts. An increasing number of women put their lives and the lives of their children and family members at risk, by fleeing their countries in seek of a better future. They are more vulnerable to trafficking and continue to be victims of sexual and gender-based violence, including within their own homes.

Much remains to be done in order to ensure that women and girls can enjoy their rights and exercise their freedoms, are free from violence and discrimination, take full part in political and economic decision-making, are able to go to school and earn equal pay for equal work. Economically empowered women can contribute much more effectively to sustainable development, and to sustainable peace and security – two mutually reinforcing conditions.

These enormous challenges require that our attention focus not only on the symptoms but also on the structural causes of gender-based violence and discrimination. And the work we do in the Third Committee can make a difference for the lives of millions of women and girls around the world.

Gracias señora Presidenta.