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General Assembly – Third Committee

Statement delivered by Italy at the Third Committee Meeting on “Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Children” —

Mr. President,

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.

If we really want to leave no one behind, as stated in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, we need to focus our priorities on the needs of children, boys and girls, with particular regard to those affected by political or socio-economic fragility and vulnerability.

Italy strongly believes that childhood care and development has to be placed at the core of our development action. We strongly support UNICEF, UNFPA and the other children-driven programs of the UN Development System related to early childhood protection, health, education and empowerment. Only this year, in particular, we have allocated to UNICEF a contribution of 4.5 million Euros and to UNFPA a total of 3.2 million Euros between core and the programme on FGM.

In particular, Let me I would like to highlight three priority areas for my Country.

First, Italy attaches the utmost importance to the fight against traditional harmful practices, including child, early and forced marriage (CEFM), which constitute a violation of human rights by depriving young girls of the right to choose their own future and by compromising their entire life, causing a severe and irreparable damage to their dignity. In this regard, as members of the European Union and main sponsors together with GRULAC , we fully support the omnibus resolution “Rights of the child”, focused this year on “violence against children” and we look forward to increasing the number of cosponsors.

Second, the world is currently witnessing a continuous growing movement of children – estimated in 50 millions – across the globe. All children on the move, refugees or victim of trafficking, are entitled to all of the fundamental human rights protections enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. All States are required to adapt their national legal framework and implement responses for child protection.

Since the New York Declaration, also Italy has been strongly committed to the negotiations towards the adoption by the UNGA of a Global Compact for a safe, orderly, and regular migration and a Global Compact for refugees by next year. In particular, special protection should be devoted to the most vulnerable among migrants and refugees, including children and, even more vulnerable in our view, unaccompanied and separated children. We believe that there is a common responsibility of the international community in the management of flows and that all actors in the international community should share responsibilities so as to ensure a safe and orderly migration and the protection of people on the move.

Third and Finally, we have been working to ensure the highest possible standard of safeguard of children during armed conflicts, which pose a wide range of serious challenges, also by putting them at risk of neglect, exploitation, trafficking, sexual violence and abuses. As a member of the Security Council this year, we are endeavoring to raise further the voice of children both in the “Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict” and in every country situation and negotiation of the Council.

In this regard, Italy believes that education is key for the future of all children and that schools must remain safe places for learning, especially in times of armed conflicts. That’s why we would like to raise the attention of the membership on the alarming phenomenon of attacks on schools, students, teachers and other education personnel, which not only destroy educational facilities and material, but also profoundly impact the fundamental right to education and the physical-psychological wellbeing of young generations.

On this issue, we would like that the international community to reaffirm its commitment to protect education from attack during the Arria formula meeting of the Security Council on attacks on schools that we are organizing, together with France, Sweden and Uruguay, on Friday, October 13. Of course, you are all invited to attend.

I thank you.