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Consiglio di sicurezza – Open Debate su Donne, Pace e Sicurezza

Discorso pronunciato dall’Ambasciatore Inigo Lambertini, Vice Rappresentante Permanente dell’Italia presso le Nazioni Unite, al Dibattito Aperto in Consiglio di Sicurezza su Donne, Pace e Sicurezza —

Mr. President,
Mme. Executive Director,
Ms. Chef de Cabinet,
Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

At the outset, I wish to thank la Présidence Française of the Council for organizing this important debate and all the briefers for their important, exhaustive and passionate contributions.

Since the adoption of the Security Council Resolution 1325, the Women, Peace and Security agenda has become an essential pillar and a necessary tool in conflict prevention and resolution, peacebuilding processes and humanitarian action. Your interventions today clearly attest to that. The Women, Peace and Security discourse, namely the enhancement of women’s participation and leadership in peace and security processes, has also proven to be an important entry point for fostering dialogue with countries in conflict or post-conflict situations.

The 2015 Global Study on the implementation of resolution 1325 recognized that the meaningful participation of women is crucial to the operational effectiveness, success and sustainability of peace and security processes. The evidence of this is increasingly solid and undeniable, as shown by the Secretary-General in his latest report on Women, Peace and Security.

Nonetheless, the perspectives and voices of women, including at the grassroots level, often go unheard, since they are still rarely included in peace negotiations. The exclusion of women from these processes directly and negatively impacts on the sustainability of peace agreements as well as on the quality of democracy, the development of inclusive societies, and respect for human rights. And still, in many Countries around the world, women continue to be sexually exploited, trafficked, subjected to female genital mutilation or forced marriages. We warmly welcome the Gender Parity Strategy recently launched by the Secretary General – as we believe that the UN has to lead by example and be a standard-setting organization. Unfortunately, according to some studies, if we keep this pace, it will take around 170 years to achieve gender parity worldwide.

This is why, Mr. President, we welcome your call to Member States at this year’s Open Debate to present concrete actions and share best practices aimed at closing implementation gaps and accelerating progress. We encourage this to become a common practice also in future open debates.

In our view, the implementation of the whole Women, Peace and Security agenda is closely linked to the strengthening of women’s meaningful participation in the life of their communities and in particular throughout the peace process cycle. Let me give you some concrete examples in this regard.

First, in line with the Secretary-General’s commitment to women’s leadership and gender equality as a vital element of his prevention agenda, I am very proud to announce that the Mediterranean Women Mediators Network was launched yesterday in Rome. The aim of the network is twofold: prevention and mediation on the one hand, and capacity- building on the other. In the Mediterranean region issues of migration combine with human trafficking, transnational organized crime, rising violent extremism, refugees and humanitarian emergencies. In such a context, women can help countries prevent conflicts and strengthen national reconciliation processes by ensuring a gendered and inclusive perspective on issues of security, justice and governance, which are often the root causes of violent conflicts. This network is also a concrete way for women to acquire and develop further capacity and expertise to successfully contribute to mediation efforts as official UN mediators or mediation experts. The launch was possible thanks to the fact that, for the first time, our National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security was granted a financial contribution enhanced by the Italian Parliament. We encourage all Member States to properly finance their National Action Plans since the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda demands change, and no real change is possible without the necessary financial resources.

Second, Italy believes that women’s empowerment, gender equality and the protection of women’s rights are intrinsic to sustainable development and conflict prevention. Therefore, to step up efforts in the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda, in 2017 Italy has committed to supporting a number of projects led by UNWOMEN in Africa, the Middle East, and Central America in the areas of both women’s empowerment and engagement in peace and security processes, for approximately 10 mln USD. This reflects our belief that the efforts to implement the Women, Peace and Security Agenda and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development are mutually reinforcing.

Third, we encourage the United Nations to use in a more consistent way the Women, Peace and Security discourse with countries in conflict and post-conflict situations. We welcome in this regard the joint high-level mission conducted by the United Nations with the African Union last July in Nigeria and DRC, which had a strong WPS angle, focused on women’s meaningful participation in peace, security and development. We encourage the United Nations to continue along this path and to organize similar missions in other Countries, by working in synergy with regional and sub-regional organizations or initiatives, such as women mediators’ networks.

Women’s participation it’s not only a question of numbers. It’s a question of ensuring their meaningful participation in conflict prevention, mediation and preventive diplomacy processes. The meaningful participation of women is indisputably an accelerator for peace that will lead to higher peace dividends and dispute settlements. And if we really do care about peace, making full use of their potential is smart thing to do.

Allow me to conclude remembering three pivotal moments that we lived this year at the Security Council.

One was the ARRIA meeting organized two weeks ago co-hosted with France, Sweden, and Uruguay on school attacks. We are also supposed to remember the incredible participation of Giordi sahara and the message of prideness and bravery that she gave to all of us. I also want to remember the two missions of the Security Council in Africa, one in Lake Chad basin and the other in the Sahel Region. The meeting that we had with the female member of parliament, representative of civil society, was by far the most important meeting that we had in this mission 


I thank you.