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Consiglio di Sicurezza – Dibattito Aperto su “Protecting participation – Addressing violence targeting women in peace and security processes”

Discorso pronunciato dall’Ambasciatore Stefano Stefanile, Vice Rappresentante Permanente dell’Italia presso le Nazioni Unite, al Dibattito Aperto in Consiglio di Sicurezza su “Protecting participation – Addressing violence targeting women in peace and security processes (Women and peace and security)” —

Madame President,

We welcome Norway’s initiative to convene this Open Debate and are grateful to the briefers for their contributions.

Italy aligns itself with the statement just delivered by the representative of the European Union and with the one delivered by Canada on behalf of the Group of Friends of WPS, and would like to add the following remarks in its national capacity.

We fully share the urgent need to create an environment that can enable women peacebuilders, human rights defenders and civil society representatives to carry out their work in complete safety. In order to achieve this objective all efforts must be made to stop the current trend of growing targeted violence against women in peace processes.

An international cooperation must be strengthened in order to support effective prevention and response strategies.

A full, equal, and meaningful participation of women in all aspects of human life requires uprooting gender and sexual-based violence, at the same time women’s participation in the decision-making process is one of the main tools to prevent violence, by means of increasing the recognition of women’s role within the national society. Therefore the two dimensions are deeply interconnected and mutually reinforced.

Peace negotiations, and the implementation of peace agreements, need to be inclusive: all voices raising from the civil society should be heard and given the opportunity to play their role in building a sustainable future. In particular, women’s participation increases considerably the probability of a durable peace agreement.

Italy has been supporting Resolution 1325 since its adoption and the implementation of the Women Peace and Security Agenda remains a priority of our foreign policy. We are currently in the implementation phase of our fourth National Action Plan on WPS related to the period 2020-2024. At the same time, we continue to engage together with the EU partners, in the implementation of the relevant EU Action Plan for the 2019 -2024 term.

Promoting women’s participation in mediation is one of our main and long-standing objectives: in 2017 Italy promoted the launch of the Mediterranean Women Mediators’ Network, which now gathers more than 60 qualified women mediators from 21 countries from the Mediterranean region.

We also remain committed to provide our peacekeeping troops with targeted training on gender issues and to promoting an increasing presence of women among their ranks, in line with Security Council Resolution 2538. Italy supports the “Action4peacekeeping plus” initiative and the “zero tolerance policy” on sexual exploitation by UN peacekeepers. We joined the Kigali Principles Declaration in 2015 and the “Voluntary Compact”, by which Member States commit to take measures to prevent and fight sexual exploitation and abuse. We are also part of the “Circle of Leadership”, launched by the Secretary General in 2017 to prevent and react to sexual exploitation and abuse within UN operations.

We remain seriously concerned about the use of sexual violence and the persisting threat of violence against women in several Countries in situation of conflict, With specific regard to Afghanistan we reaffirm the need to ensure that the respect of human rights of Afghan women and girls being an integral part of the present and future of the Country. This need was at the centre of the ministerial event that Itay successfully organized on the margins of the last UNGA High Level Week and it will continue to inform our policy and action towards Afghanistan.

Lastly, we wish to reaffirm our full support for the efforts of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and express the hope that an increased cooperation between the Human Rights Council and the Security Council can decisively help to prevent targeted violence against women and make sure that can women play a full role in peace and security processes.

I thank you.