Third Committee, 9th plenary meeting – Item 26 : Advancement of women
Statement of Italy, delivered by Ambassador Maurizio Massari, Permanent Representative to the United Nations
Women and girls’ rights are a top priority of Italy’s foreign policy and multilateral efforts within the UN. Our longstanding commitment to strengthening women empowerment and gender equality stems from the acknowledgement that in order to bring change and foster coexistence we need to promote the full, effective and meaningful inclusion of all women in all spheres of public life and in the main decision-making processes.
This year, Italy has increased its total financial support to UN Women, UNFPA and UNICEF and continued its leading support to the joint programs to fight Female Genital Mutilations and Early Child Marriages. Next year, Italy will assume the Vice Presidency of the UN Women Executive Board and we will continue to strengthen our partnership and the role of UN Women in its triple mandate for all women and girls, especially its impact on the ground.
Most recently, we all agreed on a bold HLPF Ministerial Declaration which included a strong SDG 5 Review, in which we recommitted to “ensure full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all women and girls, without discrimination of any kind. We also recognized that “women and girls often face multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination” and we “reaffirmed our commitment to end all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere”. It is now time to turn these commitment into accelerated actions. The SDG 5 Review and implementation of the Ministerial Declaration will also be a priority that I will also promote in my current capacity of Vice President of ECOSOC.
Let me say that we cannot unlock the full potential of women in our society without ensuring quality and sustainable education to girls and eradicating all forms of violence against women and girls, including harmful practices. These priorities remain high on our agenda and we look forward to the Resolutions that the General Assembly will adopt this year.
The unprecedented level and intensity of humanitarian crises has shown how disproportionate their impact is on women and girls. We must ensure a timely response to the needs of women in emergencies that be gender sensitive, financially adequate and context specific. The most recent conflicts have let emerge the disturbing spectrum of violence and sexual abuse employed as weapon of war. We must all act with determination to prevent such crimes to happen and to sanction them when they happen, by holding the perpetrators accountable. To do that, we need to spread awareness of rights and fight the fear of stigmatization.
Before concluding, allow me to put emphasis on two final messages.
First: each of us has the responsibility to act as a Gender champion. The Italian Mission at the UN has adopted several measures aimed to foster gender equality and gender parity within its organization and its external relations, following the initiative “MFA gender champions” launched by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and modeled around the “International Gender Champions” developed within the UN network.
Second: outreach is key and social media are powerful. We must raise awareness on women empowerment, fight against gender discrimination through an effective and comprehensive communication strategy. To that end we have designed and put in place targeted media campaigns and we will continue to promote a more equitable and gender-responsive environment in close alliance with our EU partners, UN agencies and all interested civil society’s stakeholders.