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Opening Remarks Permanent Representative Ambassador Maurizio Massari Side event OSCE “NO WOMAN’S LAND : Unpacking the Nexus and Finding Solutions on Gender, Corruption and Access To Natural Resources”

PR OSCE

Thank you very much Lara, it is a pleasure to be here today also as an old friend of OSCE. I remember when I was Head of the OSCE Mission to Serbia and Montenegro 20 years ago, that is why I have a kind of personal identification with this organization.

I would like to thank Ireland, OSCE, and WIN for organizing this event in co-sponsorship with Italy. We are here to delve into the root causes linking together corruption and its impact on women and on the most vulnerable groups of society more broadly.

Nowhere is the impact of corruption on women more evident than in access to natural resources, where deeply ingrained gender roles and norms often intersect with corrupt practices that ultimately curtail the empowerment of women.

Women also face systemic discrimination, and exclusion from decision-making processes, rendering them more susceptible to corruption. The disproportionate effect of corruption on women is evident as they bear the consequences of inadequate public services and resource diversion.

Moreover, the lack of comprehensive data linking corruption and gender significantly hinders the drafting of policies that could unlock the full potential of women. Conversely, greater and better data will allow for a better understanding of these dynamics and thus for more informed and targeted policy interventions.

We have a longstanding tradition in preventing and combating corruption. Corruption distorts the allocation of resources, perpetuating inequality and creating fertile ground for extremism and radicalization.

Capacity-building and awareness-raising are pivotal components in the fight against corruption. Italy has always been and will continue to be at the forefront in this fight, knowing that it is a key player internationally.

Italy indeed is an active Party to the UNCAC and to a number of international and regional bodies that consider the gender perspective in the fight against corruption – in particular, the Council of Europe Group of States against Corruption (GRECO), the OECD, the G7 – chaired this year by Italy – and the G20.

In 2021, under the Italian Presidency, the G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group integrated the gender issue into approved documents. The relationship between gender and corruption was included as one of the three cross-cutting issues of the 2022-24 Action Plan.

The initiatives mentioned by OSCE Secretary-General Schmid serve as exemplary practices for both states and organizations engaged in this field.

It is a priority for Italy to enhance the already excellent level of cooperation with UNODC, OSCE and other partner states and international organizations. As the Italian Minister of Justice Nordio stated at the 10th Session of the Conference of the States Parties to UNCAC last December, I am quoting: “We are convinced that the exchange of best practices and the harmonization of international standards are fundamental to combating illicit activities in the transnational sphere.” We aim to foster a comprehensive understanding of the challenges at hand and collectively work towards innovative solutions.

Dear Colleagues,

This event marks our resolve for a more equitable and just society by addressing the gender-corruption nexus in the critical domain of natural resource management. Through collaboration, shared insights, and a commitment to actionable change, we need to establish policies that empower women, protect the vulnerable, and create a sustainable future for all.

And I thank you.