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Stefanile: women in peace processes increase durable agreements

NEW YORK, JANUARY 18 – “Women’s participation increases considerably the probability of a durable peace agreement”, Ambassador Stefano Stefanile, Deputy Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations, said today during a Security Council Open Debate dedicated to the theme “Protecting Participation: Addressing violence targeting women in peace and security processes”.

Bachelet: Women’s participation forging peace worldwide, ‘vastly worse’ post pandemic

With COVID-19, the situation for women human rights defenders and the prospects for women’s full participation in building peace, has become “vastly worse”, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said addressing the meeting and stressing that, between 1992 and 2019, only 13 per cent of negotiators, 6 per cent of mediators and 6 per cent of signatories in major peace processes worldwide, were women.

In terms of support, barely 1 per cent of funding in fragile or conflict-affected countries goes to women’s rights organizations. “And that was before the pandemic struck – and before a wave of intensifying conflicts, undemocratic political transitions and disastrous humanitarian crises took hold in many societies, further reducing women’s rights”, she said.

Stop current trend of violence against women in peace processes

Stefanile said that Italy fully shares 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”.

He added that “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”.

Italy has been supporting Resolution 1325 since its adoption and the implementation of the Women Peace and Security Agenda remains a priority of its foreign policy, said Stefanile: “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”.

5 years since launch of Mediterranean Women Mediators’ Network

The Italian Ambassador reminded that 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. Italy is also committed to provide its peacekeeping troops with targeted training on gender issues and to promoting an increasing presence of women among their ranks. Italy supports the “Action4peacekeeping plus” initiative and the “zero tolerance policy” on sexual exploitation by UN peacekeepers, 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. Italy is 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. (@OnuItalia)

Il giornale Italiano delle Nazioni Unite. Ha due redazioni, una a New York, l’altra a Roma.

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