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Women’s rights: Italy increases support for UN Women, will hold vice-presidency starting in January

NEW YORK, OCTOBER 6 – Starting in January, Italy will serve as vice president of the board of UN Women, the largest U.N. entity for women’s rights. “The rights of women and girls are a top priority of Italy’s foreign policy and multilateral efforts within the UN. Our commitment to strengthening women’s empowerment and gender equality stems from the realization that, in order to be agents of change, we must promote the full, effective and meaningful inclusion of all women in all spheres of public life and decision-making processes,” Ambassador Maurizio Massari, Permanent Representative of Italy to the UN, said today during a debate on the “Advancement of Women” in the Third Committee of the 77th UN General Assembly.

This year, Italy increased its financial contribution to UN Women, UNFPA and UNICEF, continuing its support for joint programs to combat female genital mutilation and early child marriage. In January Italy will assume the vice-presidency of the Executive Council of UN Women: this will allow for a stronger partnership with the most important UN articulation for women’s rights.

The Ambassador recalled the success achieved last July at the High-Level Political Forum for Sustainable Development, when 195 states of the world agreed on a Ministerial Declaration  – whose negotiation was coordinated by Italy – that included a strong revision of SDG 5 “Gender Equality.” That revision included a commitment to “ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all women and girls, and to end all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere. “Now is the time to translate this commitment into accelerated action. Implementation of the Ministerial Declaration and the SDG5 review will be a priority that I will also promote in my current capacity as ECOSOC Vice Chair,” the Ambassador remarked.

“Recent conflicts have raised the disturbing specter of sexual violence and abuse as a weapon of war. We must act decisively to prevent these crimes from occurring and to punish them when they do, by identifying perpetrators and combating the fear of stigma”, the Ambassador stressed. According to UN Women, only 40 percent of women seek help and/or file a complaint after experiencing violence.

Two concluding messages from the Permanent Representative: the first is that each of us has a responsibility to act as an “advocate” for the gender cause. The Italian Mission to the United Nations has implemented measures to promote equality and gender equality in its organization and in its external relations, following the “MAECI Equality Champions” initiative launched by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and modeled on the “International Gender Champions” developed in the United Nations network (of which Ambassador Massari is an active member).

Second, raising awareness is key and social media is a powerful tool: hence the importance of targeted communication campaigns to raise awareness. (@OnuItalia)

Alessandra Baldini
Alessandra Baldinihttps://onuitalia.com
Alessandra Baldini e’ stata la prima donna giornalista parlamentare per l’Ansa, poi corrispondente a Washington e responsabile degli uffici Ansa di New York e Londra. Dirige OnuItalia.

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