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Women, peace and security: Italy supports role of women mediators

NEW YORK, OCTOBER 20 – Women, Peace and Security Week is kicking off at the United Nation. Italy, which is organizing an side-event tomorrow with the Mediterranean Network of Women Mediators, addressed today the Security Council during a debate on strengthening women’s resilience and leadership as a path to peace in regions plagued by armed groups.

“Much has been accomplished since the adoption of the historic Resolution 1325, but women and girls continue to disproportionately bear the brunt of conflicts and remain underrepresented or unrepresented in peace process efforts, despite their constructive contribution to conflict resolution”: in his address, Ambassador Maurizio Massari, Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations, referred to the first-ever Resolution adopted by the UN Security Council denouncing the impact of war on women and valuing their contribution to conflict resolution to achieve a lasting peace. Italy has strongly supported Resolution 1325 since its adoption in 2020.

“Women have proven to be extremely effective in protecting civilians, accessing communities and building trust with local populations, particularly the most vulnerable. The same effectiveness is demonstrated in the areas of peacebuilding and peacekeeping. A peace agreement is 20 percent more likely to last at least two years and 35 percent more likely to last 15 years when women are included in peace processes,” the ambassador added.

However, despite such widely documented evidence, globally only 13 percent of mediators, 6 percent of negotiators and 6 percent of signatories to peace agreements are women. According to UN sources, out of 10 peace agreements, as many as 7 do not include any women mediators or signatories.

“At the national level, we are implementing the fourth Action Plan on WPS (for the period 2020-2024) and strongly support the Mediterranean Women Mediators Network (MWMN), launched by Italy in October 2017 to promote gender equality and foster the inclusion of women in peace processes, mediation efforts and peacebuilding in the Mediterranean region,” Massari said. The Italian initiative led to the creation of a broader Global Network of the Alliance of Regional Women Mediators in September 2019, uniting voices from six different regions of the world in a call to accelerate the implementation of Resolution 1325.

In the meanwhile, Italy has increased financial support for UN Women, the largest UN agency for women’s rights, and in January 2023 will assume its Vice Chairmanship of its Governing Council. In line with this commitment Italy is supporting the UN Humanitarian Fund for Women and Peace, and in particular for the program to combat sexual and gender-based violence (which provides, among other things, psychological support services to victims).

Together with UN Women, the MWMN Network and Morocco, the Italian Mission to the UN is organizing an event tomorrow to raise awareness in the international community about the role of women mediators. “Italy – Massari concluded – remains determined to implement the Women, Peace and Security agenda also as part of our efforts to strengthen the architecture of international peacekeeping and peacebuilding”. (@OnuItalia)

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

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