Today at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the first meeting of the Advisory Board of "Women in International Security Italy" (WIIS Italy), an Italian affiliate of the organization "Women in International Security Global" (WIIS Global) which, through its 35 national antennas and more than 7,000 members in 47 countries, promotes national and international leadership and professional development of women in the promotion of peace and security. In addition to the three members of the WIIS Italy Board of Directors, Irene Fellin (President), Nicoletta Pirozzi (Vice President) and Loredana Teodorescu (Secretary General), the two Vice Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Emanuele Del Re and Marina Sereni, the Secretary General of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International cooperation (MAECI), Ambassador Elisabetta Belloni, the Honourable Lia Quartapelle and Marta Grande, the Director of the International Affairs Institute, Nathalie Tocci, the political scientist and former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marta Dassù, and the Vice Director of the European Council on Foreign Relations, Alba Lamberti.
Speaking at the opening of the proceedings, Ambassador Belloni recalled the fruitful collaboration established between WIIS Italy and MAECI over the years, which has helped to consolidate the Italian commitment to give effectiveness to the United Nations Women, Peace and Security Agenda (Resolution 1325/2000), which is now in its twentieth year. "The objectives of the Resolution", observed the Secretary General, "continue to be a priority of our country's foreign policy, which is based on the firm conviction that women must become more and more protagonists in peace processes".
Vice Minister Sereni stressed that "in the twentieth anniversary of Resolution 1325 it is especially important to support and enhance the activities of WIIS Italy and to give continuity, also financial, to the Network of Women Mediators in the Mediterranean. We propose to celebrate this anniversary by giving concreteness to the role of women for peace and security. I am thinking of projects, for example, that could involve local women administrators and civil society in the Middle East peace process, to relaunch the dialogue between Israeli and Palestinian women, or to contribute to the process of stabilization and pacification of Libya".
Speaking in the discussion, the Vice Minister Del Re acknowledged the important work done so far by WIIS Italy and expressed her full willingness, within the scope of her development cooperation expertise, to support the organization's mission and its mediation and training activities in the future. "WIIS Italy and the Network of Women Mediators of the Mediterranean perfectly cross the action of the Italian foreign policy in the Balkan and Mediterranean area and can find important synergies, with the support of the MAECI, to give further concreteness to the objective of making women the real protagonists in peace processes". Vice Minister Del Re also stressed the importance that the National Action Plans for the application of Resolution 1325 be concretely implemented, not only in Italy but in all the countries that have signed them.
The commitment on these strategic issues also in the parliamentary sphere has also been confirmed by the Honourable Marta Grande and Lia Quartapelle.
Reviewing the activities carried out, President Fellin recalled in particular the importance of the work of the "Network of Women Mediators of the Mediterranean", a project launched in 2017 by WIIS Italy with MAECI funding and with the contribution of IAI which, almost three years after its foundation, includes about 50 women of different backgrounds and ages from 20 countries of the enlarged Mediterranean area with experience or knowledge in mediation, conflict resolution, civil and political rights.
Among the future lines of action, the Advisory Board has confirmed the importance of giving greater visibility to the theme Women, Peace and Security in the main international forums, starting from the next edition of MED Dialogues and within the activities of the Italian Pavilion at Expo Dubai.