Today, 8th March, it is the International Women's Day. I would like to extend my warmest wishes to all the women of the Foreign Ministry and express my deepest thanks for the service they have rendered in a commendable manner with a spirit of sacrifice and also in difficult situations both in Rome and abroad.
I want to confirm the commitment of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in pursuing the objectives of equal opportunities and gender equality. These, on an internal level, constitute fundamental indicators of modernity and efficiency of the MAECI, as well as of each State administration; on an international level, the principle of gender equality is a universal value in the protection of fundamental rights and inspiring principle of our Country's foreign policy, also within the European Union framework.
The Ministry is strongly committed to the fight against all forms of violence and discrimination against women and to the achievement of gender equality and women's empowerment, both in multilateral forums and in bilateral relations with third countries, as well as through Development Cooperation programmes. These are fundamental issues that are also a priority of Italy's three-year mandate at the UN Human Rights Council (2019-2021) and are part of the Italian wide international action in favour of the protection and promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the world.
Gender equality and diversity create value for the Administration as a whole and make a decisive contribution to its good performance. If the objective is clear and the sensitivity is maximum, the path towards full equality is neither simple nor obvious. There are still obstacles to be removed and imbalances to be filled, but we have encouraging and increasingly frequent evidence that equal opportunities are a multiplier of efficiency and effectiveness of ministerial action and of the entire foreign network. The female component is a decisive factor for our Administration. This must lead us to do more and more for gender equality, also with measures oriented towards the protection of parenting, a constant improvement in working methods and the reconciliation of work and private life.
Happy 8th March to all women!