(valid only the actual speech delivered)
New York, 24 settembre 2012
I wish to warmly thank Mrs. Chantale de Souza Yayi, First Lady of Benin, representing the Chairperson of the African Union, and Mrs. Chantale Compaore’, First Lady of Burkina Faso, Goodwill Ambassador of the Inter-African Committee on harmful traditional practices and Coordinator of the International Campaign for the Worldwide Ban of FGM, for organizing this high-level meeting and for your inspiring words. I commend your leadership on this issue.
I would like to make three short remarks.
First, I wish to express my Government’s full support for the efforts of the African countries to present a resolution in the General Assembly to end female genital mutilations. Italy has always been a strong advocate of such an initiative and has constantly supported the African leadership. A GA resolution could lend new impetus to national and international efforts to end FGM. We are ready to work side-by-side with all the partners to achieve a consensus on a text aimed at making a real difference on the ground.
Second, I wish to underline that a future resolution will not be an end in itself but rather an instrument to achieve our common goal, to free girls around the world, including in my country, from this harmful practice rooted in tradition. This is why we will need a text that takes into account all the perspectives and provides guidance for Governments, UN agencies and civil society organizations. A text that will have to be implemented – and not only adopted. This event represents an excellent opportunity to gather such inputs.
Last but not least, I wish to confirm Italy’s commitment to supporting programs aimed at promoting the elimination of FGM. We are among the main donors to the UNICEF/UNFPA Joint Program on FGM, which is proving highly effective. Promoting the ban of the practice is not enough. We must ensure that this process is sustainable: in other words, we do not want to face setbacks. To this end, the efforts of civil society organizations of the North and South of the world are equally important.To conclude, let me express once again my sincere appreciation for your commitment and leadership. Italy stands by your side. Together we can change the fate of many girls around the world.