Italy adopted its fourth National Action Plan (NAP) in 2020 for the period 2020-2024. The NAP was developed by the Open-Ended Working Group on Women, Peace and Security of the Inter-Ministerial Committee for Human Rights (CIDU) with the input of a variety of stakeholders, including civil society. WILPF Italy participated in the NAP development process. The NAP positions itself within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, which had disproportionate impacts on women and girls and severely impacted Italy in the beginning of the pandemic. It aims to strengthen existing actions, strengthen an integrated approach, and broaden the scope of WPS actions in line with more recent resolutions and developments in the agenda.
Previous NAPs were adopted in 2010, 2014, and 2016, and implemented for the period 2010-2013, 2014-2016, and 2016-2019, respectively. Italy’s first three NAPs identify the following among their primary goals: increasing the number of women in the military; promoting a gender perspective in peace operations, including training on Resolution 1325; protecting the rights of women, children, and vulnerable groups in conflict and post-conflict zones; strengthening the role of women in peace processes; and increasing civil society participation in implementing Resolution 1325. The NAPs approach the implementation of the WPS agenda both domestically and internationally, with preventing human trafficking and protecting refugees and asylum seekers as major areas of concern at the domestic level.
Italy does not have a history of recent armed conflict, but is a contributor to peacekeeping and military operations. In 2019, Italy was also among the top 10 arms exporters in the world. Specifically, between 2015 and 2018, Italy made more than 700 million in euros through arms exports to Saudi Arabia. The Italian government stopped arms exports to Saudia Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, as a result of concerted civil society efforts that exposed the human rights violations during the war in Yemen.
In 2019, Italy adopted a new law with extended measures to prevent gender-based violence. Despite this positive development for human rights, rights violations continue for migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers, including through anti-immigration policies and rhetoric.
At the multilateral level, Italy most recently served as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for a one-year term in 2017, splitting the ordinarily two-year term with the Netherlands due to a deadlocked election result.