"She matters - Empowering women and girls to lesd self-determined , healthy and productive lives"
l'intervento e gli emendamenti presentati dalla delegazione italiana
Round Table 16-4-15: Parliamentarians present examples of leadership and ensuring accountability on G7 & G20 commitments in women’s empowerment, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and global health/ health systems strengthening
It is difficult for me to speak about accountability on G7 commitments in women’s empowerment, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and global health/ health systems strengthening, as my country, since 2009, has drastically reduced its Official Development Assistance (ODA). Consequently, our aid funds for Global Health and, more specifically, those made available in the areas of maternal and child health, sexual and reproductive health and health systems strengthening have also been heavily affected.
Of course, Italian Development Aid is aimed at improving women’s and children health through both bilateral and multilateral actions yet we have to admit that we have not “perfomed well”.
Among the international commitments for maternal and child health, one action of essential importance endorsed by our country is the Muskoka Initiative on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (2010-2015), the G8 contribution to the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children Health, launched in September 2010 by the UN Secretary-General and over 90 stakeholders, with US$40 billion in commitments.
The Muskoka Initiative is aimed at supporting developing countries in reducing deaths of women in pregnancy and childbirth, reducing deaths of children under five, and at increasing access to family planning
According to the 2011 G8 Accountability Report, our commitment is US$ 75 million while Canada is committed for C$ 1.1 billion; France - € 500 million; Germany - €400 million; United Kingdom - £ 2.1 billion; US - US$ 1.346 billion….
Participation to such initiative has implied for Italy increasing its funding in the sphere of maternal and child health up to a total of US$ 75 million for 2011-2015 (i.e. a 5 year period, meaning US$ 15 million per year).
Given that the 2008 baseline for Italy amounted to US$ 275 million allocated to initiatives in the area, this commitment meant an overall spending of US$ 290 million (275+15) a year between 2011 and 2015. However, the figures for the years 2011 (US$ 97.60 million), 2012 (US$ 98.30) and 2013 (an equal or slightly higher amount than that spent in 2012) clearly show that our country has had difficulties in respecting its commitment or, to be more straightforward, that it failed to do so.
THEN NATIONAL ELECTIONS WERE HELD IN ITALY IN FEBRUARY 2013 AND SOME CHANGES TOOK PLACE IN MY COUNTRY: 31% NEW MPS ARE WOMEN, THE SPEAKER OF THE CHAMBER OF DEPUTIES IS A WOMAN, LATER A 50/50 WOMEN AND MEN GOVERNMENT WAS IN POWER….
As we all know, policies, included those in the development aid sphere, reflect the orientation and hence the priorities set by the parties or coalitions governing a country. In Italy too this has been the case, and with the new governments and the new men and women (and let me insist on the women) acting as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Development Aid, things have been changing:
In 2014 a positive change occurred, with Italy contributing new resources to the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria: in May 2014, Italy allocated about € 30 million (US$ 40 million ca.) to the Fund, as a first instalment over a total of € 100 million for the period 2014-2016 (€ 30 million in 2015 and € 40 million in 2016).
This was the result of the efforts of Italian MPs and, in particular, of the Inter-parliamentarian Group on Development Aid coordinated then by MP. Federica Mogherini (now High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, HR), which in July 2013 held a meeting in Rome with Christopher Benn, Director of External Relations at the Global Fund. I personally participated to the meeting in my capacity as Coordinator of the Informal Working Group on “Global Health and Women’s Rights”. On that occasion, we committed to undersigning a Parliamentary Motion for new resources to be allocated to the Fund, leading to successful results.
We are aware of the importance of the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, also given that the Fund was created under the initiative of the Italian G8 Presidency in 2001. Up until 2008, our country contributed more than US$ 1 billion to the Fund. Following change in government, from 2009 till 2013 Italy suspended its contributions.
With its decision to resume its role as a financial contributor to the Global Fund for the period 2014-2016, our country reconfirmed its traditional commitment for global health. Moreover, in a memorandum signed in December 2014 by the Global Fund and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Development Aid (Ministero Affari Esteri e Cooperazione Internazionale, MAECI) – please note that ‘Development Aid’ is now officially included in the Ministry’s formal denomination –, our country also commits to focusing on four areas of ‘privileged action’: Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso and Sudan. Italian experts in the health and social sphere being already active in such countries, our action can be supported without further financial burden.
Italy’s intention to renew its commitment for Global Health, and for maternal and child health in particular, is also reflected in our country’s new and stronger commitments in support of the
Global Alliance Vaccine Initiative - GAVI.
In January 2015, at GAVI’s replenishment conference in Berlin, Italy committed to a further € 100 million for GAVI in the period 2016-2020 (meaning € 25 million per year, to be added to the US$ 80 million per year already allocated). Of course, we are well past the 2015 Muskova deadline, but nevertheless the health of mothers and children will benefit from this decision.
The renewed Italian commitment for health, since 2014, should at least partially help our country in regaining ground with respect to the bad performances we had to record in the 2013 document “G8 Lough Erne Accountability Report - Keeping our promises”.
These are the amendaments proposed by the the Italian delegation
Self determine life:
para 7, first line: add after “laws and policies": including allocation of financial resources,
add a new para:
address the structural causes of gender-based discrimination and promote “transformation” in gender relations to make them equal.
add a new para bis:
take initiatives and promote programmes to overcome gender stereotypes in all fields, particularly and starting from education and in the media
para12, third line, add after "services": contraceptive supplies
para 12, fouth line, add after "social”: and gender
Para 24, first line, add after “domestic resources”: and earmark at least 10%
Add at the end a new para: Promote economic regulation and employment policies that prevent discrimination against women, reduce the burden of unpaid domestic and care work and enable men to take more of those responsibilities.