WILPF Statement to the CEDAW Committee's 67th session's review of Italy, regarding its arms exports

At the 67th Session of the of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), WILPF International and WILPF Italy delivered the following oral statement during the Committee’s meeting with NGOs.

Thank you Madam Chair,

Our submission is about the impact of Italy’s arms transfers on the rights and safety of women in importing countries. It provides some examples of transfers that undermine Italy’s international legal obligations, including under CEDAW. These are transfers to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, countries that have been involved in the conflict in Yemen.

Italy is a party to the Arms Trade Treaty. In spite of what is required by the Treaty and the EU Code of Conduct on Arms Exports, Italy has not established a specific mechanism to prevent arms sales from having an impact on gender-based violence in the recipient countries.

There are also issues with the transparency of the information provided in the governments’ annual report to the Parliament. This undermines the ability of the Parliament and civil society to exercise scrutiny of the government’s decisions to authorize arms transfers and the reasons for doing so.

Furthermore, it is particularly troubling that the government has expressed satisfaction with regard to the steep increase of arms transfers in recent years. This highlights the problematic role taken up by the National Authority for the Armament Licensing and Controls (UAMA) and the government, which appear to be more of a “sponsor” of the Italian military industry rather than an authority controlling the strict adherence and implementation of the requirements of the national legislation regulating arms transfers.


Download the statement as PDF: WILPF’s Oral Statement at the CEDAW Committee 67th Session, Review of Italy

Read the SUMMARY of the shadow report to CEDAW 67th Session:  The impact of Italy’s arms transfers on women – Italy’s extraterritorial obligations under CEDAW

Read the full shadow report to CEDAW 67th Session: The impact of Italy’s arms transfers on women