High Level Event on the Worldwide Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

Rome, Italy, 3-5 February 2013

After more than ten years of campaigning at all levels conducted by No Peace Without Justice and the Coalition of NGOs Ban FGM, the United Nations General Assembly adopted, on 20 December 2012, the historic resolution calling for a worldwide ban on female genital mutilation (A/RES/67/146). Its adoption reflects universal agreement that female genital mutilation constitutes a violation of human rights, which all countries of the world should address and prevent through “all necessary measures, including enacting and enforcing legislation to prohibit FGM and to protect women and girls from this form of violence, and to end impunity”.

With the aim to foster concrete implementation of the resolution calling for a Worldwide Ban on FGM, No Peace Without Justice, with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and ENI, organised on 4-5 February 2013, a high-level meeting in Rome, co-hosted by the Italian Senate and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The conference saw the participation of the First Ladies of Burkina Faso and Guinea, together with ministers, parliamentarians and civil society activists from over 20 African and European countries as well as prominent representatives of the Italian government including Prime Minister Mario Monti, Minister of Foreign Affairs Giulio Terzi di Sant'Agata, and Minister of Labour, Social Policies and Equal Opportunities Elsa Fornero.
The purpose of the High Level meeting was to discuss and determine measures and strategies forward in light of the UN Resolution, as well as to have a moment together to celebrate this succes, on the eve of the World Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM. The meeting concluded with the adoption by consensus of a Final Declaration calling on all countries of the world, starting from those affected by the practice, to engage politically to ensure the full implementation of the United Nations General Assembly resolution.This also means to prevent and condemn the rise of the medicalisation of the practice of female genital mutilation by adopting strategies aimed at protecting all women’s human rights, not only their right to health. Finally, participants at the High Level Meeting stressed the need to foster the harmonisation of political and legislative measures and reinforce cooperation at regional and international levels. This is crucial to fight the increasingly transnational aspect of FGM, as well as providing strong and clear support for all activists working to bring it to an end.
The majority of countries in the world lack legislation to protect women and girls from FGM; where laws have been enacted, political will to implement them effectively seldom follows. It is now important to ensure that the Resolution realise its full potential as a concrete tool in the fight against FGM and that it truly strengthens efforts aimed at the elimination of FGM once and for all.




For more information, contact Alvilda Jablonko, Coordinator of the FGM Program, onajablonko@npwj.org or Nicola Giovannini, email: ngiovannini@npwj.org, phone: +32 2 548 39 15. Check also the websites: www.npwj.org and www.banfgm.org

                                                                       With the support of