Francesca Di Giovanni to coordinate work on multilateral treaties, in issues such as victims of conflicts, environment, situation of women, etc
Pope Francis has appointed Francesca Di Giovanni, currently an official of the Vatican’s Secretariat of State, as under-secretary for the Section for Relations with States, the first time a woman has been given a managerial role in this Vatican office. She will be responsible for the multilateral sector.
Di Giovanni herself gave a summary of what her work entails:
[This sector] deals with relations between inter-governmental organizations at the international level and includes the network of multilateral treaties, which are important because they embody the political will of States with regard to the various issues concerning the international common good: this includes development, the environment, the protection of victims of conflicts, the situation of women, and so on. I will continue to deal with what I have been following up to now in the Section for Relations with States, although in this new role, I shall be responsible for coordinating the work in this area.
Born in Palermo in 1953, Dr Di Giovanni has worked in the Secretariat for 27 years and holds a law degree. After completing practicum as a notary, she worked in the juridical-administrative area at the International Centre of the Work of Mary (Focolare Movement).
On 15 September 1993 she began work as an official in the Section for Relations with States of the Secretariat of State.
Di Giovanni has served in the multilateral sector, especially in the areas of migrants and refugees, international humanitarian law, communications, private international law, the status of women, intellectual property, and tourism.
With the appointment of Dr Di Giovanni, the Section for Relations with States has two under-secretaries: Di Giovanni will work alongside Monsignor Mirosław Wachowski, who will continue to work primarily in the area of bilateral diplomacy.
Vatican News asked her: What can the specific contribution be of a woman in this field?
I cannot fail to recall the words of the Holy Father in his homily on 1 January, in which he presented — we could say — a “tribute” to the role of women, saying that “women are givers and mediators of peace and should be fully included in decision-making processes. Because when women can share their gifts, the world finds itself more united, more peaceful”. I would like to be able to contribute to the realization of the Holy Father’s vision, with my other colleagues who work in this area of the Secretariat of State, but also with other women — and there are many of them — who are working to build fraternity in this international dimension too. It is important to emphasize the Pope’s attention to the multilateral sector, questioned today by some, but which has a fundamental function in the international community. A woman may have certain aptitudes for finding commonalities, healing relationships with unity at heart. I hope that my being a woman might reflect itself positively in this task, even if they are gifts that I certainly find in my male colleagues as well.