(AGI) - New York, Sept. 22. - Italy is on the front line at theUnited Nations in taking a stand against early and forcedmarriages. The event held on Monday in New York during theUnited Nations General Assembly is entitled "Ending childmarriage: towards a more gender equitable world" and aimed atpromoting greater awareness of a phenomenon that has adevastating impact on women and on prospects of social-economicdevelopment. Organised by Italy together with UNFPA, the UnitedNations Population Fund, Canada, Zambia and Yemen, the eventwill be opened by Italy's Foreign Minister, Federica Mogherini,followed by Kate Gilmore, deputy executive director of the UNagency. There will also be a video screened that was filmed inNiger by the UNFPA, while the tragic effects of this customwill be told by two young victims. According to 2012 UNICEFdata, 41% of women aged between 20 and 49 were forced to marrybefore the age of 18, a custom that mainly concerns sub-SaharanAfrica and south-east Asia. This is a violation of human rightsthat results in significant health risks for the young girls,subject to early and repeated pregnancies as well as domesticviolence, serious consequences on literacy and thesocial-economic development of entire countries. This even aimsto ensure that the issue of such marriages becomes a priorityfor the United Nations in the context of human rights, in viewof a negotiating session for the adoption of a first basicresolution on this subject banning the practice. Italy is amember of the transregional group promoting multilateralinitiatives aimed at achieving the adoption of resolutionsaddressed specifically at this phenomenon, both in the HumanRights Council and The UN General Assembly. Italy has alsosigned the International Charter on the subject of femalegenital mutilation and forced marriages at the London summitheld in July under the aegis of UNICEF. (AGI). .