Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Ambassador Dalil speech at the 70th anniversary of Afghanistan membership to the UN, New York, Nov. 21, 2016

Distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen,

Good evening,

I am delighted to be part of this event marking the 70th anniversary of Afghanistan membership to the United Nations. On November 19, 1946, Afghanistan joined the United Nations becoming the 52th founding member of the United Nations. Since then Afghanistan mostly demonstrated its commitment to the UN Charter in “maintaining international peace and security” for the mankind, thus “reaffirming faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small”.

H.E. Suraya DalilIn the last seven decades into the UN, Afghanistan has gone through a journey of peace, stability and some degree of development in the 1950s to the 1970s; followed by an era of political instability and conflict, including times of discrimination and oppression of the people, in particular girls and women during the Taliban rule in the late 90s. Since end of 2001, the country and the nation, has experienced remarkable achievements guided by the Constitution that envisions a democratic governance in a society in which women and men have equal rights and duties. Progressive realization of human rights principles, sustained commitment on human rights, freedom of media, a growing civil society, as well as improvement in social services such as access to health care and education, and women’s participation in political, social and economic domain are among the major achievements that Afghanistan has made. We are building our national security forces while combating terror and violent extremism. We thank the international community, United Nations, NATO, European Union and all our partner countries for their continued support and engagement.

Honorable guests, ladies and gentlemen,

As it was mentioned by Ambassador Saikal Afghanistan, for the first time, is a candidate for the membership of the Human Rights Council for the year 2018 to 2020. We believe that we are a strong candidate because we are relevant and committed, and able to represent the multidimensional realities from the heart of Asia. Afghanistan has been a party to seven human rights instruments and ratified three optional protocols. Our government considers constructive dialogue as a valuables tool to exchange views and build consensus. As a member of the Human Right Council, Afghanistan will have the opportunity to share with other Member States its experiences, challenges, and approaches in finding solutions to issues of humanitarian nature especially in conflict affected places. We acknowledge that peace, security, development and human rights are interconnected in nature and mutually reinforcing; Afghanistan stands ready to assume its first mandate in the Human Rights Council, committed on promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedom for all through an effective international cooperation.

Your vote to Afghanistan’s candidacy to the Human Rights Council is a vote of support to sacrifices the nation is making every day in its combat against terror, it is a vote to a country that is committed and determined for a better future, and is a vote for universality of human rights principles.

My colleagues and I look forward contactıng you ın the next weeks and months here in New York, ın Geneva as well as ın your capıtals to ensure your full support and answer any questıon that you mıght have.

Thank you.

 

Promotion and protection of human rights

Statement by G. Seddiq Rasuli Counsellor of the Permanent Mission of Afghanistan to the United Nations

At the Third Committee under Agenda Item 68: Promotion and protection of  human rights

NEW YORK

 

Madam Chair,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

Thank you for organizing today’s important meeting on the promotion and protection of human rights. I would like to present the following points on the topic and its relevance for my delegation.

1.  Promotion and protection of human rights is a constitutional obligation of the Government of Afghanistan and we are strongly committed to its full realization. Unfortunately, growing threats of terrorism and violent extremism continue to challenge the very principles of freedom and human rights in Afghanistan.

2. Despite continued security challenges, the people and Government of Afghanistan are determined to preserve the gains made over the past sixteen years. We are strongly motivated to build upon these gains by creating an environment where peace and security prevails, justice and rule of law is preserved, and human rights respected.

3.  In this regard, we have developed a sustainable reform agenda for the country that incorporates good governance in all sectors, with promotion and protection of human rights at its core. On October 5th, at the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan, the Government of Afghanistan launched Afghanistan’s National Peace and Development Framework (ANPDF) which sets out Afghanistan’s Strategic Policy Priorities towards achieving self-reliance. ANPDF underscores the urgency of reducing poverty by creating employment and addressing widespread problems such as child malnutrition, access to education and healthcare, food insecurity, poor sanitation, and conflict related impoverishment, which intrinsically improves the overall situation of human rights in the country.

4. The issue of promotion and protection of human rights is one of the main pillars of our National Priority Programs (NPPs); further, women’s economic empowerment plays a crucial role in the successful implementation of our NPPs. In addition, Afghanistan has also launched its National Action Plan on the implementation of UNSCR 1325 on women, peace and security at the end of 2015. The Plan aims to increase women’s active participation in decision making across sectors, especially in executive levels of the civil service, access to healthcare and psychosocial support for survivors of sexual and domestic violence, improved education and employment opportunities, protection of women and girls from all types of violence and discrimination  as well as women’s participation in the  peace process and security sectors.

5. Afghanistan ranks number four in freedom of speech in our region. Recently, the Government of Afghanistan issued a new decree on Acceess to Information which would further strengthen our young democracy through promoting freedom of expression.

6.  Corruption has impacted good governance and the rule of law in our country and to curb this menace, the Government of Afghanistan has strengthened anti-corruption measures and taken a number of concrete steps to improve access to justice, enhance transparency and accountability, and end the culture of impunity in our country.

 

Madam Chair,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

7.  Afghanistan has a come a long way in the past sixteen years. Since the fall of the Taliban, Afghanistan has achieved significant development towards realization of human rights values and principles. As a state party to core international human rights treaties and instruments, Afghanistan has successfully completed and submitted its reports, including the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). Moreover, the provisions of the conventions were also adopted in 10 legislations that were enacted within the past years.

8.  Despite these achievements, multiple challenges persist today and we need to address them to protect and consolidate our gains in Afghanistan. In the past sixteen years, we have been committed to promoting and protecting human rights for all through effective international and regional cooperation. In order to amplify our voice in the global arena, ensure that past achievements are protected and new promises fulfilled, and share our experiences of promoting human rights as a country in the forefront of the international fight against terrorism and violent extremism, Afghanistan is a candidate for the Human Rights Council, and we would really appreciate your support in our endeavour.

 

I thank you.

Statement By Mr. G. Seddiq Rasuli Counsellor of the Permanent Mission of Afghanistan to the United Nations At the Third Committee, Agenda Item 27: Advancement of Women

11 October 2016

New York

Madam Chair,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Before I begin, I would like to thank the Secretary General and the Chair of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women for their reports under this agenda item. The reports provide an excellent overview of the growing attention paid to the important issue of advancement of women. Taking this opportunity, I further wish to thank the Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, its Causes and Consequences, for her valuable engagement.

Madam Chair,

Since the fall of the Taliban, Afghanistan has made considerable progress in the  promotion and protection of women’s rights. Women’s empowerment has always been a top priority for the Government of Afghanistan. Over the course of last 15 years, Afghan women and girls have been experiencing significant improvements in their political, social, economic, and cultural rights, including the right to education, access to healthcare and the ability to pursue a livelihood and return to work.

Today, the voice of Afghan women is much stronger than before as Afghan women continue to play an important role in all walks of life. Our electoral law provides women equal voting rights; we have also allocated 26% of seats in the lower house (Wolisi Jirga) and 17% of seats in the upper house (Meshrano Jirga) for women, which demonstrates a significant representation of women in formal decision-making. Moreover, the number of women who participate at different high levels of the Government and the peace process is growing fast.

We are happy to report to this committee that women’s access to education has significantly improved since 2001. Of the 9 million students enrolled in primary and secondary schools in 2015, 40% are girls; this was almost zero before 2001. The number of female students at universities and institutes of higher education has also grown considerably.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The progress of SDGs in Afghanistan is directly and intrinsically linked to the overall well-being of the economy, political and security factors. Afghanistan continues to be on a forward-looking trajectory which lends further optimism and ensures that progress on SDGs is imminent.

On October 5th, at the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan, the Government of Afghanistan launched Afghanistan’s National Peace and Development Framework (ANPDF) which sets out Afghanistan’s Strategic Policy Priorities towards achieving self-reliance. Women’s economic empowerment as a key aspect for achieving the SDGs is one of the main pillars of our National Priority Program. In this regard,  the Government of Afghanistan will invest around $250 million in the next fifteen years.

In addition, Afghanistan has also launched its National Action Plan on the implementation of UNSCR 1325 on women, peace and security at the end of 2015. Based on this plan, the number of women in the security forces will be increased by 20%.

Madam Chair,

Nearly four decades of wars and conflicts have resulted in weakened government institutions and have severely damaged the social fabric of our society. Despite major achievements, the situation of women and girls still remains fragile and is a serious concern for the Government of Afghanistan. Cases of violence against women, forced marriages, worsening security situation in some parts of the country, threats of violent extremism and terrorism coupled with poverty are among the main factors that put women and girls in a challenging condition. The Government of Afghanistan is strongly committed to continue its fight  against all these issues and provide a safe environment for all Afghan women and girls, who make up half of our country’s population, and are heavily invested in creating a peaceful and stable Afghanistan with equal rights for all.

I thank you.

Permanent Mission of Afghanistan