Launch of the Group of Friends of Women in Afghanistan

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STATEMENT BY H.E Ambassador Adela Raz
Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the United Nations at the launch of the Group of Friends of Women in Afghanistan.

November 18, 2019  

Your Excellency Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed

My dear Co-Chair, Ambassador Pierce,

The Right Honorable Baroness Hodgson of Abinger,

Excellencies, Distinguished delegates, Friends and Colleagues, Good Afternoon!

On behalf of Afghanistan and the UK, it is with great pleasure that I welcome you all today to the official launch of the Group of Friends of Women in Afghanistan.

It is truly an honor to be surrounded by such a distinguished group of women Ambassadors, and leaders here at the UN. Your presence today is a clear indication of your continued support and commitment to Afghanistan, and to women in Afghanistan.

I would like to particularly extend my gratitude to the Permanent Mission of the United Kingdom for their dedicated efforts as co-chairs of this initiative, and especially to Ambassador Pierce for her steady leadership, and support to women in my country.

My appreciation also goes to the Honorable Baroness Hodgson, whose work has been crucial in the promotion of women in Afghanistan, she traveled all the way from the UK for the launch of the Group of Friends.

Excellencies,

The Group of Friends has been created with the aim to empower and recognize the central role of women in the future of Afghanistan. This group will emphasize the importance of women’s rights and underscore how protection and empowerment are critical pillars of a just and fair society, while highlighting the pivotal role women play in the peace and stability of my country.

Our objective is to support the commitment of the Afghan government and our international partners, in the effective implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on “Women, Peace and Security.”

As we all know, countries progress when women actively participate in every sphere of society. During the last 18 years, Afghan women have risen as leaders of change and have started to shift the narrative from victims to partners.

Afghan women must be recognized for the significant contributions they have made in the advancement of the country, and for their efforts at attaining a stable and peaceful Afghanistan. 

Afghan women are part of our success story, part of the new Afghanistan, where we all collaborate to ensure no woman is stoned to death; that she is not prohibited from getting education, and that she is not forced to stay at home. As I have said before, we have come a long way, in no small part due to your support and investment, and as such, I stand here today to proudly represent my country.

However, this is not enough. We still have a long road ahead of us. It is an important time in our political history where our gains matter more than ever, and our investment in Afghan women must continue to be strengthened.

The individual progress everyone in this room has made in empowering the voices of women and echoing their resilience and strength has encouraged me to mobilize your support for the cause of women in Afghanistan.

Each of you are an example of power and ability that makes me strongly believe in the tremendous impact we can have together to help build on the work of UN 1325, specifically in the framework of Afghanistan.

I am optimistic about the future of my country, not least because of the contributions of the United Nations and partners like each of you. But perhaps most of all, I am optimistic because of the powerful potential that the women of Afghanistan hold. As we continue the pursuit of peace and stability, I look forward to hearing what they have to say.

Now it my honor to give the floor to H.E. Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed. Her work has promoted and echoed the voices of women globally. Her recent visit to Afghanistan highlighted the need for women’s meaningful participation in peace, security and development in our country. This visit also reiterated the longstanding commitment of the United Nations to Afghanistan as we work to defend and expand on the hard-fought gains of the past 18 years. Your Excellency the floor is yours.

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