Monday, 18 November
The Afghan Mission to the UN has formed a Group of Friends, co-chaired by the United Kingdom and comprised of women representatives to the UN and senior UN officials. This Group will highlight the importance of protecting and enhancing women’s rights and the role that women can play across society and government, including in peace efforts.
Once isolated and oppressed during the Taliban regime, today Afghan women have emerged as proactive and forceful agents of change in building a more secure, prosperous, and self-reliant Afghanistan. Maintaining and consolidating these gains remain a key focus of the people and Government of Afghanistan, as well as the United Nations and the international community.
The active and full participation of women is essential for sustainable development and peace. This Group of Friends aims to safeguard the important shared gains made towards women’s rights since 2001 and to ensure that any prospective outcomes in the peace process recognise, protect and promote the role of women in all spheres of life. The initiative will also support the joint commitment of the Afghan Government and the international community towards the full implementation of UNSCR 1325 on “Women Peace and Security.”
The Permanent Representative of Afghanistan, H.E. Adela Raz, said:
During the last 18 years, Afghan women have risen as leaders of change and have started to shift the narrative from victims to partners. They 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 an education, and she is not forced to stay at home. 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 Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom, H.E. Karen Pierce, said:
The Security Council affirmed through the adoption of UNSCR 1325 peace and security efforts are more sustainable when women are equal partners in the prevention of violent conflict, the delivery of relief and recovery efforts and in the forging of lasting peace. I look forward to co-chairing the Group of Friends of Women in Afghanistan and supporting the role of women in all aspects of life in Afghanistan.
Representatives from Australia, Canada, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Qatar, Sri Lanka, Saint Vincent, Turkmenistan, UAE, and the African Union have already joined this Group of Friends.
A Press Stakeout on the formation of this Group of Friends will also be held tomorrow, Tuesday 19th at 9:45 AM. The Stakeout is open for UN-accredited media and can also be followed through UN WebTV.