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Written Contribution by Ambassador Erfani at the 791st Meeting of the OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation

Madam Chair,

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

Let me start by thanking H.E. Ambassador Byrganym Aitimova, Mr. Antti Häikiö, and Ambassador Miroslava Beham for their comprehensive presentations. Also, I wish to congratulate my dear friend Ambassador Aitimova, whom I have known and worked with at the United Nations in New York, on her appointment as Chair of the IWG and my delegation wishes her every success.

The delegation of Afghanistan welcomes that the essential topic of implementation of UNSCR 1325 has been tabled in this forum once again, following our debate during the 781st plenary meeting of the forum on 25 February, 2015, under the Chairmanship of Mongolia.

In the security chapter of the National Action Plan for the Women of Afghanistan (NAPWA), a ten-year action plan adopted in 2008, it is specifically declared that “the government recognizes and supports the implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 in reaffirming the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts and peacebuilding, and stressing the importance of their equal participation and full involvement in all efforts for the maintenance of peace and security and the need to increase their role in decision making with regard to conflict prevention and resolution.”

The NAPWA forms the broad framework for the government’s women’s agenda including implementation of UNSCR 1325, and sets out indicators against which the attainment of its goals will be measured.

The newly appointed Minister for Women’s Affairs, H.E. Dilbar Nazari, and all her fellow members of cabinet work to ensure that a National Action Plan on UNSCR 1325 will be implemented and that the NAPWA will be mainstreamed across all ministries and government bodies. Minister Nazari has stressed the importance and urgency of the empowerment of women in general as well as the implementation of UNSCR 1325 in particular during her visit to the OSCE last month.

Let me take this opportunity to thank all partners who are helping the relevant authorities in Afghanistan in the implementation and reporting of UNSCR 1325. The Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MoWA) and relevant line ministries require continued support of our partners in order to be able to fulfill the requirements set out by the NAPWA. MoWA will work closely with civil society organizations to share updated information about empowerment of women, and the situation of and problems faced by women in Afghanistan. The government also attempts to include training related to UNSCR 1325 in the education of the Afghan National Security Forces, with a view to improving gender sensitivity. We are in the process of adopting the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women (EVAW). The government, with the support of our international partners, would like to increase awareness campaigns, also in close collaboration with civil society structures and religious leaders. In order to fund long-term UNSCR 1325 implementation programmes across all of the 34 Afghan provinces, the government requires respective support from our donor partners.

As you know, overall representation of women at decision-making levels in Afghanistan’s institutions and mechanisms stands at presentable levels. Nonetheless, we will strive to ensure increased female representation, specifically in the areas of prevention, management and resolution of conflict. We also acknowledge the special needs of women and girls during repatriation and resettlement and for rehabilitation, reintegration and post-conflict reconstruction.

The ongoing peace process in Afghanistan is one of the priorities of the National Unity Government of Afghanistan. The Government is strongly committed that the Afghan constitution in its entirety — including women’s rights — remains a red line for any peace-process negotiations. I wish to stress that women will be active participants during peace negotiations with a view to consolidating stability in Afghanistan. In this process the rights of women will be non-negotiable and a country without equal rights for women can never be a truly peaceful country.

Afghanistan’s women and youth are our best hope for our country’s future. Without their full participation in all spheres of society, we will not be able to secure a stable, democratic and prosperous Afghanistan. We are now in the difficult first year of our Decade of Transformation 2015-2024, and with the institutions and legal framework we have created, and with the continued assistance from our international partners, we will be able to empower our women so that they can actively contribute to a stable, democratic and prosperous Afghanistan, also by engaging women in a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency strategy.

Thank you