From February 25 – 26, 2016 the Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe Parliamentary Assembly held the 15th Winter Meeting at the Hofburg Congress Centre in Vienna. In attendance to the meetings on behalf of the National Assembly of Afghanistan were Mr. Haji Mohammad Abduh and Mr. Fazil Azim Mujadidi, members of the Lower House of Afghanistan and Ms. Amena Afzali and Ms. Aziza Musleh from the Upper House. During the session of the General Committee on Political Affairs and Security, the delegation of Afghanistan delivered a statement on the importance of counter terrorism efforts. It was noted that as terrorist networks are interconnected at both regional and international levels, it must be addressed through coordinated, collective and sustained efforts at all levels, including a special focus on countering the financing of terrorism and dismantling safe haven for terrorists. It was also stated that Afghanistan remains grateful for the invaluable support received from regional and international partners, particularly the OSCE Participating States and Partners for Co-Operation and that the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly is particularly well placed to provide a good platform for parliamentarians across the OSCE region to discuss and collaborate on counter terrorism efforts.
A statement was also shared on the second day by the delegation of Afghanistan at the Joint Session of the three General Committees. The statement included an overview of the progress made in Afghanistan in the post-Taliban period for improving the situation of women in Afghanistan as well as the importance of the current constitution which established equal rights and access to justice for all citizens. Further achievements include the establishment of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and the National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security. The statement noted that while there is still much progress to be made towards the full realization of women’s rights in the country, the National Assembly of Afghanistan is committed to taking an active role in overcoming challenges. The importance of the support of the OSCE Parliamentary for providing a greater opportunity for the exchange of views and experiences was also highlighted in the statement.
During the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, the delegation of Afghanistan held several bilateral meetings, including with the President of the OSCE PA, Mr. Ilkka Kanerva and one of the Vice-Presidents, Ms. Christine Muttonen. In addition to this, the delegation met with a Member of Parliament of the Austrian Lower House, Ms. Gisela Wurm, who chairs the Gender Equality Committee. The delegation also had the opportunity to meet with the OSCE Secretary General, Ambassador Lamberto Zannier, as well as the OSCE Parliamentary Special Representative on Gender Issues, Dr. Hedy Fry.
Further information on the session can be found here.
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