Afghanistan & UK on Protecting Women’s Rights – Media Stakeout (19 November 2019)

Afghanistan & UK on Protecting Women’s Rights - Media Stakeout (19 November 2019)
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Informal comments to the media by H.E. Adela Raz, Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the United Nations and Karen Pierce, Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the United Nations, and President of the Security Council for the month of November on the Formation of Group of Friends of Women in Afghanistan.

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. The 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.

Speaking to reporters today (19 Nov) outside the Security Council, UK Ambassador Karen Pierce, one of the co-chairs of the Group, said, “Afghanistan is becoming a different place but there is long way to go despite the government very best efforts to have women fully integrated.”

Pierce said the Group of Friends of Women in Afghanistan’s aim is “to play that supporting role and wants particularly to be able to be a champion of involving women in the Afghan peace process.”

The UK Ambassador noted that Afghanistan “has made a great number of international human rights commitments” and added that it is expected that any Afghan government, whether it “has Taliban members or not,” should “abide by the international commitments that that country has made.”

The other co-chair, Adela Raz, said the purpose of the Group of Friends “is to protect and safeguard the gains of the last 18 years in Afghanistan that have been made towards women’s rights, especially during the peace process.”

Raz said, “we have come so far in trying to make sure to protect the rights of women in my country and making sure that women once again are not stone to death, they are not prohibited or prevented from going to schools and earning education.”

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.