EU, Afghanistan Reaffirmed Commitment to Respect Democratic Principles Human Rights

The third meeting of the EU-Afghanistan Special Working Group on Human Rights, Good Governance and Migration was held on Wednesday in a virtual format during which both parties agreed to work together for the protection of human rights and good governance in the country.

“The EU and Afghanistan reaffirmed their commitment undertaken with the signature of their bilateral Cooperation Agreement for Partnership and Development (CAPD) to respect democratic principles and human rights, as well as the principle of the rule of law as essential elements of the CAPD and underpinning the internal and international policies of both parties,” the two parties said in a press release on Wednesday.

According to the statement, the two parties also discussed human rights and fundamental freedoms in the context of the ongoing Afghan peace process and expressed grave concern about the continuing high level of violence,  condemning the increasing number of targeted killings of media workers, civil society activists and law enforcement officials, who are essential bastions of a democratic and open society.

The EU called on the Afghan government to provide for the security of these important actors in society, as well as conduct thorough investigations, bring the culprits to justice and keep the Afghan public fully informed about the measures taken.

The EU also recalled the imperative of respecting and promoting International Humanitarian Law to protect civilians in conflict by all parties to the conflict.

The protection of civilians, medical and education facilities as well as humanitarian workers, cannot wait for peace. The parties stressed that only an immediate cessation of violence would restore confidence in the sincerity of the Taliban for a political settlement to end the war.

The statement cited: “The EU and Afghanistan agreed on the importance of an enhanced promotion of inclusivity in the peace talks, notably the involvement of women, youth, minorities, internally displaced persons, refugees and victims of war, to ensure an ownership of the process by all Afghans.”

In the field of governance, the EU and Afghanistan emphasized the importance of free, fair, credible, transparent and inclusive electoral processes that would facilitate the legitimate transfer of power and discussed the experiences of their electoral cooperation and the prospects of continuing electoral reform. Anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) issues were also addressed, in view of the EU’s ongoing assessment of Afghanistan’s AML/CFT regime.

“The parties discussed the measures taken by the Afghan Government and commended their joint coordination in the area of anti-corruption policy and institutional reforms and committed to keep the matter high on their bilateral agenda,” the statement added.

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Latest from Newsfeed; Thursday, February 25 2021