With the announcement of the appointment of the new Commissioners and Ms. Shaharzad Akbar as Chairperson of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, the United Nations released a statement looking forward to continuing to work closely with the AIHRC as its role in safeguarding human rights remains crucial, especially so in the context of ongoing talks around peace.
The UN paid tribute to outgoing Chairperson, Dr Sima Samar, who has led the Commission since its inception in 2002. Under her stewardship, the AIHRC engaged in advocacy in promoting respect for human rights and fundamental values, including the right to life, the right to elect political representatives, women’s rights, freedom of expression, the freedom of association and space for civil society activists, as well as the need to tackle impunity. “The AIHRC has played a critical role in transforming attitudes and promoting legislative and policy developments that have enhanced respect for the human rights of all Afghans”, the statement said.
As a member of the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Advisory Board on Mediation, a position she was appointed to earlier this year, Dr Samar will continue to provide the Secretary-General with advice on mediation initiatives and back specific mediation efforts around the world, as part of a “surge in diplomacy for peace” in support the prevention and mediation efforts of the United Nations.
As mandated by the United Nations Security Council, the United Nations remains committed to strengthening human rights and supporting a truly independent national human rights institution in safeguarding fundamental freedoms in Afghanistan. As peace efforts intensify, it is vital to protect and preserve the human rights of all Afghans, including women and girls.