Afghan women have a fundamental role to play in the ongoing peace process, which must be inclusive for the peace that emerges to be truly sustainable, said the UN’s top envoy to Afghanistan during a human rights symposium this week in the northeast province of Kunduz.
“To build and maintain peace, it is essential that both men and women are equally involved in the formulation of economic and social programmes for the development of communities; that both men and women contribute to advancing policy-making processes and political processes; and that women’s rights are further advanced so that no one in Afghanistan is left behind,” envoy Tadamichi Yamamoto told an audience of hundreds gathered at Kunduz University.
The symposium, organized under the framework of an engagement plan between Kunduz University and UNAMA’s regional office, drew more than 300 participants, including 240 students out of whom 112 were women. Other participants included civil society members, rights activists, provincial officials and journalists.
“Your presence here today symbolizes your interest and commitment in preventing further conflict, in building peace, and in ensuring that the rights of all, women and men, are respected, promoted and fulfilled,” said Yamamoto, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of UNAMA, addressing the audience alongside the head of Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), Sima Samar.
“The United Nations stands for human rights, including the principle of non-discrimination and equality between women and men, which is enshrined in many UN treaties, and Afghanistan is a party to most of them,” said Yamamoto. “We will stand by the people of Afghanistan to ensure that this principle is not compromised.
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