Statement by H.E. Dr. Nasir Ahmad Andisha Deputy Foreign Minister for Financial and Administrative Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the dinner banquet on the occasion of Kabul Symposium on Women’s Empowerment, Challenges & Opportunities
In the name of Almighty Allah the compassionate and the Merciful
H.E. Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Chief Executive Officer of the National Unity Government,
Mrs. Rula Ghani, First Lady of Afghanistan,
Honorable cabinet Ministers and Members of Parliament,
Distinguished representatives of foreign countries and international organizations in Kabul,
Colleagues of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
Women rights activists,
Welcome to Afghanistan and it is a great honor to be your host at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in this gorgeous Kabul evening.
Tonight’s banquet has been organized on the occasion of holding Kabul symposium on Women’s Empowerment, Challenges, and Opportunities ahead.
Ladies & gentlemen,
Women’s empowerment and institutionalization of their active participation in the process of Afghanistan’s development and modernization, forms one of our national and international policy priorities.
As you are aware, Kabul symposium is the follow-up of Oslo symposium in November 2014 and Georgetown University symposium in the United States of America in 2013. Oslo and Georgetown University symposiums were productive opportunity for sharing international experiences towards Afghan women empowerment and had a clear-cut message for London Conference.
Convening Kabul symposium reflects the priority and strong will of the Afghan government and the international community towards sustainable cooperation for Afghan women empowerment. The symposium aims to discuss and exchange experiences and strengthen coordination between National Unity Government and the international partners of Afghanistan in order to empower and institutionalize women’s human rights values.
The National Unity Government commitment for women’s rights protection is not only for international commitments but also for women’s empowerment as one of the prerequisites for sustainable development and social welfare. In today’s world, the participation of women in public life and their access to their fundamental rights is the important factor for a country’s development and progress. The Afghan women, like women in other countries have the right to benefit from fundamental freedoms, and as responsible and active citizens can play effective role towards ensuring and solidifying peace, tranquility and public welfare.
Afghan Government has had tremendous successes in the Women’s political participation in parliament, leadership and executive levels of the country, and we are committed to protect and preserve these values more than the past and take practical steps to strengthen them in the future. Extensive and growing presence of women in every area including diplomacy, as a deputy foreign minister (my dear colleague Adela Raz), four women ambassadors, four deputy ambassadors, two general counselors and generally almost 26% women diplomat is the indicator of upward trend in the growth and development of Afghan women.
National Unity Government is obliged to endeavor for the consolidation and preservation of these achievements and support the role of women in other area of the government too.
Compilation of National Action Plan in relation to the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security and law on elimination of violence against women are the most important legal and policy frameworks for the facilitation of women participation in peace process, security institutions and decreasing of violence against Afghan women and girls.
Kabul symposium is an opportunity to discuss and exchange views on the most important issues of women’s human rights including challenges and opportunities in economic, health and education, political participation, role of women from Islamic perspective and judiciary, revival of culture and promotion of peace, and the results of this symposium under the name of Kabul symposium recommendations shall be presented to the two important summits; Warsaw NATO Summit ( Warsaw- July 2016) and Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (Brussels- October 2016).
We hope that Afghan Government and international community will take necessary measures to include and implement Kabul symposium recommendations in the mentioned meetings.
Different aspects of creating opportunities for empowering women, accomplishments and challenges will be discussed by H.E. Chief Executive Officer and at the course of symposium. On behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Salahuddin Rabbani and all colleagues in the foreign ministry, I would like to welcome you once again.
I would like to thank the colleagues of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, especially the cooperation and coordination of the Directorate of human rights and women’s international affairs and those involved in organizing this important symposium and the cooperation of the embassy of the Kingdom of Norway and USAID.