Connect with us

Latest News

World leaders band together for Afghan women to have a voice

Ariana News

Published

 on

(Last Updated On: September 12, 2020)

Over 100 formidable leaders from around the world have joined together as signatories to an open letter calling for meaningful participation of Afghan women in the peace process that started in Doha Saturday. 

They stated that substantive involvement of women in peace talks makes agreements more likely to be attained and upheld.

Among those who signed the letter, issued by Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security, are Madeleine Albright, Former United States Secretary of State; Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates; Laura Bush, Former First Lady of the United States; Angelina Jolie, Special Envoy of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; Hillary Rodham Clinton, Former United States Secretary of State; Ban Ki-moon, Former Secretary-General of the United Nations; and John Kerry, Former United States Secretary of State among others. 

In total, 104 leaders signed the letter that called on “all relevant national, regional and international actors to pursue a peaceful, stable Afghanistan by ensuring women’s full participation in the peace process.”

They stated that after 40 years of conflict, there may finally be an opportunity for peace but that the international community has an obligation to assist with ensuring that the peace forged is durable and this opportunity is not squandered.

“As global leaders and foreign policy experts, we have seen clear proof that women’s involvement is key to establishing a lasting and sustainable peace,” the letter read. 

“The substantive involvement of women in peace talks makes agreements more likely to be attained and upheld. We have seen evidence of women’s powerful influence in peace processes in recent times, from Colombia to the Philippines. 

“The direct impact women’s participation has on ensuring stability makes their inclusion an international security issue, which the UN Security Council recognized when it adopted the landmark resolution on Women, Peace and Security (UNSCR 1325) twenty years ago this fall.”

The letter went on to state that the international community should prioritize women’s meaningful inclusion in order to help obtain the long-term security goals the world has been working towards for decades. 

The progress made in Afghanistan since women have begun to be integrated into society was also noted and the Taliban’s ban on girls being educated was raised. 

“Women went from being virtually erased under Taliban rule to becoming policewomen, teachers, public officials, mayors and entrepreneurs,” they stated. 

In 2019, women accounted for 28 percent of the Afghan parliament – a proportion higher than 67 percent of countries tracked by the World Bank. 

“Guaranteeing the preservation of equality, democracy, and inclusivity will promote stability and help to protect future generations from the threat of extremism. Afghanistan, the region, and the world would all be safer as a result,” their letter stated.

Outlining what needs to be done, the group of leaders stated the following:

Given the key role of women in ensuring durable peace, the following measures are necessary:

  • Women need to be party to the negotiations, not just an issue to be discussed.
  • Women must be involved throughout every step of the process.
  • The perspective of women and youth must be reflected in any agreement.

 To ensure these goals are met, we call on the international community to do the following:

  • Persuade negotiators to preserve equal rights for all its citizens as guaranteed by the Afghan constitution.
  • Condition international aid on the preservation of the rights and liberties currently enjoyed by Afghan citizens, especially women’s rights.
  • Implement legitimate and established monitoring mechanisms for ensuring the maintenance of rights. Ensure these mechanisms are outlined in the peace agreement and that women are part of the development, implementation and monitoring of such mechanisms.

 The full list of signatories is as below: 

 Karen AbuZayd, Commissioner of the UN Inquiry on Syria and Former Commissioner-General of UNRWA

  • María Elena Agüero, Secretary-General of the Club de Madrid
  • Shamshad Akhtar, Former UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of ESCAP
  • Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates
  • Madeleine Albright, Former United States Secretary of State
  • Amat Al Alim Alsoswa, Yemen’s Former Minister for Human Rights, Former UN Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP Assistant Administrator
  • Valerie Amos, Former UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator
  • Mayu Ávila, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of El Salvador
  • Lloyd Axworthy, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada
  • Ali Babacan, Former Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey
  • Jan Peter Balkenende, Former Prime Minister of The Netherlands
  • Carol Bellamy, Former Executive Director of UNICEF
  • Mohamed Benaissa, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Morocco
  • Catherine Bertini , Former Executive Director of the UN World Food Program
  • Carl Bildt, Former Prime Minister of Sweden
  • Julie Bishop, Former Minister for Foreign Affairs of Australia
  • Irina Bokova, Former Director-General of UNESCO
  • Lakhdar Brahimi, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Algeria and UN Special Envoy for Afghanistan
  • Gro Harlem Brundtland, Former Prime Minister of Norway
  • Laura Bush, Former First Lady of the United States
  • Margaret Chan, Former Director-General of the World Health Organization
  • Helen Clark, Former Prime Minister of New Zealand and Administrator of UNDP
  • Joe Clark, Former Prime Minister of Canada
  • Sean Cleary, Chief Director of the Office of the Administrator General of Namibia
  • Hillary Rodham Clinton, Former United States Secretary of State
  • Kathleen Cravero, Former UNDP Assistant Secretary-General for Conflict Prevention and Recovery
  • Staffan de Mistura, Former Under Secretary-General and UN Special Envoy to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria
  • Isabel de Saint Malo, Former Vice President of Panama
  • Erik Derycke, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belgium
  • Rut Diamint, Chief of Cabinet and Advisor to the Argentine Ministry of Defense
  • Lamberto Dini, Former Prime Minister of Italy
  • Paula J. Dobriansky, Former United States Under-Secretary of State for Global Affairs
  • Alexander Downer, Former Minister for Foreign Affairs of Australia
  • Mikuláš Dzurinda, Former Prime Minister of Slovakia
  • Jan Eliasson, Former Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden
  • María Fernanda Espinosa, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of National Defence of Ecuador
  • Christiana Figueres, Former Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change
  • Joschka Fischer, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Vice-Chancellor of Germany
  • Louise Fréchette, Former Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Robert Gates, Former United States Secretary of Defense
  • Rose Gottemoeller, Former Deputy Secretary-General of NATO
  • Dalia Grybauskaitė, Former President of Lithuania
  • Rebeca Grynspan, Ibero-American Secretary-General and Former Vice President of Costa Rica
  • Geeta Rao Gupta, Former Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF
  • Stephen Hadley, Former United States National Security Advisor
  • Chuck Hagel, Former United States Secretary of Defense
  • Lord William Hague, Former Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom
  • Tarja Halonen, Former President of Finland
  • Ameerah Haq, Former UN Under-Secretary-General for the Department of Field Support
  • Stephen J. Harper, Former Prime Minister of Canada
  • Noeleen Heyzer, Former Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • John Howard, Former Prime Minister of Australia
  • Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Former President of Estonia
  • Igor Ivanov, Former Foreign Minister of Russia
  • Atifete Jahjaga , Former President of Kosovo
  • Angelina Jolie , Special Envoy of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Medhi Jomaa, Former Prime Minister of Tunisia
  • Ivo Josipović , Former President of Croatia
  • Marina Kaljurand, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia
  • John Kerry, Former United States Secretary of State
  • Rima Khalaf, Former UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of ESCWA
  • Ban Ki-moon, Former Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Aleksander Kwaśniewski, Former President of Poland
  • Rachel Kyte, Former Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All
  • Zlatko Lagumdžija , Former Prime Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Tzipi Livni, Former Foreign Minister, Vice Prime Minister, and Minister of Justice of Israel
  • Jessie Rose Mabutas, Former Assistant President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development
  • Peter MacKay, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of National Defence of Canada
  • Susana Malcorra, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Argentina
  • Purnima Mane, Former UN Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director of UNFPA
  • Mara Marinaki, EEAS Principal Advisor on Gender and on the Implementation of UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security
  • Cindy McCain, Chair of the McCain Institute Board of Trustees
  • Sir Donald McKinnon, Former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of New Zealand
  • Monica McWilliams, Former Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and Signatory to the Northern Ireland Good Friday Peace Agreement
  • David Miliband, Former Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom
  • Laura Chinchilla Miranda, Former President of Costa Rica
  • Amr Moussa, Former Secretary-General of the Arab League and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt
  • Marwan al-Muasher, Former Minister for Foreign Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister of Jordan
  • Roza Otunbayeva, Former President of Kyrgyzstan
  • Ana Palacio, Former Minister for Foreign Affairs of Spain
  • Leon Panetta, Former United States Secretary of Defense
  • George Papandreou, Former Prime Minister of Greece
  • Colin L. Powell, Former United States Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs
  • Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Former Prime Minister of Denmark and Secretary-General of NATO
  • Òscar Ribas Reig, Former Prime Minister of Andorra
  • Condoleezza Rice, Former United States Secretary of State
  • Malcolm Rifkind, Former Secretary of State for Scotland, Defence Secretary, and Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom
  • Lord George Robertson, Former NATO Secretary-General and UK Defense Secretary
  • Mary Robinson, Former President of Ireland
  • Fatiha Serour, UN Deputy Special Representative for Somalia
  • Karin Sham Poo, Former Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF
  • Natan Sharansky, Former Deputy Prime Minister of Israel and Political Prisoner of the Soviet Union
  • Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Former President of Liberia
  • Gillian Sorensen, Former UN Assistant Secretary-General for External Relations
  • Cassam Uteem, Former President of Mauritius
  • Jozias van Aartsen, Former Mayor of Amsterdam and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands
  • Hubert Védrine, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of France
  • Ann Veneman, Former Executive Director of UNICEF
  • Melanne Verveer, Former United States Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues
  • Knut Vollebæk , Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway
  • Alexandr “Sasha” Vondra, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Defence of the Czech Republic
  • Margot Wallström, Former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden
  • José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, Former Prime Minister of Spain
  • Miomir Žužul, Former Minister for Foreign Affairs of Croatia

Latest News

Afghan leaders head to Washington to meet Biden

Ariana News

Published

on

(Last Updated On: June 24, 2021)

President Ashraf Ghani left Kabul on Wednesday evening along with a high level delegation for a two-day official visit to Washington, the Presidential Palace (ARG) said.

“He will meet US President Joe Biden, other administration officials and US lawmakers, ARG said.

Ghani is accompanied by First Vice President Amrullah Saleh, Abdullah Abdullah, head of the High Council for National Reconciliation, foreign minister Haneef Atmar, National Security adviser Hamdullah Mohib, Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) chairwoman Shahzad Akbar and other government officials.

Abdullah’s office said that Abdullah will meet with Biden, other American officials and the lawmakers to discuss “a wide range of issues pertaining to current and future relations, commitments and peace.”

The Afghan Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) said a delegation from the AIHRC has traveled to the US with Ghani to discuss the human rights situation in Afghanistan.

AIHRC also said humanitarian aid to the country, and support for human rights defenders and civil society will be discussed. Violations of international humanitarian law in the country will be addressed.

Meanwhile, Whitehouse spokesman Jen Psaki has said the timeline for troops withdrawal will not change by September and that part of the discussion between Biden and Ghani on Friday will be on Biden’s commitment to working with the Afghan government in future.

The discussion will also probably take in Biden’s commitment to providing humanitarian support and over-the-horizon support around security, Psaki said.

This comes after the White House said that: “President Biden looks forward to welcoming Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, to the White House on June 25, 2021.”

Continue Reading

Latest News

Thousands of children losing access to education as schools caught in crossfire

Ariana News

Published

on

(Last Updated On: June 24, 2021)

Save the Children has called for all parties in the escalating conflict in Afghanistan to abide by international humanitarian law and ensure children and schools do not become collateral damage.

In a statement issued by the organization, Save the Children stated that last week in Kandahar, it found about 25 schools damaged in one district alone, potentially preventing almost 28,000 students from returning to their classrooms when they reopen.

While schools are currently closed due to the COVID-19 lockdown in the country, they must be protected as safe spaces for children, Save the Children warned.

A number of schools were burned to the ground in the northern province of Faryab, including a school supported by Save the Children which was destroyed by rockets and stray bullets on 22 June.

Mohammad Moradi, the headmaster of the school, said: “Our school had 947 students and 18 teachers, and Save the Children helped us with textbooks and facilities for hand washing. Unfortunately, our school building is now gone.”

Athena Rayburn, Director of Advocacy and Media at Save the Children Afghanistan said: “Children in Afghanistan have already endured the trauma of war for too long. The destruction of these schools is a violation of Afghan children’s rights and will prevent them from being able to return to school – the only chance they have for a better future.

“Children play no part in conflict and yet, as is too often the case, they are paying the price for this escalating violence. The hopes and dreams of an entire generation of children are being destroyed.

“All parties to the conflict must ensure the protection of children and schools. Children and the places that provide them with safe haven must never become collateral damage.”

Continue Reading

Latest News

Covid outbreak at US Embassy in Kabul grows to 159 cases

Ariana News

Published

on

(Last Updated On: June 24, 2021)

The COVID-19 outbreak at the US Embassy in Kabul has grown to 159 cases, according to a diplomatic cable sent Tuesday, CNN reported.

This comes amid a devastating third wave of the deadly disease in Afghanistan.

CNN reported that a source familiar with the cable said it noted that several people at the diplomatic mission are on oxygen or have been medically evacuated from the post, which was put under immediate lockdown last week to try to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

However, the growing outbreak at the embassy has reportedly prompted frustration among some in the diplomatic community over the lack of a vaccine mandate for those posted abroad, which they argue hampers the United States’ ability to conduct effective foreign policy.

CNN reported that an embassy management notice dated June 17 warned that “COVID-19 is surging in the Mission,” noting that there were 114 people with coronavirus and in isolation, one death and several medical evacuations.

“Military hospital ICU resources are at full capacity, forcing our health units to create temporary, on-compound COVID-19 wards to care for oxygen-dependent patients,” the notice said.

CNN reported that according to the embassy notice, “95% of our cases are individuals who are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated,” and it called for those coming to the embassy to be vaccinated before arrival, noting that “failure to do this puts everyone in the community at risk.”

The surge in cases has fueled tensions in Kabul, sources told CNN, with some pointing the blame at unvaccinated contractors. Most American diplomats, third country nationals and locally employed staff have been vaccinated — the rate is more than 90% of staff in the latter two categories, according to the management notice, CNN reported..

According to an official at a major international security provider for the US in Afghanistan, almost 50% of its American staff in Afghanistan have been vaccinated and nearly all of its non-American staff have been.

State Department spokesperson Ned Price acknowledged the outbreak last week but would not provide specific numbers, saying the embassy had “adjusted its operations to do all we can to ensure the continued safety, security, and health of our staff as they continue to advance U.S. interests and our relationship with the Government and the people of Afghanistan.”

“This includes requiring all staff to telework and to adhere to physical distancing and masking requirements and other applicable regulations,” he said, adding that they “expect that normal embassy operations will resume once embassy leadership is confident that chain of transmission has been broken.”

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2021 Ariana News. All rights reserved!