Friends of Afghan Women Ambassadors’ Group Statement on the 20th anniversary of UNSCR 1325

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Friends of Afghan Women Ambassadors’ Group

Statement on the 20th anniversary of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security

Kabul, Afghanistan, 31 October 2020

The 20th anniversary of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 coincides with a pivotal point in history for women and peace in Afghanistan.

As we mark the anniversary, we are reminded that international peace and security are closely linked to equality among people of all genders. Today we celebrate the achievements of Afghan women peace builders and reaffirm our pledge to support their future.

In 2020, Afghan women routinely contribute in all aspects of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda. As political and community leaders, decision-makers, influencers, human rights defenders and visionaries, they play myriad and important roles in community cohesion, conflict prevention and peacebuilding. Women’s full, equal and meaningful participation in peace negotiations is essential to achieving more sustainable peace; women bring unique and important perspectives to all aspects of the peace process, from negotiation to implementation, representing the full range of political, economic and social issues of importance to all Afghans.

However, women and children continue to be disproportionately affected by the ongoing conflict. Between January-September 2020, more than four out of every ten civilian casualties in Afghanistan were women and children, as reported by United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan. Therefore, we again call on all parties to the conflict to reduce violence, including sexual and gender-based violence, as a matter of urgency and to work towards creating a peaceful, prosperous and stable Afghanistan. We urge the men of Afghanistan to champion actions that help reduce the impact of insecurity and violence on women. It is critical to remember that the Women, Peace and Security agenda is not an agenda about making conflicts safer for women –it is about ending conflict.

We reiterate our enduring support for the women and men on the negotiating team of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan who are championing the rights of women. We support the many calls that the gains Afghan women have made towards participation in political, economic and social life must be preserved. It is the responsibility of all Afghans, as well as international and regional partners, to ensure that universal human rights for all are protected and further strengthened through the peace process.

Once again we urge all parties to the conflict to seize this historic opportunity for peace in Afghanistan. It is vital that Afghan women have a central, equal, meaningful and continuing role in transforming the conflict and building a better and sustainable future for all Afghan people.

The Friends of Afghan Women Ambassadors’ Group supports Afghan women in achieving active and meaningful participation in all aspects of the Afghan peace process and engages in ensuring the protection of the rights of women in the peace process. It is comprised of the chief representatives in Kabul of: Australia; Denmark; Aga Khan Development Network; Canada; the Netherlands; the Organization for Islamic Cooperation; Turkey; the United Kingdom; the United Nations and the United States.