(TOLO News): The Afghan Mission to the UN has formed “Group of Friends”, co-chaired by the United Kingdom and comprised of women representatives to the United Nations and its senior officials.
The group will highlight the importance of protecting and enhancing women’s rights and the role that women can play across society and government, including in peace efforts, the  UN’s mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in a press release on Monday. The statement said that this Group of Friends aims to safeguard the important shared gains made for women’s rights since 2001 and to ensure that any prospective outcomes in the peace process recognize, protect and promote the role of women in all spheres of life. The initiative will also support the joint commitment of the Afghan Government and the international community towards the full implementation of UNSCR 1325 on “Women Peace and Security,” the statement said. “It is an important time in our political history where our gains matter more than ever, and our investment in Afghan women must continue to be strengthened,” Adela Raz, Afghanistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN, said at a ceremony inaugurating the group.  “The Security Council affirmed through the adoption of UNSCR 1325 peace and security efforts are more sustainable when women are equal partners in the prevention of violent conflict, the delivery of relief and recovery efforts and in the forging of lasting peace. I look forward to co-chairing the Group of Friends of Women in Afghanistan and supporting the role of women in all aspects of life in Afghanistan,” the Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom, Karen Pierce, said at the ceremony. According to the statement, representatives from Australia, Canada, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Qatar, Sri Lanka, Saint Vincent, Turkmenistan, UAE, and the African Union have already joined this Group of Friends.