We see the Kabul Conference as a window of opportunity for both the Afghan government and the international community

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Dr. Sima Samar, chairperson of Afghanistan Independant Human Rights Commission

H.E. President, H.E. Secretary General of the United Nation, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen

Salaam and greeting to all of you,

It is indeed my pleasure to represent the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission at this significant conference, where all respected stakeholders recommit themselves, once again, to peace, justice and stability in Afghanistan.

We see the Kabul Conference as a window of opportunity for both the Afghan Government and the international community to maximize their efforts in giving high value to the priority objectives highlighted in the Kabul Conference documents for governance, rule of law & human rights, economic and social development, peace and security, and regional co-operation.

The AIHRC, as an active member of the Governance cluster, is assertive and supportive of the priorities on Rule of Law, Justice and Human Rights. All of these priorities are inter-related that each of them effect the achievement of other. Achieving these priority objectives will, definitely, have positive impact on promotion of human rights and civil responsibilities, and finally, it furthers trust between the citizens and government.

We are happy that priorities for promotion of human rights and civic responsibilities are significant among all other priorities. We emphasize that human rights should be respected and realized both by government employees and the Afghan public, with due support from the international community, otherwise efforts for supporting good governance, strengthening rule of law and justice, and promotion of human rights will remain rhetoric.

Despite various achievements and promising measures for human rights, justice and rule of law, there are still areas of concern to be structurally addressed. We believe that quick fixes and short-term solutions would not enhance good governance and accountability, but further challenge people’s trust over democratization and reconstruction processes.

Inclusion of human rights into curriculum of education units of security organs (such as Police Academy), schools and higher education institutions has vital role in increasing the knowledge of civil servants, security personnel and public on human rights and civic responsibilities. Although efforts have been made in this respect by the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, but it needs to expand further human rights and civic education programs across the country through involvement of national capacities and civil society institutions.

To ensure good governance, strengthening rule of law, access to justice for all, and respecting and realization of human rights, specific national institutions such as Independent Election Commission, Electoral Complaint Commission, Independent Civil Administration and Civil Service Reform Commission, the High Office for Over-sighting the Anti-Corruption Strategy, the President Advisory Board for Appointment of Senior Authorities and Independent Human Rights Commission, should be adequately budgeted and politically supported to enable them to exercise their mandate and sustain their function as independent and professional institutions.

To build on lessons learnt from the past is the active participation of Afghan civil society institutions, and inclusion of women in the state and nation building initiatives, as a cornerstone to success and sustainability of the process.

We very much hope that the Kabul Conference would function as the best forum for recommitment and re-engagement of both the Afghan Government and the international community in fulfilling their core obligations towards human rights in Afghanistan. We also hope --and will actively work-- for full implementation of the benchmarks set by the Kabul Conference on Human Rights, good governance and rule of law.

It is our belief and motto that without human rights, as a milestone for people’s trust, neither development is achieved, nor peace and stability is maintained.

Dr. Sima Samar chairperson of Afghanistan Independant Human Rights Commission  is a well known woman’s and human rights advocate and activist within national and international forums. Dr. Samar served as the first Deputy Chair and Minister of Women’s Affairs in the Interim Administration of Afghanistan. Before chairing the Commission, she was elected as the Vice Chair of the Emergency Loya Jirga.