Afghanistan: Kabul Declaration

Regional Stakeholders Meeting, 6-7 July 2009, on United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 and the Gender Relevance of the Hague Declaration.
The meeting was organised by Afghan Women’s Network and Gender Concerns International, with the participation of women leaders from Afghanistan, Iran, India, Pakistan and Uzbekistan. The participants discussed the relevance of UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 in promoting peace, stability and development in Afghanistan and the region through the increased involvement and participation of women. The group also discussed the Hague Declaration and its impact on Afghanistan.
The regional context includes the women of Afghanistan, Iran, India, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikstan, and Uzbekistan. The group agreed that considering the growing challenges for peace, security and development in Afghanistan and the region, there is a strong need for the regional approach which could also faciliate regional women interactions.

After intensive discussions the five country delegates present in the meeting, concluded with the following recommendations regarding improving peace, security and development in Afghanistan and its neigboring countries.


Women’s Participation in the Peace Process

The participants agreed that peace is defined beyond the military strucures of Police and army and in more comprehensive analysis could be described as rule of law in conformance of national constitution and international human rights.

Building on the comprehensive definition of the peace and security, the government and the international community should ensure that security is provided in its more comprehensive definition considering the special needs and interests of women and children.

• The government and the international community should ensure the implementation of International Humanitarian Law during the conflict.

• In order to increase the number of women in law enforcement agencies, the government and international community needs to pay special attention to capacity development, affirmative action special need and protection measures for women.

• Any peace negotiations should ensure women participation and protect the Constitutional human rights of the women.

• Serious disarmament should be initiated by the Government and supported by the international community to mitigate the threats that prevent women participation.

Women’s Political Participation and International Development Assistance

The meeting agreed that in confirmation with the Afghan National Development Strategy (ANDS), 30% of government and political leadership positions should be reserved for women who are effective and committed to the women cause, at all levels inclduing the high level leadership. The Afghan women movement is committed to assist the government in identifying these women.

• The Government should take concrete measures to ensure the proper implementation of the ANDS to improve women’s participation in accordance to the above mentioned commitment.
• The international community should mainstream gender concerns in all the programmes it supports and should also lobby for more women’s participation in senior positions with in the government.
• A percentage of development funds should be agreed on for women-specific programmes es and initiatives.
• Civil society organisations should strengthen their capacities to coordinate and network more effectively for gender empowerment.
• The capacity of the parliament should be strengthened to understand and support gender matters in order to effectively monitor and hold accountable the executive agencies of the government.

Security Reforms

The meeting participants agreed that security has many complex dimensions such as physical, psychological, societal and military. Poverty aggravates insecurity in the population, including among women and children.
• Government of Afghanistan should speed up the establishment of a national action plan for the implementation of UNSCR 1325.
• The governmnet of Afghanistan should on urgent basis, initiate national policy and mechanism to eliminate the sexual harassment in all governmental and non governmental working, educational and public places.
• The government and international community should recognise the role of communities and civil society groups to determine and take ownership of any local development plans for creating security in their lives.

The regional meeting proposes to the United Nations to assign a UN special rapporteur for the monitoring the implementation of United Nations Security Resolution 1325.

The participants from the five countries committed themselves to follow-up on the implementation of the above recommendations and will also pursue the establishment of a regional monitoring body to oversee the progress of UNSCR 1325 in Afghanistan and the region

Source: WUNRN