Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Statement by H.E. Ambassador Zahir Tanin Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations Adoption of the Resolution on the Resolute Support Mission


December 12, 2014
Thank you Mr. President.


At the outset, I would like to thank the Republic of Chad for its leadership of the Council this month. I would also like to thank Council members for the adoption of this resolution, which is of vital importance to ongoing stabilization efforts and the future of Afghanistan. To Ambassador Quinlan and his team at the Permanent Mission of Australia, thank you for your hard work, your able facilitation of this resolution, and your dedication as Afghanistan’s penholder.


Mr. President,


This resolution is adopted as the ISAF mission ends and a new phase in Afghanistan’s history begins. In just 19 days, Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) will assume full responsibility for the security of the country as the transition process comes to a close on December 31 of this year. The adoption of this resolution is a clear indication of the continuing support of the Council and the international community for the efforts of the Afghan people and the government of Afghanistan to bring peace, stability, democracy and prosperity to the country throughout the transformation decade.


At this crucial juncture in our history, this resolution signifies the necessity of enduring and long term support for Afghanistan. As the Transformation decade begins, we are grateful to our NATO and international partners for their commitment to train, advise and assist the ANDSF after the completion of the ISAF mission. No doubt, there are challenges ahead; al Qaeda and the Taliban continue to launch brutal terror attacks. Just yesterday, a suicide bomber attacked a French school in Kabul, killing civilians and injuring 15. A few weeks ago, a suicide bomber attacked a crowd watching a volleyball match in Paktika province, killing over 50 people and wounding more than 60 others. These are but a few examples of a series of horrific attacks on civilians in Kabul and around the country.


In the face of these challenges, the new President and the national unity government of Afghanistan look forward to strengthening cooperation with our NATO, regional and international partners. We understand that peace and stability cannot be achieved through security measures alone, and to this end the government of Afghanistan is embarking upon an ambitious reform agenda aimed at bringing peace and prosperity to the country.


I would like to take this opportunity to express the government of Afghanistan’s profound gratitude to the NATO and partner countries and their international forces, who have sacrificed their blood and treasure to support Afghanistan in its fight to advance peace and security in the country. With the ongoing support of our international partners, including through the Resolute Support Mission, and the vigorous work of the new government of Afghanistan, their efforts will not have been in vain.


I thank you.


Ambassador Tanin speaks at a Panel Discussion on the ‘Political Participation of Women – Why Should Men Bother?’ at the United Nations

Ambassador Tanin speaks at a Panel Discussion on the ‘Political Participation of Women – Why Should Men Bother?’ at the United Nations -

Ambassador Tanin speaks at a Panel Discussion on the ‘Political Participation of Women – Why Should Men Bother?’ at the United Nations -

Press Release: Ambassador Tanin speaks at a Panel Discussion on the ‘Political Participation of Women – Why Should Men Bother?’ at the United Nations

On 8 December 2014, the Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the United Nations, in collaboration with the Permanent Mission of Afghanistan to the United Nations, co-organized a panel discussion entitled “Political Participation of Women – Why Should Men Bother?”  The panel featured Mr. Petr Drulak, First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, H.E. Ambassador Zahir Tanin, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the UN, Mr. Ivan Šimonović, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights and Mr. Daniel Seymour, Deputy Director of Programmes, UN Women. The discussion was moderated by Ambassador Edita Hrdá, Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to the UN.

All panelists stressed the importance of women’s political participation to the wellbeing of society as a whole and agreed that gender equality is a priority for men and women alike. “Equal participation is not only fair and just. It is in the best interest for all. It is a project for all,” said Mr. Šimonović.

Taking the floor, Ambassador Tanin noted the importance of this discussion, particularly in Afghanistan, and countries in the Islamic world, where women face significant obstacles in public and political life. “Just as the Taliban in the 1990s imposed their own interpretation of Sharia law, today Islamist extremist groups from ISIL to Boko Haram force women to conform to their fanatical frameworks of austerity and deny them their rights to public life, education and autonomy,” he said.

Ambassador Tanin then gave an overview of the historical context of women’s rights in Afghanistan. . “Afghanistan in the 1920s was at the forefront of the women’s rights movement in the Islamic world,” he said. The Afghan constitution, adopted in 1921, guaranteed the equal rights of citizens and the state significantly expanded access to education and public services for women and girls in the country. In the 1960s and 1970s, we dozens of girls’ and mixed schools were established, hundreds of women were sent for education abroad, women were elected to the Parliament and appointed to high level government positions including the Cabinet. Afghanistan was seen as one of the most modern places for women in the region until the emergence of the Taliban in the 1990s, which caused a disastrous retreat in women’s rights.

Afghanistan has made great progress in the last decade. A key example of the enhanced role of women in Afghanistan is their unprecedented involvement in the recent Presidential and Provincial elections as millions of women participated as voters, candidates, campaigners and observers. The country has joined the international discourse on women through its commitments and actions, with men playing an important role in promoting the advancement of women in the country. The new President of Afghanistan, H.E. Dr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani is committed to improving the political participation of women. “The government and the civil society – men and women included – are part of the new strategies, plans and measures that focus on women’s rights,” Ambassador Tanin said.

Ambassador Tanin highlighted three main factors that were critical for the advancement of women in Afghanistan: the role of leaders, the state and civil society. In the months and years ahead, he emphasised, “it is essential that Afghanistan preserve all that has been achieved; a retreat will be disastrous in a country where women’s’ rights has been the core of our successful democratization. We need peace and there is a great role for both women and men to play the future in Afghanistan.”