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Afghanistan: Zappia, “Italy ready to join Group of Friends on Women’s rights”

NEW YORK, JUNE 19 – Italy is ready to join the new Afghan-UK initiative for a new Group of Friends on women’s right. During an open debate in the UN Security Council on the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), Italy called today for a reconciliation process based on extensive and inclusive participation, Afghan ownership and leadership. “Italy underscores the importance for women to have an active role in the process”, said the Italian Permanent Representative to the UN, Mariangela Zappia, stressing that credible and transparent presidential elections will be crucial for Afghan institutions’ credibility.

(AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

“Women must be empowered to have an active role in the process, in order to protect their rights as enshrined in the Constitution and to safeguard the broader civil and social gains achieved in the course of the past seventeen years”, said the Italian Ambassador, welcoming the Afghan-UK initiative. The group will bring together women Ambassadors and senior UN figures to work to highlight and protect the gains that Afghan women have achieved over the past 18 years. “It’s also a very good vehicle to give meaningful practical expression to Security Council Resolution 1325 and to promote the participation of women in peace efforts and in public life”, said the UK to the Un Ambassador, Karen Pierce.

The presidential elections scheduled for next September will be a litmus test for Afghanistan. “The organizational and procedural difficulties of last October’s parliamentary elections must serve of ‘lessons learned’ in order to ensure that the upcoming presidential elections are credible and transparent”, said Zappia: “It is vital that they be held without delays or shortcomings. The credibility of Afghan institutions depends on this”.

Italy invited all presidential candidates, from the current President, Asraf Ghani, to members of the opposition, to commit to a responsible approach that will ensure that these institutions are protected”. A the same time the importance of the elections shouldn’t distract attention from peace: “The electoral track and the peace track should be distinguished and each one pursued independently of the other”, said Zappia. (@OnuItalia)

Il giornale Italiano delle Nazioni Unite. Ha due redazioni, una a New York, l’altra a Roma.

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