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Third Committee Statement on the Situation of Human Rights in Afghanistan

Statement by Ragnheiður Kolsöe, Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Iceland
New York, 24 October 2023

Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan

Mr. Chair.

Grim does not even begin to capture the lived realities of women and girls in Afghanistan.

In little over two years, the Taliban have undone hard-won gender equality gains through draconian, oppressive and misogynistic directives.

We welcome the conclusions of the Special Rapporteur and the Working Group on the discrimination against women and girls this summer that large-scale systematic violations of women’s and girls’ fundamental rights constitute gender persecution and that their situation necessitates a legitimate discussion about the application of gender to the definition of the crime against humanity of apartheid.

Afghanistan will never achieve peace, prosperity and stability without the full, equal and meaningful participation of women and girls. Addressing their repression is imperative, not only from a human rights perspective, but also for promoting stability, countering extremism and advancing security inside Afghanistan and beyond.

Special Rapporteur, what tools does the international community have at its disposal to support women and girls in Afghanistan?

I thank you.


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