Addressing the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, Shamssuzakir Kazemi, a member of the Afghan Interim Authority UN delegation in Geneva, pledged that the interim government would work “to lay the foundations for a democratic, just progressive Afghanistan.” International assistance and an expansion ofpeace troo[s, added Kazemi, are “essential in order to help the Afghan people obtain their fundamental rights.” Kazemi asked the commission for its support as the Interim Authority moved towards re-establishing human rights and building a “democratic, participatory, transparent, and accountable government.”
In his remarks, Kazemi also commented on a report to the commission filed by Kamal Hossain, saying that the Afghan Interim Authority “fully concurs” with the recommendations Hossain outlined to the commission. These recommendations included an analysis of the Afghan legal system that addresses women’s rights; the immediate repeal of all edicts that discriminate against women and minorities; and the expansion of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), a peacekeeping force of 4800 troops led by Britain in Kabul.
The Feminist Majority has been leading the call in the U.S. for an expansion of the ISAF for women’s security. Many women in Afghanistan continue to fear violence and the imposition of Taliban-like restrictions by regional warlords. Further, UN and Afghan officials have noted that the immediate expansion of international peace troops is absolutely essential to disarmament, de-escalation of conflicts among warlords, preservation of women’s rights and human rights, delivery of humanitarian assistance, and the success of the loya jirga process that will determine the next stage of the transition government. TAKE ACTION: Support Expansion of International Peacekeeping Forces in Afghanistan for Women’s Security