UNAMA wants human rights achievements sustained
KABUL (Pajhwok): Afghanistan must shield and develop its real human rights advances, said a senior UNAMA official, pledging the UN’s commitment to remaining centre stage with Afghans to safeguard the gains and prevent any rollback.
Speaking after completing more than five years’ service as UNAMA’s Human Rights Director, Georgette Gagnon highlighted positive and encouraging indicators against a backdrop of enormous challenges posed by conflict, as well as by the complex political and economic situation.
Ms. Gagnon expressed hope that human rights achievements will be advanced in the years ahead. “We’re expecting that the gains made will be sustained, will not be rolled back, and will not be sacrificed,” she said.
In outlining these expectations, the Human Rights chief said civil society groups, in particular, are advancing the human rights struggle here. “Civil society in Afghanistan is vibrant; it is very human-rights based and human-rights friendly, and it is taking forward the human rights struggle here,” she said.
In the interview, Ms. Gagnon spoke about critical issues for Afghanistan, such as the protection of civilians during armed conflict, children in conflict, women’s issues, detention practices and peace and reconciliation initiatives.
On protection of civilians, the UNAMA Human Rights chief said that, during the last five years, UNAMA had dedicated resources to meticulously documenting the impact of the conflict on civilians across the country to get the parties to the conflict to take concrete steps to mitigate the effects on civilians – to protect lives.
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