Afghanistan: Italy, sustainable peace must be inclusive, role of women is primary

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NEW YORK, NOVEMBER 27 – A sustainable peace in Afganistan must be as inclusive as possible, including “a primary and meaningful role for Afghan women” at the negotiating table. “Italy remains committed to the enduring partnership between the international community and Afghanistan. Together, we will persevere in our common efforts to create an environment that allows the Afghan people to look towards a future of peace, economic prosperity and self-reliance”, the Italian Permanent Representative to the UN Mariangela Zappia told a General Assembly plenary meeting on the situation in Afghanistan at the end of witch a resolution was adopted.

“This partnership is essential precisely because Afghanistan continues to face daunting challenges, first and foremost in the security arena”, said Zappia, stressing that “the cycle of violence has continued to exact a terrible toll on civilians, and especially on the most vulnerable categories of the Afghan population, such as women and children”. Only three days ago, on Novembre 24, a UN-marked vehicle was attacked in Kabul: one UN worker was killed and two others injured.

The Ambassador reminded Italy’s full support to UNAMA and the key role that the mission plays in the framework of the partnership between Afghanistan and the international community. As Framework Nation of the ‘Resolute Support’ mission, Italy continues to train, advise and assist the Afghan national security and defense forces. “The best path to enduring peace and stability in Afghanistan remains today in a negotiated solution through an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned reconciliation process. Intra-Afghan negotiations must begin as soon as possible, and should ensure the full buy-in of all layers of Afghan society”, said the Italian Ambassador, expressing strong support for the ongoing engagement by international stakeholders to promote the revitalization of the peace process.

Sustainable peace is a long-term project, added Zappia: “The process should be as inclusive as possible, including a primary and meaningful role for Afghan women at the negotiating table. This will be essential in order to ensure that their Constitutional rights and the hard-won civil and social gains are fully safeguarded”. Recently Zappia joined other women UN Ambassadors in the newly formed Group of Friends of Women in Afghanistan. Italy welcomes the partnership between the Afghan Government and the International Community to advance wide-ranging, meaningful reforms, added the Italian diplomat: “We look forward to the next international pledging conference in 2020, which will be an opportunity to take stock of the progress made and to reaffirm our mutual commitment to foster a future of peace, prosperity and sustainable development”. (@OnuItalia)