Interactive Dialogue on the analytical report of the High Commissioner on mainstreaming of human rights of women and girls in conflict and post-conflict situations

Ministry Statements & Speeches:

48th session of the Human Rights Council

Delivered by Lucy Duncan, New Zealand Permanent Representative, 17 September 2021.

Madam President

Gender equality and women’s and girls’ empowerment is critical to maintaining international peace and security.

In the 20 years since the adoption of the UN Security Council resolution 1325, progress has been made in ensuring that the women, peace, and security agenda is considered in conflict prevention and resolution efforts. However, the impact conflict has on the rights and well-being of women and girls remains disproportionate and significant.

The situation in Afghanistan highlights the critical importance of promoting and protecting the rights of women and girls in conflict and post-conflict situations.

New Zealand is gravely concerned about reports of gender-based violence and discrimination in Afghanistan. It is critical that the rights of women to free and full participation in social, economic and political life - including access to education, work, governance, healthcare and freedom of movement - are upheld and protected.

We note reports by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees that 80% of the quarter of a million people displaced in Afghanistan since May 2021 are women and children. 

To enable crucial humanitarian assistance and protection for Afghan women and girls, New Zealand has contributed $1.5 million to the UN Population Fund’s work in Afghanistan. This funding will support the agency’s provision of sexual and reproductive health services and gender-based violence services for women and girls. We commend the work undertaken by humanitarian agencies and international organisations in Afghanistan.

Thank you


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