On Friday August 6th, the international community finally responded to the tragedy unfolding in Afghanistan, when the United Nations Security Council met to address the issue. Members of international civil society, who have been endeavoring since May to persuade international actors with the power to act to hold back the violence against women and other vulnerable groups unleashed by the withdrawal of NATO and US troops, welcomed the session. These activists assert that the human rights and security of women and girls must be integral to whatever course of action the world body determines to take, and call for the following:
- A ceasefire to establish civil order and make possible an inclusively negotiated peace;
- The invocation of UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security to deploy peacekeepers to protect women;
- Enlisting, training of peacekeeping forces according to the principles of 1325, and regular monitoring to prevent violence against women.
These calls were put forth in a letter to the Ambassador Ireland of the United Nations who had announced that during Ireland’s presidency of the Security Council, Afghanistan would be on the agenda. That letter, already signed by many from throughout the world, was scheduled to be sent with many more signatures, before the convening of the Council in September. In light of the session of August 6th, the letter was sent to Ambassador Nason on August 5th with only those signatures obtained by that date. Copies of the letter were sent to other Security Council members.
The letter is still open for signature, and is posted here for additional signatures and organizational endorsements. The list of those who sign after August 5 will also be sent to Ambassador Nason and others on the current Security Council. We ask you to join in this effort, by signing this call to protect Afghan women, to establish UNSCR 1325 as a practically applicable international norm, and to assure that peacekeepers are prepared to honor its principles.
(Individual endorsers: organization is included for identification purposes only. Endorsing organizations: the individual name you provide is for follow-up purposes only and will not be included in the final list of endorsers sent.)