The Geneva Conference Side Event was held under the title of Sustainable Peace Building
The Geneva Conference side event titled Sustainable Peace Building was held with the presence of Sayed Sadat Mansoor Naderi, State Minister for Peace, Masoom Stanekzai, Head of the Negotiating Team of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Habiba Sarabi and Fawzia Koofi, member of the negotiating team, Afghan government officials, representatives of countries and international organizations.
Sayed Sadat Mansoor Naderi, State Minister for Peace and member of the negotiating team spoke as the keynote speaker. He called the holding of this conference in these difficult times a message of solidarity of the international community with the people of Afghanistan.
Mr. Naderi added that the support of the international community has helped to create the necessary space and momentum for us to pursue the opportunity for peace.
Referring to the four decades of war in Afghanistan and its negative side effects to the people of Afghanistan, the State Minister for Peace said that the targeting of various strata of Afghan society by extremists is not accidental, because they are a manifestation of Afghanistan's progress in creating a more inclusive, progressive and pluralistic society.
Sayed Sadat Mansoor Naderi stressed that at this critical juncture in the peace process, we are committed to being the voice of those who are in danger, and that this voice is heard to the highest levels.
Mr. Naderi said that the civil society and war victims had the opportunity to tell their stories directly to the negotiating team of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. He added that the inclusion of these perspectives will help the peace process to move in the just and sustainable direction in the future.
The State Minister for Peace said that lasting peace cannot be achieved without regard to sustainable peace programs that promote justice, economic development, and social reconciliation throughout Afghanistan. He added that despite all the disagreements between Afghans, the Islamic Republic is united in its approach to the peace process.
Sayed Sadat Mansoor Naderi, while emphasizing the importance of preserving the achievements of the past 19 years, especially the role of human rights, participation of all ethnic groups, youth and women in our society, said that with the preservation of the rights, dignity and security of millions of displaced citizens, they should be able to return to their homes.
Emphasizing the internal unity of the inclusiveness of the peace process, the State Minister for Peace stated that the weakest and most vulnerable people should have a voice in determining their future in the peace process. He noted the international community's commitment to promoting the value of inclusiveness of the process.
At the end of his speech, he called for the continued support of Afghanistan's international partners in strengthening and preserving these values and pursuing and achieving a just and lasting peace in the country.
On the other hand, Masoom Stanekzai, the head of the negotiating team of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, said in his speech at the event that the people of Afghanistan have suffered a lot during the years of war and insecurity, and it is time for meaningful talks with the Taliban to achieve peace.
He stressed that if in the negotiation table the issues of ceasefire, human rights, women's rights and the constitution are not considered, the process may get problematic.
The head of the negotiating team also stressed the role of women, war victims, returnees and other groups in the peace process and said that until the role of all strata in this process is not ensured, a lasting peace will not be achieved.
Mr. Stanekzai also said that Afghanistan is once again in a difficult time and that Afghanistan should not be allowed to fall into the trap of violence and the period of absence of peace.
He praised the international community's support for the Afghanistan peace process and expressed hope that the Afghan people would achieve peace and prosperity.
In the panel, Ms. Habiba Sarabi, a member of the negotiating team, spoke about the need for inclusiveness and universality of peace negotiations, stating that the scope of peace negotiation is directly related to the stability of the peace process. She added that the stability of the political disputes resolution result is related to women's inclusion in negotiations.
She emphasized that members of the negotiating team consider themselves responsible and accountable and regularly interact with people from all strata, especially war victims and minorities from across the country, and listen to their views, expectations, demands, concerns and fears.
Appreciating the role of the State Ministry for Peace, Ms. Sarabi said that the Ministry has made it possible for the negotiating team to communicate virtually with a wide variety of people from all over the country.
She noted that the negotiating team regularly consults with international partners and members of the support group.
Ms. Sarabi provided information about the female members of the negotiating team, saying that women negotiators not only strongly defend women's rights alongside their male colleagues, but also actively participate and raise their voices in discussions about the fate and future of a peaceful, independent and prosperous Afghanistan.
Expressing gratitude to the international partners for their continued support for Afghanistan over the past two decades, she said that the continued support of the international community is important not only for the current negotiation process, but also for the upcoming years.
Ms. Sarabi called on the international community to work for the actualization of ceasefire and to support the implementation of peace strategies and the realization of the views and aspirations of the Afghan people for peace.
Another member of the negotiating team, Ms. Fawzia Koofi also expressed gratitude for the support of the international community, saying that Afghanistan had come a long way and would continue to do so in the future. In this way, the international community has always stood by the people of Afghanistan and it is necessary to continue in the future.
She said that the negotiating team of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has always tried to reflect the ideals and hopes of a generation from Afghanistan that have made significant progress and show a changed image of Afghanistan.
Ms. Koofi emphasized on the protection of women's rights, human rights and the achievements of the last nineteen years during the negotiations.
She also said that during the Afghanistan peace negotiations we have witnessed violence escalation, but we hope that a common ground will be created for peace.
In this event, which was chaired by Hanif Atmar, Minister of Foreign Affairs and EU Commissioner Janez Lenarčič, Bibi Gul Rula Ghani, First Lady, Hasina Safi, Minister of Women’s Affairs, Noor Rahman Akhlaqi, Minister of Refugees and Repatriation, Shahrzad Akbar, Director of Independent Human Rights Commission, Mary Akrami, Director of Afghan Women's Network, officials from Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Executive Director of UN Women and the Deputy of World Bank in South Asia also spoke.
The Afghanistan 2020 conference started in Geneva today with the presence of nearly a hundred countries and international organizations in person and online. In this two-day conference, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan shares with the international community the vision and aspirations of the Afghan people in the document of the National Framework for Peace and Development of Afghanistan with the aim of a stable, prosperous and self-sufficient Afghanistan.