NB8 statement on Human Rights Situation in Afghanistan, delivered by Foreign Minister Elina Valtonen

Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland Elina Valtonen delivered the Nordic-Baltic statement at the 56th Session of the UN Human Rights Council on 18 June 2024.

Mr. President,

I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries. We thank the Special Rapporteur for the report, which gives impartial information and contributes to accountability.

The de facto authorities’ institutionalized system of discrimination, segregation and exclusion of women and girls in Afghanistan is increasingly alarming. It has severe social and economic consequences, causes trauma, suicide and loss of life. It may affect security beyond the country’s borders. This institutionalised system of gender oppression may amount to gender persecution. Afghanistan remains a party to several international conventions.

Despite severe limitations, you, women and girls of Afghanistan, with immense courage and determination, contribute as active agents to the wellbeing of the Afghan society and families. This deserves the full recognition of the international community.

Mr. Special Rapporteur, how can the international community work to support full, equal and meaningful participation of women in deliberations about Afghanistan’s future?  

Thank you.