UNAMA chief says in farewell speech ‘Afghans will not be abandoned’

Reflecting on her two years as Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General to Afghanistan, Deborah Lyons said Thursday that UNAMA’s mission in the country is necessary for a number of reasons, including that the country is “too important to the international community to be forgotten”.
In a statement to mark the end of her term in the country, Lyons said: “First, we have a historical legacy. The United Nations has had a political, human rights, humanitarian, and development presence in Afghanistan since the late 1980s. We have had some successes and some failures and as a result of the latter we have a moral responsibility to remain.
“Second, we need to address the needs of the most vulnerable Afghans through humanitarian assistance and support to their basic human needs.
“Third, Afghanistan is too important to the international community to be forgotten. UNAMA will remain as a credible observer and reporter on events on the ground and a reliable link between the Afghan people, the de facto authorities, and the international community.
“As such it will also continue as a symbol that the Afghan people will not be abandoned again by the world,” Lyons said.
She said however that as she leaves Afghanistan, her “heart breaks in particular for the millions of Afghan girls who are denied their right to education, and the many Afghan women full of talent who are being told to stay at home instead of using those talents to rebuild a society that now experiences far less conflict but in some ways as much fear as before.”
She said it was ironic that “now that there is space for everyone to help rebuild the country half of the population is confined and prevented from doing so.”
Lyons stated that she is convinced that the best hope lies in an engagement strategy that demonstrates to the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) authorities that a system that excludes women, minorities, and talented people will not endure, and that at the same time it is possible to construct a polity that is both inclusive and Islamic.
In conclusion she said: “It has been said that when a traveler visits Afghanistan, the country confiscates their soul, and they must return now and then to see themselves. I leave with that saying very much in my mind.”The post UNAMA chief says in farewell speech ‘Afghans will not be abandoned’ first appeared on Ariana News.

Source: Ariana News

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