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Afghanistan – EU Human Rights Dialogue

Afghanistan – EU Human Rights DialogueThe Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the European Union held their first human rights dialogue in Kabul today. The dialogue started with the opening remarks of H.E. Salahuddin Rabbani, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. The Afghan delegation was led by H.E. Atiqullah Atifmal, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, and the EU delegation was led by H.E. Franz- Michael Mellbin, European Union Special Representative/Head of Delegation to Afghanistan.
The Afghan delegation consisted of representatives on Deputy Minister level. The EU Member States participated on Ambassadors level. The dialogue allowed for an open exchange of views on the human rights situation in Afghanistan and on cooperation between the EU and Afghanistan in the field of human rights and rule of law.
Constructive discussions were held on a range of issues, including women’s rights, children’s rights, death penalty, torture, access to justice, freedom of expression and the rights of socially vulnerable and persons with disabilities. The EU welcomed some significant steps taken by the government in 2015, including the adoption of the National Plan for Women, Peace and Security and the National Action Plan to Combat Torture.
The Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan committed to implement its national and international obligations. This commitment is evident on national level in the provisions of the democratically adopted Constitution of the country and various laws, policies and plans that have been enacted in accordance with the Constitution and international obligations.
The Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan reiterated its commitment to improve the human rights situation in Afghanistan and to launch the necessary judicial reform.
The EU emphasized its commitment to help strengthen human rights and the rule of law in Afghanistan, and encouraged the Government of Afghanistan to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture.
The next human rights dialogue between Afghanistan and the European Union should be held in Kabul in 2016.