Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General
Switzerland, Liechtenstein


Human Rights Council - 25th Regular Session

Item 10 General Debate
Australian statement

27 March 2014

Australia has made statements in the Item 10 dialogues on the Central African Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti and Mali. We welcome the High Commissioner’s report on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan needs to be vigilant in building on the human rights gains of the last decade. In less than two weeks’ time, Afghan people will exercise their right to vote in what must be a credible and democratic process that respects, and reflects, the will of the Afghan people.

We acknowledge the progress made in strengthening frameworks on women’s rights, with the passing of the 2009 Elimination of Violence Against Women Law. We urge that Afghanistan take action to fully implement and enforce this law. Australia encourages Afghanistan to finalise and implement a National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security and to support the active participation of women in the peace and reconciliation process.

Australia welcomes the unanimous adoption by the United Nations Security Council on 17 March of a resolution renewing the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA) for a further twelve months and the strong focus on protecting human rights, especially the rights of women and girls.

Australia remains committed to supporting the critical work of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission and encourages efforts to strengthen its capacity, including providing sustainable funding and reviewing the Law on the Structure, Duties and Mandate to ensure alignment with the Paris Principles.

Political, security and economic transition in Afghanistan creates an opportunity for strong Afghan Government leadership in human rights. Australia would like to see the new Afghan Government take early and meaningful steps in this field, thereby advancing the gains of human rights developments in recent years.