The work of the UN in Afghanistan, in particular its support to the country’s development and its response to humanitarian issues, was discussed by a TV panel in eastern Nangarhar province.
Hashema Sharif, a representative from the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) said there is harmony and coordination between the UN agencies, AIHRC, governmental line departments and non-governmental organizations.
“We don’t separate ourselves from the UN,” she said. “We are members of the same family.”
The UN has played a positive role in strengthening democracy, ensuring freedom of speech and improving the work of the judicial sector, she went on to say.
A four-member panel – including Ms. Sharif, two university lecturers and a UN staff member – covered the history and role of the UN in Afghanistan, along with its contributions to the advancement of human rights, rule of law, education and health.
Shirzad Mangal, a law lecturer at Nangarhar University, explained the reasons for the establishment of the UN, which has a long partnership with Afghanistan. Afghanistan applied for membership in the UN on 5 June 1946 and was formally admitted as a member by the General Assembly on 19 November of the same year. In an historic move on 10 December 1948, Afghanistan was one of 48 countries to vote for the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The UN’s work in Afghanistan dates back to 1949 when the UN Children’s Fund began operations here. The World Food Programme has been working in the country since 1963 and the UN Development Programme since 1966.