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Women Peacemakers - Before and After 1325

Learning Process on the Role of Women Peacemakers Globally –

Conversation with Asila Wardak, Commissioner of the Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)

A discussion on the implementation of UN resolution 1325 and its implications in Afghanistan. Event organized by the School of Diplomacy and International Relations - Center for Peace and Conflict Studies (CPCS) and co-sponsored by the United Nations Association of the USA, a program of the UN Foundation and by Inclusive Security.

We were honored to host Asila Wardak as the keynote speaker. Asila Wardak is an Afghan leading women’s right activist and former diplomat. She was one of the Afghan delegates to the Doha Peace Talks with the Taliban in 2019. She served as Director General of UN affairs in the Afghan Foreign Ministry before the government’s collapsed in August 2021. She is the Commissioner of the Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the 2022-2023 Robert G. James Scholar Fellow at Harvard Radcliffe Institute

During the first Taliban regime, in the late 1990s, she served Afghan refugees, particularly women and children, organizing aid assistance and training to establish local NGOs protecting women’s rights. Ms. Wardak has authored major historical overviews, current analyses, and an UN-mandated national strategy for women’s full participation across Afghan society, including the security sector. In 2001, she was one of the female delegates at the Bonn conferences, establishing the post-Taliban government, and was a political appointee to multiple Jirgas (traditional Grand Assemblies) to approve the new constitution and establish a sustainable peace.

Ms. Wardak served as Minister Counselor to the Permanent Mission of Afghanistan to the United Nations. She also worked as Director General of Human Rights and International Women’s Affairs at Afghanistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In addition, she served as a Social Development Specialist for the World Bank, and she has worked with major organizations such as UN Development Programme, the Asian Development Bank, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), Care International, and the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives within the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

Her work as peacemaker provided us with valuable insights about the critical roles that women play in peacebuilding.

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