On December 10th, Asia Culture House and the United Nations in Afghanistan held a webinar with human rights activists to consult on progress in achieving the sustainable development goal 16. Panelists discussed the future and what it contains, what we need to do now to create peaceful, inclusive, and just societies, effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions at all levels, and what role the United Nations can play.

The webinar coincided with International Human Rights Day. It was part of a series of global consultations that the United Nations has launched for its 75th anniversary. These consultations will continue until the end of 2020.

We thank the following distinguished panelists for their participation in the webinar and their unique insights:

  1. Mohammad Zia Shefaie, Lecturer, Kateb University.
  2. Sana Talwasa, Senior Analyst—European affairs and Lecturer at the Herat University Law School,
  3. Fatema Ahmadi, Peace Process Program Officer, USIP,
  4. Yama Asrar, WASH Coordinator, Norwegian Church Aid,
  5. Ashraf Bakhteyari, Lecturer, Gawharshad University and Director, Afghanistan Forensic Science Organization,
  6. Qasem Qasem, Lecturer, Gharjistan University, and international asylum law researcher,
  7. Basir Seerat, Director, Asian Kultur Huset.

Priorities for international community to recover from the pandemic: “The first thing we need to do is to combat the spread of the virus by strengthening the healthcare system. Second, the world should deal with loss from this pandemic through multilateralism”. Qasem Qasem

“Sana Talwasa: Covid-19 helped us know that we have shared vulnerabilities. This proves that without cooperation, we can’t overcome the challenges we face nationally and globally”. Sanaa Talwasa

World in 2045: “Even though the peace negotiations has not succeeded, I anticipate that Afghanistan in 2045 won’t be an instable Afghanistan”. Basir Seerat

Recommendations for the UN: “The structure of the United Nations and its declaration is not responsive to the needs of people today and tomorrow. The structural challenge, the discrepancies and lags in the UN declaration should be resolved”. Ashraf Bakhtyari

“The UN alone cannot achieve the 17 sustainable development goals. It is necessary for communities to take ownership of the SDGs”. Zia Shefaie

“Coordination in SDG implementation is weak among the government and CSOs… Not only community members but also government bodies are unaware of the SDGs”. Yama Asrar

“I call upon the UN to challenge their own system and working mechanisms in order for us to have a better world”. Fatema Ahmadi

To read a detailed summary of the dialogue, download the following attachment:

The link to the video:

From top left to right: Basir Seerat, Farshad Bonyadih, Masooma Masih, Qasem Qasem, Yama Asrar, Ashraf Bakhteyari, Fatema Ahmadi,
Sanaa Talwasa, Sediqa Fahimi


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