AIHRC Annual Report 2002-2003
A few words from the Chair
The fifth of December, 2001 is a remarkable day in the history of Afghanistan. Several political entities struggling for power, under pressure from Afghan civilians and the international community in Bonn, agreed upon setting up the six-month interim administration followed by a two-year transitional government.
In spite of severe challenges, the provisions of the Bonn Agreement have been implemented one after another. The establishment of the Emergency Loya Jirga, convening of the ELJ sessions, establishment of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, Judicial Reform Commission, Administration Reform Commission, the draft and review commissions of the constitution and other social and economic institutions have been among the fundamental achievements made by the Interim Administration and Transitional Government.
From an optimistic point of view, the re-employment of women in government and civil society organizations, the resumption of female education , the return of a huge number of Afghan refugees from neighboring countries and joining of the Afghan Diaspora in the reconstruction process are the positive indicators of peoples support for the new political set-up in Afghanistan. There assumption of diplomatic relations with other states, including the re-opening of embassies and diplomatic representative offices has raised hopes that Afghanistan will never again be ignored by the international society.
Now we are reaching a very sensitive turning point in our history. We are to end the politically bewildering situation and the violence by adopting a new constitution based on values of democracy, social justice and the international norms and standards of human rights, so as to guarantee the fundamental rights of the people and to secure human development.
The establishment of a national human rights institution was a new institutional phenomenon in Afghanistan. The founding of the AIHRC is the consequence of several years of deprivation and struggle by Afghan human rights activists inside Afghanistan and abroad, who were strengthened by international supporters. Despite enormous challenges, ranging from a shortage of financial and technical resources to staff security and the insecure situation within the country that has retarded the process of transitional justice, the commission is now successfully developing into a credible independent national human rights institution, supported by the civil society and the government alike. The commission has the potential to change the disappointment people felt in the early days, to hopes that the commission is a powerful advocate for their rights. After a year of tireless efforts, the commissioners and our staff, while we were only activists at the beginning, have developed now into professional human rights advocates and educators. Meanwhile the public support we receive strengthens our morale, enabling us to work consistently towards establishing a cornerstone upon which tomorrows human rights efforts in the country will be founded.
We believe that if it wasn’t for the international support received by the newly established Commission, it couldn’t have achieved what it has done. Therefore, on behalf of my fellow commissioners and staff, to whom I am indebted for their professionalism and hard work, I address my gratitude, thanks and appreciation to those donors who supported the commission financially and technically during the first year of operation, as well as the United Nations, and I do hope for their continuing cooperation in the future.
Dr. Sima Samar
Details : AIHRC Annual Report 2002-2003