This is the second visit of women-only delegation of Afghan Parliamentarians to NATO HQ since 2007 as a continuation of NATO`s efforts to engage women in a constructive dialogue on issues related to the stability, reconstruction and development of Afghanistan.
The event included meetings with the NATO Secretary General, the Assistant Secretary General for Operations, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Diplomacy Strategy as well as other high-level NATO officials and experts, representatives from NATO and Partner countries, and the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. An informal exchange of views with journalists from the Dari/Pashto language services of Radio Free Europe/Radio Europe, BBC and Deutsche Welle was also organised as part of the programme.
The discussions focussed on the overarching principles of NATO`s policies laid out in the Bucharest Summit Declaration and the Public Declaration on ISAF`s Strategic Vision as well as on the multifaceted aspects of NATO`s role in Afghanistan. The friendly atmosphere of a luncheon hosted by Mrs Jeannine de Hoop Scheffer provided a unique opportunity to discuss the role of women in the process of reconstruction and development of Afghanistan as well as to share views on issues related to the education, health care and economic opportunities for Afghan women.
A special panel was dedicated to NATO`s work towards the implementation of the UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security with the participation of the Chairperson of the Committee on Women in the NATO Forces (CWINF) as well as NATO experts and national representatives of NATO`s Ad Hoc Group on UNSCR 1325 Implementation. A delegation of Women for Leadership " from Spain also took part in the discussions.