Farkhunda Zahra Naderi, IPU Ecuador 2013Afghanistan obtained membership of the Third Standing Committee (Democracy and Human Rights) of the Inter–Parliamentary Union (IPU) on the Union’s 128th Assembly held in Ecuador.

The candidates for the membership to the Committee were Farkhunda Zahra Naderi from Afghanistan, a female Parliamentarian from Australia and a male Parliamentarian from Iran.

Receiving 28 votes from the 52 members of the Committee, Farkhunda Zahra Naderi won the seat on behalf of Afghanistan.

The Australian Parliamentarian and the Iranian Parliamentarian received 20 and 3 votes respectively.

“After this Afghanistan must be given a chance to take part in the international affairs and have a role in the global decision making process and providing solutions to international crisis,” said Ms. Naderi.

In an exclusive interview with Khaama Press, Ms. Naderi said regarded the membership a valuable achievement for Afghanistan.

“It was not easy for Afghanistan to succeed in winning the membership status of the Third Standing Committee (Democracy and Human Rights), as Australia and Iran had worked hard and had advance preparations to obtain membership in this committee. Afghanistan won the seat in a serious election, although the chances of winning for the Australian lady was very high, as she was a popular face and was one of the ex-members of the IPU. This is a great achievement for Afghanistan,” said Miss Naderi.

Afghanistan previously participated in the annual assemblies of the IPU and was not a member of any of the committees. This is the first time that Afghanistan has reserved a seat in one of the important committees of IPU.

Established in 1889, the IPU is the international organization of Parliaments.

The Union is the focal point for world-wide parliamentary dialogue and works for peace and co-operation among peoples and for the firm establishment of representative democracy.

IPU assembly is held each year in one of the member countries. The 2014 assembly will be in Azerbaijan.

On its 128th Assembly, the IPU focused on intensifying efforts to protect civilians in conflict.

Adopting resolutions on the Syrian refugee crisis and on the role of parliaments in safeguarding civilian lives, the IPU Assembly urged parliaments to ensure governments protected their people from genocide, ethnic cleansing, war crimes and crimes against humanity through legislation, the ratification of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, and by overseeing government action to combat terrorism.

The 128th IPU Assembly also adopted resolutions on the promotion of fair trade and innovative mechanisms for sustainable development and on the use of social media to enhance citizen engagement and democracy.