Sunday, February 14, 2010

Opening Speech at SMUN 2009: Role Play as Turkey Delegation


Mr.President, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my distinct pleasure to be here with you all today the distinguished delegates of the Commission of the Status of Women. But before I do that, I would like to pay tribute to our host, the Stockholm Model United Nations. As one of the finest such establishments of its kind, I need not tell you that throughout the years, thanks to its excellent work, SMUN has become more than just an acronym for a renowned for excellence.

Dear Delegates,

Before entering our vast session of the commission on the status of women regarding the situation of women and girls in Afghanistan, it is always worthwhile to briefly take stock of our perspectives on women’s rights in Turkey.

Turkey’s commitment to women’s rights dates back to her foundation when the founder and the leader of the modern Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk launched intensive reforms in order for providing the women with equal rights and opportunities. These reforms mark the first steps in the revolutionary path towards the transformation of the status of women in Turkey.

A series of process of review and important steps have been taken towards the establishment of gender equality through various legal amendments. Further legislation concerning women’s rights has also resulted from the ongoing harmonization efforts with the European Union acquisition. From a historical point of view, Turkey constitutes an exemplary country with regard to gender equality and in providing rights to women in the social and political life. Women in Turkey have been granted the right to vote and to stand for elections earlier than many other countries.

Turkey is one of the pioneering countries in providing rights to women in political life. Currently, there are 48 women parliamentarians in the Turkish Parliament. Furthermore, there is a growing interest among women to participate actively in political life.

Distinguished Delegates

We believe that more effective actions must be taken to protect and empower women in Afghanistan. Addressing the particular needs of women and girls in Afghanistan, with a particular emphasis on those issues related to their physical security, mental and reproductive health, employment, education and access to social services and justice, is a priority issue that we should tackle in every layer of the peace process.

Likewise, equally strong measures are needed to increas
e the participation of women in peace processes since that will increase the effectiveness of these efforts. Indeed, we should not forget that women in Afghanistan are not merely victims of war, but also agents of change towards modernization and transformation, with immense contributions to sustain peace and prosperity.

This is why Turkey has given its strong support to projects aimed at ensuring increased participation of women in all walks of social and political life. In other words, we believe that the empowerment of women entirely should be at the core of all our efforts.

Distinguished Delegates

Let me reiterates our support to various programs dedicated to empower women in politics and governance in Afghanistan, while undertaking many other projects with a view to providing equal and modern education opportunities to girls

While concluding, I would like to convey my regards to all the delegates, with the belief that the Session of the Commission on the Status of Women on Afghanistan will contribute in a constructive ways.

Thank you.

Aditya Muharam & Gustaf Nilsson

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