INDEPENDENT NEWS

Weight Of Sixty-one Organisations, Individuals And Community Members Call For Urgent Action For Afghanistan

Published: Thu 16 Sep 2021 05:52 AM
September 16, 2021 - An open letter to Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Minister of Foreign Affairs was submitted today with signatures from 61 organisations, individuals and Afghan community members calling for urgent action for Afghanistan. In the open letter, the group expresses their concern about the delay in Government action:
“The needs in Afghanistan are growing by the hour. Right now, there are compounding crises taking place, including hunger, displacement, conflict, and Covid-19. Basic services are collapsing, and aid is running out. There are ongoing reports of gross human rights abuses. Women, children, and those who have worked to promote human rights, democracy and education, are amongst the people most at risk. Urgent action is needed to prevent an even greater humanitarian disaster and to ensure that every individual has their rights and dignity upheld.”
Canada has announced the resettlement of up to 20,000 vulnerable Afghan nationals; the UK committed to accepting 20,000 Afghan refugees; the US is expected to admit 50,000 Afghan refugees and has set aside a US$500 million fund which will help meet urgent migration needs; European countries and our Australian neighbours are also taking steps. However, New Zealand has made no such commitments yet. The letter urges the Government to take action, saying:
“Your Government is perceived to be one that practices kindness and is committed to collective action for the betterment of humanity, yet other countries have taken significant steps to address the need for international support and assistance, while New Zealand has not.”
The New Zealand Government spent 20 years and hundreds of millions of dollars in military expenditure as part of the international intervention in Afghanistan. The group of 61 says that the New Zealand government has an obligation to the people of Afghanistan to stand by them now:
“Be it the provision of aid, or safe pathways to New Zealand, the time for response is immediate and the cost of inaction is high.”
Read the open letter here, which includes signatures from the following:OrganisationsActionStationAfghan Cultural Association of WellingtonAmnesty International Aotearoa New ZealandAnglican MissionsAotearoa Resettled Community Coalition (ARCC)Asylum Support Seekers Trust (ASST)Belong AotearoaCaritas Aotearoa New ZealandChildFundChristian Churches New ZealandChristian World ServiceCommunity Law Centres O AotearoaCongregational Union of New ZealandCouncil for International DevelopmentECPAT NZFairtrade ANZHagarHazara Afghan Youth Association (HAYA)Hazara Association of New ZealandMethodist Church of New ZealandNZBMS (New Zealand Baptist Missionary Society)Oxfam AotearoaReliefAidSave the ChildrenTearfundThe Gender Justice CollectiveThe National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of OtagoTutapona InternationalUN Women Aotearoa New ZealandUnited Afghan Association of CanterburyVineyard Churches Aotearoa New ZealandWesleyan Methodist Church of New ZealandWorld Vision New ZealandIndividuals
34. Alberto Costi, Professor, Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington
35. Amin Vakili, Civil Society Activist and members of the Afghan Cultural Association of Wellington
36. Archbishop Don Tamihere. Te Pihopa o Aotearoa
37. Archbishop Philip Richardson, Bishop of Waikato and Taranaki
38. Associate Professor Bethan Greener PhD, Massey
39. Blake Dawson, Barrister (Brandon Street Chambers)
40. Bridget Crichton (Fa’amatuainu), Lecturer, AUT School of Law
41. Carol Peters, PhD, QSM, Whangarei District Councillor
42. Dr Arif Ali, Hazara Association of New Zealand and Afghan Cultural Association of Wellington.
43. Dr Charles Mpofu; Senior Lecturer
44. Dr Marnie Lloydd, Lecturer, Victoria University of Wellington
45. Dr Natalia Szablewska, International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law Expert, Auckland University of Technology
46. Dr. Heather Devere, Director of Practice, Te Ao o Rongmaraeroa/National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies
47. Eleanor Holroyd Co-Director AUT Centre of Migrant and Refugee Research
48. James Meager, Public Law Solicitor
49. Jane Verbitsky Associate Professor
50. Javid Nazari, President of Afghan Cultural Association of Wellington
51. John McBride, Barrister
52. Marianne Elliott, Human Rights Advocate
53. Mohammad Raqiz Nabizadah, member of Afghan Cultural Association of Wellington
54. Monique van Alphen Fyfe, Barrister | Rōia Tūtahi (Stout Street Chambers)
55. Natalie Baird, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law | Te Kaupeka Ture, University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha
56. Nicola Muir, Author
57. Paul Rishworth QC
58. Right Reverend Fakaofo Kaio - Moderator Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa NZ
59. Shakerah Zakeri, member of the Afghan community
60. Sulaiman Sarwary, PHD student and member of Aotearoa's Afghan Community
61. Wendy Aldred, Barrister (Stout Street Chambers)

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