Remarks at the Afghan Women's Event

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Bonn Conference Center
Bonn, Germany
December 5, 2011

SECRETARY CLINTON: I’m delighted to see all of you. And welcome to the ministers, welcome to the representatives of civil society. And I just feel so strongly that everything that you have accomplished over the last 10 years is so important.

PARTICIPANT: Members of parliament are also here in the (inaudible) --

SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, excellent. Excellent.

PARTICIPANT: -- as well. We have parliamentarians as well.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, what I wanted to do is go around and shake everybody’s hand – some of you I know; some of you I don’t – and to have a chance to greet each of you and maybe have a picture taken as we go down the line.

But I just want to emphasize strongly how important it is that your voices continue to be heard, whether you are in parliament or in the government or in civil society. And we need your ideas and your suggestions. I know there are many ways that you can communicate with us, but I welcome and encourage that.

Did you want to say something?

PARTICIPANT: (Via interpreter) I thank you very much. We are delighted to be here as part of the members of the Afghan women here today here. What the Afghan women really wanted was the participation of 2,550 Afghan women to be included in part of the peace process and the reconciliation process. And the members of the parliament all together, that they --

PARTICIPANT: Traditional Loya Jirga.

PARTICIPANT: A traditional Loya Jirga.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Hey, Barney. How are you doing? (Laughter.)

PARTICIPANT: (Via interpreter) Only 25 percent of that – women participated, 25 percent of the 2,500. But today’s meeting and events were very interesting because we realize that the whole international community was really talking about (inaudible) in order for peace, for stability, and for security, and we know that one thousand persons, Afghan women, should be participating in that (inaudible).

But I do have a suggestion. What our desire is that – (applause) – (inaudible) participated in the traditional Loya Jirga. But what is important that we are requesting that it is really possible for international community to get rid of the Taliban within 24 hours. (Laughter.) She said enough is enough for us, and this is what we would like to have (inaudible).

SECRETARY CLINTON: I wish I could do that. (Laughter.)

PRN: 2011/T57-03