Afghan youth have key role in supporting peace says expert panel

9 Nov 2016

Afghan youth have key role in supporting peace says expert panel

KANDAHAR - Young Afghans have an essential role in supporting peace in the country, according to panelists at a UNAMA-backed TV debate in southern Kandahar province.

More than 100 university students participated in the joint UNAMA-Hewad TV and Radio event, led by a four-person panel of academics from Kandahar University.

Panelists agreed that young Afghans can be a strong force for change when they work together in a harmonious way. In terms of peace, youth could play an important mediation role, including creating a dialogue with young people involved in activities that run counter to peace.

Hazrat Mir Totakhail, Kandahar University Dean and one of the panelists, said that Afghanistan is a young society, with close to 60 per cent of the population comprised of youth. As such, youth are an important force in the country’s future, including furthering peace.

“The current environment is very conducive for youth to get involved in decision-making processes and political activities,” said Mr. Totakhail, who welcomed government support to employing more youth in the civil service.

Wazma Efat Karimi, a lecturer and fellow panelist, said she was hopeful that more and more girls would enter higher education in Kandahar, which would result in women and men being able to increasingly share community responsibilities.

“I would like to call upon families to let their girls acquire education and become useful contributors to society,” said Ms. Karimi.

An edited version of the pre-recorded debate was televised on Hewad TV and Radio, reaching an estimated audience of 400,000 people in Kandahar province and via satellite television.

Kandahar province shares a frontier with Pakistan, in the south, while to the west, north and east, the province shares borders with Helmand, Uruzgan and Zabul provinces, respectively. Kandahar is a largely rural province and home to a number of ethnic communities.

UNAMA is mandated to support the Afghan Government and the people of Afghanistan as a political mission that provides good offices; promotes coherent development support by the international community; supports the process of peace and reconciliation; monitors and promotes human rights and the protection of civilians in armed conflict; promotes good governance; and encourages regional cooperation.