Afghanistan joins UN75 dialogue, the biggest-ever global conversation on world's future
KABUL - Kicking off the world’s biggest listening exercise in Afghanistan, a group of youth representatives met in Kabul this week and shared their hopes and fears as part of the global UN75 initiative to create a collective vision for world’s future.
A world free from violence, in which humans respect each other and exist in harmony with all living beings, is fundamental to creating a peaceful and just society, said young Afghans at the first of a series of UN-backed dialogues scheduled to take place across the country this year.
The university students and youth advocates attending the first UN75 event in Kabul spoke about the future of Afghanistan – and the world.
“Security, poverty and education are interlinked,” said Ajmal Ramyar, executive director of Afghans for Progressive Thinking, a youth-oriented advocacy group. “But an absence of security is the mother of all problems, and once safety is ensured, other problems can be solved easily.”
During the wide-ranging discussion, participants called for a society in which diversity is valued, children are protected from radicalism and people from different countries can connect to each other to eliminate misconceptions and work toward common objectives – across borders, sectors and generations.
“Technology can connect us, but many people are still illiterate,” said Aisha Khurram, Afghanistan’s youth representative to the United Nations. “Many people in Afghanistan don’t have electricity, and there is an urban-rural divide and a gender gap in access to technology; we must eliminate the divide and close the gap.”
The aim of the UN75 dialogues in Afghanistan, which commenced this week in Kabul and are scheduled to take place across the country over the coming months, is to crowdsource ideas to shape a better future, collectively. The dialogues are part of this year’s commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations.
The global events and activities leading up to the official commemoration of the UN’s 75th anniversary are designed to spark conversation on building a global vision for the year 2045, the UN’s centenary, to increase understanding of the threats to that future and drive collective action to realize that global vision.
While the UN75 campaign is designed to cultivate conversation among all segments of society – from classrooms to boardrooms, parliaments to village halls – it places special emphasis on youth and those whose voices are often marginalized or not heard in global affairs.
In a film released last year to announce the global UN75 dialogues, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres appealed to people everywhere to add their voices to the campaign: “We need your opinions, your strategies, your ideas for us to be able to deliver better for the people of the world that we must serve.”
The views and ideas that are generated in all the events will be presented to world leaders and senior UN officials at a high-profile event during the 75th Session of the General Assembly in September 2020.
Global opinion polling and media analysis will be conducted in parallel to provide statistically representative data. There are no limits or requirements for those who want to be a part of the conversation – physically or online. Information is available at www.un.org/UN75.