Kandahar leaders gather to discuss causes of conflict, prospects for peace
KANDAHAR - Practical steps toward peace are more important now than ever, said community leaders gathered at a UN-backed symposium in the southern province of Kandahar to focus on opportunities for resolving conflict and building community cohesion.
The event in the province’s capital was organized by UNAMA’s Kandahar regional office ahead of the launch of several radio and television debates that are rolling out across Afghanistan’s southern region to highlight the importance of resolving conflict peacefully.
Speaking during the first radio programme broadcast by Hewad Radio in Kandahar, panellists underscored the important role of all Afghans, in all segments of society, playing a role in reducing conflict at the community level.
One of the panellists, Khalida Ahmadi, a member of Kandahar’s Provincial Council, said that each community member across Kandahar, including women, must work to promote peace.
“Peace means good will and progress, and everybody busy rebuilding their nation,” said Ahmadi. “Unfortunately, peace will not come to Afghanistan easily; we need to struggle to achieve it.”
Ibrahim Shah Sadat, a civil society member and another panellist in the first radio broadcast in Kandahar, stressed that, if unresolved, conflict destroys the economy, stops progress, damages infrastructure and prevents people from accessing basic services.
Those gathered at the event in Kandahar, along with panellists in the radio discussion, all agreed that intra-Afghan dialogue would be the most practical step toward reducing conflict, and expressed optimism about the recent ceasefires as a major achievement for country-wide peace.
Supported by UNAMA’s Kandahar regional office, both the symposium and the broadcast campaign were organized as part of a series of outreach events designed to create platforms where Afghans can discuss the drivers of conflict and strategize on opportunities for peace.
UNAMA provides 'good offices' and other key services, including diplomatic steps that draw on the organization’s independence, impartiality and integrity to prevent disputes from arising, escalating or spreading. The Mission coordinates international support for Afghan development and humanitarian priorities.
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.