Spirit behind Afghan women’s peace petition should be maintained and grown - Kubiš
KABUL - The top United Nations official in Afghanistan today urged the country’s women to maintain and build on the momentum behind a recent petition – signed by more than 250,000 women and girls – calling for peace and a cease-fire.
“The fact that this petition took place reflects not only great organizational skill under extremely difficult circumstances, but also great courage – and that should be lauded,” said the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), Ján Kubiš.
“I hope and urge that the spirit and energy which led to this petition in the first place is not only maintained, but that it grows stronger,” Mr. Kubiš added.
In early March, the women’s committee of the High Peace Council, an Afghan body leading the country’s peace efforts, submitted the petition to UNAMA for onward transmission to the head of the world body, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
The signature campaign started in mid-January covering most of the country’s 34 provinces.
The Secretary-General received the petition at UN Headquarters in New York on 21 March. Mr. Ban welcomed the peace campaign, noting that it was in the spirit of the Security Council’s Resolution 1325, and was another indication of the strong demands of the Afghan people for peace in their country. Special Representative Kubiš raised the issue of the petition during the Security Council debate on Afghanistan on 17 March, during which the Council also renewed UNAMA’s mandate.
The petition organizers indicated that they also sought to present the petition to President Hamid Karzai and the country's main armed opposition group, the Taliban, among others.
“While the United Nations gives serious consideration to this petition, I also urge the leaders of Afghanistan and the leaders of anti-Government-elements to listen to the message in this petition from Afghan women and girls,” Mr. Kubiš said. “The United Nations stands ready to support them in these efforts in any way it can.”