Surobi leaders strategize on building social cohesion, foundations for peace
SUROBI - Community leaders in Kabul’s eastern Surobi district gathered at a UN-backed symposium to strategize on ways to promote social cohesion, both locally and nationally, in the interest of advancing peace.
Speaking during the event, which was later broadcast by Radio Surobi to audiences in and around the district, participants exchanged ideas about the main factors affecting social cohesion in Kabul and across Afghanistan.
“Human beings are interdependent; this interdependency compels us to support and cooperate with each other to contribute to social stability and prosperity,” said Abdul Manan Sahak, head of Surobi’s Youth Council. “Lack of cooperation and lack of acceptance not only cause violence but also negatively impact the local economy, which further affects communities.”
Other participants offered similar perspectives as they discussed the need for more development initiatives and job opportunities to build community cohesion.
“Our Council is working with influential community figures, including religious leaders, to increase the engagement of minority groups in key decision-making processes at the district level, enabling them to benefit equally from social services,” Sahak added.
Mohammad Aslam, the principal of a local high school, called for full cooperation in settling disputes. “Disputes in one corner of the district badly affect people in the other,” he said. “To promote a culture of acceptance, we have established reform committees in our school; we periodically meet with different groups to find solutions to issues contributing to disturbances.”
Faisal Khan, a youth advocate, said that there is no discrimination in Islam. “We must cooperate and work together for social harmony and stability,” he said. “Education is fundamental for social stability because learned people resolve their conflicts through negotiation.”
At the conclusion of the event, the participants jointly resolved to carry the discussion forward among their respective communities in future events and engagements.
Surobi is one of Kabul’s 15 districts. More than 100 communities, in mostly rural villages, live in the picturesque region of the central province, bordered by Parwan and Kapisa provinces to the north, Laghman to the east and Nangarhar to the south.
The event was organized by Kabul's central regional office and broadcast by Surobi Radio to an audience estimated at 100,000 people in and around district as part of a countrywide outreach programme aimed at creating platforms – using radio, television and social media – to enable Afghans to engage in dialogue on pressing issues affecting their communities.
At almost every UNAMA-backed event, local media partners not only record the discussion and debate for later rebroadcast, but also create new programmes around the issues that are raised, extending the discussion and creating new opportunities for local voices to be heard on issues such as peace, reconciliation, government transparency, human rights and rule of law.
In accordance with its mandate as a political mission, UNAMA supports the Afghan people and government to achieve peace and stability. UNAMA backs conflict prevention and resolution, promoting inclusion and social cohesion, as well as strengthening regional cooperation. The Mission supports effective governance, promoting national ownership and accountable institutions that are built on respect for human rights.
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.