Afghan youth, making up more than 60 per cent of the population in the country, are crucial for stability and peace in Afghanistan, said community leaders to an audience of more than 700 gathered in the southern province of Kandahar on Thursday.
At the gathering, organized just ahead of International Peace Day by the regional office of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), community leaders outlined how young Afghans have become the largest population demographic in the country and should therefore be at the forefront of any peace efforts.
Activist Mohammad Amin Kamin, who spoke at the event, highlighted the importance of the Afghan National Youth Policy, a plan outlining a roadmap for strengthening the youth demographic and leveraging its contributions. The policy, officially launched earlier this year by the Youth Directorate, details a plan for young Afghans to participate in decision-making so they can actively contribute to the country’s development.
“The best way youth can contribute to peace is by acquiring an education,” said Ewaz Nazari, the Deputy Director of Kandahar’s Education Department, in a speech at the event.
To reinforce the concept that education is critical not only for young Afghans, but also for the future of Afghanistan, some 200 students from the Kandahar Institute for Modern Studies were awarded their graduation certificates at the conclusion of the event.
The programme was broadcast live on private and state-run television and radio, reaching an audience estimated at 300,000 in Kandahar city and its suburbs.
The United Nations General Assembly established the International Day of Peace in 1981 to coincide with its opening session. In 2001, the Assembly unanimously voted to establish 21 September as an annual day of non-violence and cease-fire – a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.