The top United Nations envoy in Afghanistan today joined colleagues in releasing 21 doves ahead of the International Day of Peace for a country which has witnessed intensifying conflict over the past year.
“We need peace now. We need to bring this terrible conflict to an end,” said Kai Eide, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan. (Photo, right by Fardin Waezi-UNAMA)
The doves were released from the Kabul headquarters of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan by Mr. Eide and representatives from 21 UN agencies working in the country.
The Special Representative called for an immediate end to the conflict, adding that the burden of bringing the conflict to a halt falls first of all on the Afghans themselves.
“They must find their way to bring peace to their country, and we must be there to support them and that is why the United Nations is here.
“A peace process is so important to this country now and must be on the top of the political agenda once the election process has been brought to an end,” he added, referring to last month’s presidential and provincial council polls, the first to be organized by the Afghan Independent Election Commission.
Mr. Eide urged all Afghans to use the Peace Day to focus on how to bring peace to their nation. “Stop the fighting and demonstrate that there is a readiness from all of us to move into a peace process.”
This year’s Peace Day campaign – ‘What Are You Doing for Peace in Afghanistan?’ – was launched on 1 September and features numerous initiatives, like banners and paintings by individual citizens and groups, as well as a polio immunization drive that aims to reach millions of children in some of the most insecure areas in the country. (Photo, left, by Alexandre Brecher-Dolivet, UNAMA)
The International Day of Peace, on September 21, was first established by the UN General Assembly in 1981 as a day of global ceasefire and non-violence. The Assembly called for people around the world to use the Day as an opportunity to promote the resolution of conflict and to observe a cessation of hostilities during it. (UN News)