The central role of Afghan youth in achieving durable peace in Afghanistan was highlighted by panelists at a UNAMA-backed televised discussion in the western province of Herat.
The televised panel discussion, organized by UNAMA’s Herat office, was attended by an audience of university students, women’s activists and other members of civil society who had the opportunity to engage with the panel. The event was later broadcast by Herat’s Ariana TV, reaching an estimated million-plus viewers.The five panelists emphasized the vital role of youth in achieving sustainable peace and development in Afghanistan, in a context where 68 per cent of the Afghan population is estimated to be below 25 years of age. “It is unfortunate that, in this country, most decisions on important issues facing Afghanistan, including peace talks, are taken by elders and youth rarely participate in the decision-making processes,” said panelist and Herat provincial council member Somaia Ramish.“This should be changed rapidly otherwise we will not have durable peace and development.”Civil society activist and panelist, Khalil Parsa, highlighted problems facing youth in Afghanistan, including security challenges, and the lack of educational and employment opportunities.“Apart from opening up opportunities for youth to be involved in any peace deals, all players in this country, including Government, civil society and the international community, have the responsibility to provide them with education, employment and economic opportunities,” said Mr. Parsa. “This would be the best solution for peace.”UNAMA is mandated to assist the people and Government of Afghanistan in laying the foundations for sustainable peace and development.