By: Monitoring Desk
KABUL: The role of youth as agents of peace and development was spotlighted during a series of UN-backed radio programs in the country’s central and southeast provinces.
Speaking during radio programs in Bamyan, Daikundi and Ghazni provinces, participants emphasized that investing in youth is an investment in peace and development. They said youth are vital agents of peace and should be regarded as assets to the country.
“Youth are a source of positive energy and goodwill,’ said Siddiqa Hosseini, head of the Women’s Union in Ashtarlai District, during a radio discussion in Daikundi. “They play an important role in holding communities together.”
In Jaghori district, in the southeast province of Ghazni, participants said that youth are critical to Afghanistan and upon whose future and development depend.
“Young people are the backbone of the country,” said civil society representative, Aziz Carlo, making the point that young people should be included in national processes.
For Arian Jamalzadeh, a youth activist from Saighan district, Bamyan, youth inclusion means that young people are not seen as troublemakers or passive members of society, but as forces of good and development.
Recently, youth from across Afghanistan have expressed support for the Afghanistan peace process as well as discontent for what they view as lack of inclusion. They contend that the absence of youth representation at the negotiations in Qatar, risks leaving out the views of millions of young people, who constitute more than half of the country.
Afghanistan has one of the largest youth populations in the world. According to some estimates, three-quarters of the country’s population is below the age of 30, making young people a vital demographic. Young Afghans are also among the most affected by the protracted conflict, grappling with high levels of illiteracy, unemployment, inequality and poverty.
Despite the many challenges, there is a growing recognition that any peace efforts in Afghanistan must be inclusive and must therefore involve young people. This idea is reaffirmed by Security Council Resolution 2282 (2016), which recognizes the importance of youth in deterring and resolving conflict.
The radio series were organized by UNAMA field office in Bamyan to highlight local communities’ role in achieving peace.
UNAMA works with various institutions, and individuals to create platforms – using radio, social media, and television – for Afghans to engage in dialogue on pressing issues affecting their communities.