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Afghanistan: UN Mission welcomes civil society efforts to promote sustainable peace

17 January 2015 – The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has today welcomed a recent national conference during which local road maps for achieving sustainable, inclusive and just peace in the country were presented to participants.

The Mission said in a statement that the conference, held in Kabul on 15 January, saw presentation of 12 out of the 34 local road maps developed by Afghan civil society organizations and the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), and provided an important chance for those involved to develop advocacy strategies so that provincial and national policy makers act upon their findings.

"The national conference was a unique opportunity for civil society to develop their advocacy plans to ensure that the voice of the Afghan people is heard," said the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Afghanistan, Nicholas Haysom, promising that the United Nations would support those efforts in any way it could. "This advocacy could not be more important or timely."

Development of the local road maps was part of the civil society-led Afghan People's Dialogue for Peace initiative, conducted over the past three years. Some 6,000 Afghans from all walks of life took part in the Dialogue, sharing their grievances and aspirations, and identifying the main drivers of conflict and proposed solutions.

Conference participants highlighted the need to strengthen security institutions, promote responsive State institutions and end corruption among the main priorities for addressing the root causes of the conflict and achieving durable peace. They also stressed the need to promote human rights and women's rights, along with the rule of law, and to tackle impunity. Illegal armed groups needed to be disarmed and employment opportunities were needed, especially for young people.

The work builds on a June 2014 report on the national findings of the second phase of the Dialogue process. The UN Mission's statement welcomed the 10-point national road map to peace contained within the June report, which calls for advocacy efforts with Governmental authorities and anti-Government elements.

"In peace and reconciliation processes, UNAMA is firm that human rights must not be sacrificed and that women must play a strong and active role in any peace negotiations - both are critical for a sustainable peace," said Mr. Haysom. "The youth of Afghanistan are the country's future and their views must also be heard."

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