Youth in Afghanistan’s Northeast Call for Inclusion in Peace Efforts

In a series of events organized by UNAMA’s regional office in Kunduz, young people from Badakhshan, Baghlan, Takhar and Kunduz came together to discuss their role in building peace in their communities and talked about how they can participate more substantially in Afghanistan’s development agenda.

According to the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) report, in the wide-ranging discussions at each of the events, participants not only recognized the potential of young people as powerful agents of change in preventing and resolving conflict, but also underscored the importance of involving youth in any peace efforts and national decision-making processes.

“Peace efforts without engaging youth will not last,” said Salahuddin Qazizada, a university lecturer and participant during one of the televised events in Badakhshan last year. “It is essential for youth to be heard and for youth to participate in efforts to create peace and stability in the country.”

The report added that in another event in Baghlan, activists spoke about how the ongoing violence continues to affect the ability of youth to participate in public processes.

“At the Baghlan event, and in the other events across the northeast, participants exchanged ideas about how youth can make a difference in the context of the ongoing conflict and participate more fully in Afghanistan’s social, political and economic life,” the report reads.

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.
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