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Peace process must be one in which Afghans talk to Afghans: UNAMA

Peace process must be one in which Afghans talk to Afghans: UNAMA

May 10, 2015 - 16:27

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistaninfo-icon (UNAMA) has said on Sunday “war is unaffordable” for Afghanistan and the country won’t survive if there isn’t peace.

Nicholas Haysom, who is also the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan said this while speaking during a special interview for the UN’s Department of Political Affairs.

“War is unaffordable, and the levels of aid which go on to sustain the security establishment are not going to be forthcoming forever,” a statement quoted Haysom as saying.  

He added: “It doesn’t have to be at peace immediately, but [Afghanistan] is simply not going to survive if there isn’t peace in the long-term.”

The UNAMA received a new mandate from the UN Security Council in March, which says that UNAMA would play a role in promoting peace and stability in Afghanistan and that an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned political process is critical to support reconciliation.

“A peace process must be one in which Afghans talk to Afghans, not Afghans talk to the United Nations. As we say in Africa, where I come from, the doctor can’t take medicine on behalf of the patient,” said Haysom, who comes from South Africa.

UNAMA also helps ensure coordination between the international community, donors and government of Afghanistan. In addition, more than 20 UN agencies work in Afghanistan with many have been in the country for decades.

“As the international community draws down, if the UN would precipitously leave Afghanistan, it would be seen as abandonment,” he added. 

As part of its core mandate, the Mission is also working to try to ensure that womeninfo-icon and youth have an equal right to participation in public life.

“Why would we put such an emphasis on it?” Haysom said. “Apart from the question of human rights standards, apart from the question of the fact that women constitute 50 per cent of the population, or that youth are the country’s future, what we know is that for effective growth and development, the participation of women in the public and economic life of the nation is critical.”


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