UN marks 70th anniversary with appreciating Afghans
Nicholas Haysom, the UN secretary general’s special representative for Afghanistan and UNAMA head, expressed these views at ceremony marking the UN’s 70th anniversary in which Afghan officials and civil society activists participated.
He said the UN was committed to cooperating with all member countries and establishing lasting peace in the world.
Haysom said economic and agricultural development provided the basis for justice and welfare and the UN had always worked in these two areas in Afghanistan.
The UN at this year’s anniversary appreciated a number of Afghans who worked with the organisation.
Haysom believed it was the best work to appreciate those who worked for human rights, particularly for women rights, reconstructed cultural heritage and cleared landmines.
At the end of the ceremony, a day-long exhibition showcasing pictures taken from UN operations in different provinces was also inaugurated.
UNAMA on its website said the extraordinary work of a group of Afghan professionals who have made a positive difference in their fields, for the betterment of Afghanistan, was celebrated at the photographic exhibition.
An estimated 150 people, from Afghanistan’s media outlets and civil society groups, along with UN representatives, attended the exhibition, which featured a collection of specially commissioned panoramic photographs measuring four metres wide.
Each photo (which can be viewed on UNAfghanistan.org) contains three main scenes, highlighting key aspects of the professionals’ work in areas such as improved health care, de-mining, support for returning refugees and environmental protection.
Haysom said Afghanistan has been an “active, full and vibrant member of the United Nations almost since the beginning of the United Nations.
The envoy said the UN’s 70th anniversary in Afghanistan is marked by celebrating “the work of ordinary Afghans, although they are also extraordinary Afghans.”
He said the Afghan professional featured in the exhibit represent activities that stretch across the full diversity of UN engagement in Afghanistan: “Their work best expresses our ideals. Their work is a credit to them and to Afghanistan.”
More importantly, he went on to say, their work recognizes that the UN can do nothing except through its capacity to work with and through Afghans.
Haysom said the UN intends to stay in Afghanistan for as long as it will take for Afghans to accomplish their aspirations – a stable and prosperous Afghanistan.
Two of the professionals included in the exhibition addressed the audience: Maternal and Child Health Advocate Feroza Mushtari and National De-mining Director Mohammad Sediq Rashid.
Mushtari is one of Afghanistan’s leading maternal health advocates. She studied at Afghanistan’s first formal midwifery programme, graduating at a time when the country was one of the most dangerous places to be an expectant mother and few women had access to specialized midwife services.
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