UN, 11 September 2007 – The top United Nations envoy in Afghanistan today (11/9/2007) appealed for a total cessation of violence across the country on 21 September, marked around the world as International Day of Peace, and for days of tranquility ahead of that date to allow for vital humanitarian initiatives to be carried out.
At a press conference in the Afghan capital, Kabul, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative Tom Koenigs, called on all groups, all individuals, and institutions to support the peace effort in a country that has suffered nearly 30 years of war, and in the past 18 months has seen a rise in a Taliban-led insurgency. Although 21 September is marked worldwide, this year in Afghanistan, a special effort has been underway for nearly two months to promote support for an actual day of peace and non-violence.
Scores of groups have pledged support and action for the campaign, including business, civil society groups, media organizations, government ministries and regional authorities. The campaign has grown to encompass every region of the country, and numerous activities are planned over the remaining 10 days.
These include special prayers in mosques around Afghanistan, and cultural events such as poetry readings, painting and writing competitions. Radio and television stations are programming round-table discussions and phone-ins to discuss peace.
The major wireless networks have committed over the next 10 days to sending text messages of peace to all Afghan mobile phone subscribers.