UN lauds Afghan forum as important step towards achieving peace

4 June 2010The United Nations today congratulated the Government and people of Afghanistan as they concluded a three-day dialogue aimed at achieving peace in the country, calling it an important step in efforts to end conflict and restore stability. The Consultative Peace Jirga, which began in Kabul on 2 June, brought together some 1,600 participants, including 300 women, to chart the way forward in the country’s peace process.“This is a significant step toward reaching out to all Afghan people to promote an inclusive dialogue aimed at achieving stability and peace in Afghanistan,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement issued by his spokesperson.“The United Nations supports these national efforts to end conflict in Afghanistan, and remains fully committed to working with the Afghan authorities and people as they strive for a peaceful life,” the statement added. Both Mr. Ban and the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) congratulated the Government and participants on the “process and outcomes” of the gathering. “The participants of the Consultative Peace Jirga have committed themselves to move forward together and reach out to communities across the country,” the mission said in a statement.“It is essential that the momentum of this Jirga is maintained and utilized to take the next steps toward the Kabul Conference in July,” it added, referring to the major international gathering on the way forward for the country that is scheduled to take place in the capital.The July meeting follows the London Conference held in January, during which the Government and its international partners jointly endorsed a strategy of transition to greater Afghan responsibility for the affairs of the country. read more