2 June 2010 Some 1,600 participants from across Afghanistan gathered in the capital, Kabul, today to kick off a United Nations-backed event aimed at charting the way forward in bringing peace and stability to the country.
The Consultative Peace Jirga is an “important stepping stone” in developing the Afghan-led peace process,” Staffan de Mistura, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, told reporters after the opening ceremony.
“The international community, and in particular the United Nations, is fully supportive of this Afghan initiative. We are confident that the results from these discussions will lead to the next steps in a national dialogue to bring peace in Afghanistan,” stated Mr. de Mistura, who also heads the UN mission in the country, known as UNAMA.
The UN has provided technical support to the Peace Jirga, which was opened by President Hamid Karzai. Alternating between the official languages of Dari and Pashto, he stressed that Afghanistan work for peace and that it maintain its relationship with the international community.
About 300 women are taking part in the three-day event, during which participants will break into 28 working committees that will prepare and present recommendations on how to move forward in the peace process.
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