UNAMA chief advocates for education for all in Afghanistan on International Day of Education

In observance of International Day of Education, Roza Otunbayeva, the head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), called for access to education for all in Afghanistan, emphasizing its critical role in the country’s prosperity and peace.

Otunbayeva highlighted the moral imperative of education, stating, “It is an important opportunity to reflect on the importance of learning for lasting peace. In Afghanistan, education for all – girls, boys, and men – is more than just a fundamental right; it is the cornerstone of the nation’s future.”

She praised Afghanistan’s rich heritage of contributing poets, architects, scientists, and even astronauts to the world, urging the celebration of this legacy.

“Education is essential for Afghanistan to address today’s challenges, including the need for a dynamic economy and jobs, and to mitigate the impacts of disasters and climate change,” Otunbayeva stressed.

Addressing the continued denial of education for women and girls, she remarked, “This is unsustainable. With each passing day, the foundation of a prosperous and equitable society is weakened. To the women and girls of Afghanistan, please know that you are not alone. The United Nations stands with you in solidarity, tirelessly advocating for your future.”

Otunbayeva noted that the demand for education extends beyond Western nations to the Muslim world, citing recent discussions at a conference held by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

She asserted that Afghanistan’s de facto authorities have a profound duty to uphold and promote education rights for every individual, regardless of gender.

“To maintain the current path only inflicts further harm on all Afghans and risks isolating Afghanistan from both the Islamic world and the international community,” she added.

“I, therefore, urge the de facto authorities to recognize that education is not just a moral imperative, but critical for prosperity and peace,” Otunbayeva concluded.