Aisha Khurram, a law student at Kabul University, has been selected as Afghanistan’s Youth Representative to the United Nations for 2019, joining a group of other young representatives from across the globe seeking to make their voices heard at the world governing body.
Khurram — who was selected from among 80 candidates — is tasked with representing Afghanistan at the UN for one year. As a youth representative, she will engage with other young Afghans and communicate the problems that youth face in her country to world leaders.
Khurram is also expected to represent her peers at international events, including engagements at the Security Council. A number of students have asked Khurram to use her new position to highlight the issues Afghan youth face. “Our expectation for Ms. Aisha is to raise the voice of millions of young people — and young women — who have been deprived of education,” said a student named Amin.
A young woman herself, Khurram outlined some of her goals for the year as they relate to Afghan women and girls, as well as young people in the country. “My red line is not only the women who live in the center and have access to education, but my red line is all those women who live in the provinces, those women who live under the control of the Taliban and those women who do not even thinking of getting an education,” said Khurram.
“We must raise the voice of Afghan youth in the international community and outline programs for our youth so they can learn more in areas of governance, politics and other important subjects that will influence their future,” added Khurram.
In the upcoming weeks, Khurram will travel to Germany to meet the German Youth Representative, government officials and civil society. Currently a member of the Security Council, Germany is sponsoring the Youth Representative program. Khurram’s selection follows a multi-stage process involving video and in-person interviews, as well as a debate that took place on October 7th in Kabul, according to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan.
The panel of judges for the selection of representatives included Peter Prugel, Germany’s ambassador to Afghanistan; Idrees Zaman, Afghanistan’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs; Sofia Ramyar, Executive Director of Afghans for Progressive Thinking; and Tadamichi Yamamoto, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan.
Khurram will officially start her work with the UN in two months.
Sources: UNAMA 10/7/19; TOLO News 10/8/19