KANDAHAR, 26 November 2015 – The work of a group of Afghan professionals was celebrated at a photographic exhibition in Kandahar today as part of events marking UN70.
Some 30 people, including Afghan civil society members, journalists and United Nations officials, attended the exhibit, along with students from Kandahar’s Wesa Academy.
In a speech to commemorate the event, Simon Hermes, representing the UN family in Afghanistan, talked about the partnership between the UN and Afghanistan, and the work of the world organization in the southern province and the wider region.
Mr. Hermes, who is head of the Kandahar regional office of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), said the UN family has been working in Kandahar, and across the broader region, to provide many services to the Afghan people, including humanitarian relief and support for human rights.
He also identified many challenges ahead. “In this region alone, we’ve seen a surge in destructive conflict,” he said, stressing that the world body will work in partnership with Afghanistan for as long as it is needed.
“I want to take the opportunity to affirm that the United Nations will continue to assist Afghanistan for as long as is needed to accomplish the aspirations of the Afghan people, a stable and prosperous Afghanistan,” said Mr. Hermes.
Mr. Hermes accompanied the journalists and civil society representatives, and talked about each of the photos with the students and others in attendance. The Wesa Academy students showed great interest in the exhibit, posing many questions about the work of the Afghan professionals depicted in the photographs.
The exhibition features a collection of specially commissioned panoramic photos measuring four metres wide. Each photo contains three main scenes, highlighting key aspects of the professionals’ work in areas such as improved health care, de-mining, support for returning refugees and environmental protection.
The touring UN70 exhibition has drawn audiences of government officials, diplomats and community leaders in Kabul, Mazar-e-Sharif, Jalalabad and Herat.
Billboards celebrating the UN’s 70th anniversary – including messages about key work done by the UN family in Afghanistan – have gone up in Kandahar, following their initial release in Kabul and other cities around Afghanistan.
The nine panoramic photographs featured in the exhibition, along with the profiles of the outstanding professionals whose work is depicted in them, are available on UNAfghanistan.org.