News & Events
Peace Commissions in Afghanistan
Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies student, Arif Noorzai, has come a long way from his home in Herat, Afghanistan, to obtain his MA degree in peace and justice studies. His reason for coming to USD? So he can go back home with "a theoretical framework" to help lead one of Afghanistan's "Peace Commissions."
In fact, Afghanistan has created Peace Commission chapters in every province. The project originated in 2007 with funding from the United Nations Development Project, along with private funders. It is directed by the Afghan government, in collaboration with local government officials, civil society experts, and tribal and religious leaders.
The objective of the Peace Commission project is to promote peace through a political approach by creating the political and judicial conditions for peace and reconciliation. This approach includes encouraging combatant foot solider commanders and leaders previously siding with armed opposition and extremist groups to renounce violence and terrorism, and inviting them to join a constructive process of reintegration and peace.
Noorzai has participated in the Herat chapter, which was established in 2010.
He states, "The problem is that insurgents and tribal leaders have felt disconnected from the government for quite some time. The Peace Commission project is giving people a sense of ownership and responsibility towards rebuilding their communities."