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Urgent assistance for Afghanistan 

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President, UN Security Council

Open letter to United Nations

We support the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres’ call for the UN Security Council to: “stand as one, and ensure that human rights are upheld, humanitarian aid continues” in Afghanistan.

In view of the current and unfolding situation in Afghanistan, we with like-minded international organisations, advocate that the UN Security Council urgently send representatives for an UN stabilization force to maintain safety and establish an open border for humanitarian aid personnel and social workers to be allowed to enter and leave the country at will, so as to facilitate relief work and safe passage for the workers. 

We would like to support the United Nations along with other agencies for urgent relief and crisis recovery in the time of transition.

You may contact the following for any follow-up action on this matter:
 
Professor TAN Ngoh Tiong, Chair, Global Institute of Social Work (GISW); http://www.thegisw.org; President, Connexions International (CXI). International Association of Schools of Social Work’s Main Representative to UN Bangkok, Email: chair@thegisw.org
and: 
Professor Johnston HUANG, Non-Executive Director, Social Work Across Borders (SWAB), http://www.swab.org.hk, Email: johnstonhuang@uic.edu.hk

Cc: Sec Gen UN Antonio Guterres; Head UNAMA Deborah Lyons, United Nations Secretariat


Dated:18 August, 2021
 

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GISW, SWAB, with like-minded international organizations including International Association of Schools of Social Work, Connexions International, and others supports: United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres’ call for the UN Security Council to: “stand as one, and ensure that human rights are upheld, humanitarian aid continues” in Afghanistan.

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There will be wars and rumours of war but do not be alarmed... Matthew 24:6


Social work has a response and responsibility towards conflict and war as these impact directly on human wellbeing. One of the greatest dis-welfare is armed conflict and violence perpetrated on civilians and citizens.


Recent events in Israel and Gaza has claimed thousands of innocent lives and caused great upheavals to millions and social workers cannot be the silent by-standers. We know that violence begets violence and the propensity for escalation of conflict means many more lives will be lost. Social work espouses the key values of non-violence on the one hand and social justice, on the other.


The root of most violence is oppression and injustice. Human beings are bent towards selfishness and the inclination for the protection of self interest can be a strength or a survival skill rather than a weakness. Social workers must engage in dialogue and communication. The building on interest-based negotiation would empower parties to participate in the conflict resolution process. In mediation, social workers must be mindful of the power differentials and construct platforms that facilitate meaningful conversations and actions.


Social work must vigorously act towards social development and enhance social wellbeing. Social justice and social development are two-sides of the same coin. Social workers both structure and support active participation of the people and the community for economic and social development, decreasing marinization and ghettos, with enhancing social integration as the primary goal.


Should one not have the right to self defense and fight back, you may ask? Yes, you have every right to protect yourself but if you want to exact "an eye for an eye", then remember there will be many more blind people. Jesus says, "Turn the other cheek," and ... "bless them that curse you."


"But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you..." Matthew 5: 44


So what is your response?


Let there be peace on earth and let peace begins with me!


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