23 March 2005
A group of United Nations Volunteers (UNV) yesterday received the Peacemaker Award for their groundbreaking work during the October 2004 presidential elections in Afghanistan.
The award, given by the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies of the University of Sydney, was received by UNV Special Operations Chief Kevin Gilroy, on behalf of more than 600 UN volunteers whose work included registering some 10 million Afghans under UN Development Programme's Voter Registration Project.
Supporting the work of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the UN Electoral Assistance Division, UN volunteers worked at the district level in each of the country's province as field coordinators and registration supervisors.
The volunteers also provided logistical support on the technical and administrative side of the registration activities. Three hundred national UN volunteers entered data and monitored a computerized database of all registered voters.
“The Peacemaker Award is very special to the UNV programme and the UN volunteers who have earned it,” says Mr. Gilroy. “Quite often, the people behind United Nations missions and international community are asked to undertake tasks, be it the Afghan or Iraqi elections, are not adequately recognized. This award highlights their dedication and desire to help the afflicted populations move towards a more peaceful life and promising future.”
To date, some 200 UN volunteers are in Afghanistan helping prepare for the next round of local elections due later this year.
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From: United Nations Volunteers