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Ambassador Jawad Receives Global Citizen Award

On Wednesday, December 3, Ambassador Said T. Jawad was awarded the 2008 Global Citizen Award by Roots of Peace, a non-governmental organization that focuses its efforts on unearthing landmines in war-torn countries and turning former minefields into productive land for agricultural products. The award came during the Harvest of Hope Gala, which was held in the ornate Thomas Jefferson Room at the U.S. State Department. Mrs. Gillian Sorenson, Senior Advisor at the United Nations Foundation, was also presented with the award.

In his acceptance speech, Ambassador Jawad spoke of how globalization has pushed the people and countries of the world closer together. "This award and global citizenship
recognize the fundamental unity of humankind in our beautiful blue planet," he stated. "As we enjoy many privileges of living in a global village and become a closer family, we are realizing that our challenges, too, are global in nature and require a united approach. As much as the new information technology, globalization, the open borders and democratization bind us by choice, environmental concerns, poverty, arms and drug trafficking, terrorism and landmines are our common enemies that further push as closer together by necessity."

He also cited Afghanistan as an effort of global cooperation and participation. "Rebuilding Afghanistan is a true global undertaking," he pointed out. "With the engagement of over 60 countries, we are putting our lives together and building our state institutions piece by piece. Our girls and boys are going back to school. Afghan women are returning to work places and are serving as senators, ministers, governors and ambassadors. Healthcare and education services are reaching people across Afghanistan. Our security institutions are gradually acquiring the skills and equipment to defend our people and our shared values alongside your brave sons and daughters in uniform who are fighting to make Afghanistan, the region and the world a safer place from the global threat of terrorism."

"Indeed," he continued, "In the past seven years Afghanistan has been a real model of global citizenship and cooperation among civilizations. Followers of major faiths—Muslims, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus and citizens from diverse countries such as the USA, Saudi Arabia, India, Japan and the European Union are engaged side by side in supporting our efforts to rebuild Afghanistan brick by brick. We are grateful to every one of them."

The event was presided over by Cheryl Jennings, ABC7 news anchor from San Francisco. Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs Mark Kimmitt and U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan William Wood attended, and U.N. Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon sent a message congratulating Roots of Peace for its work and Ambassador Jawad and Mrs. Sorenson for their awards.

Roots of Peace was founded in 1997 by Mrs. Heidi Kuhn, who became aware of the global landmine crisis after the death of Princess Diana. The organization has worked closely with public and private organizations to turn former minefields into productive farmland, most notably through the "Mines for Vines" program that has converted minefields into productive vineyards. Roots of Peace has programs in Afghanistan, Angola, Cambodia, Croatia and Iraq.

Related News: Afghan Envoy Receives Peace Award (Pajhwok)

                      Roots of Peace Celebrates Ten Years at Embassy of Afghanistan

                      Ambassador Jawad's Acceptance Speech

                      Department of State and Roots of Peace Co-Host Harvest of Hope

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