Hamid Karzai: 'Uphold Our Common Humanity'

The class that began college in September 2001 must always remember the moral imperatives of today's world.

BY: President Hamid Karzai


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Is that the world we want to leave for our future? No. I urge you to stop and work against that kind of a world.

One can feel but a sense of utter despair as a human being when one sees human misery at an appalling scale. Bob Geldof was one individual whose concern for humanity saved thousands of children in Ethiopia. His benevolence was not simply an act of charity but a fundamental step to draw people from corners of the world for the common cause of humanity. In a different context, the coming together of the world is demonstrated in Afghanistan today where people from more than 50 countries with different cultures and faiths, different religions, are working together to build our country and uproot terrorism. This remarkable convergence of civilizations in Afghanistan has rekindled our hopes as the people of Afghanistan, secured our lives, and unleashed our energies to rebuild our war-shattered country. Thanks to that help, and our people's determination, today, Afghanistan is a free country.

Taking steady steps toward a stable, prosperous, and progressive society, after decades of trouble, we have an enlightened and progressive constitution. We have an elected government and are looking forward to electing our parliament in September. After decades of stagnation our civil society is once again vibrant; our economy is growing fast, and we are becoming a hub of trade in the region.

Of course, challenges like the drug economy, remnants of terrorism, and crime threaten to reverse our successes. However, these will not surmount our resolve and the international commitment to succeed.

Over the past three years, through our experiences in what has been a truly global effort to rebuild Afghanistan, we have demonstrated what the future of the world can hold. Afghanistan today represents a moral accomplishment in the world, a cooperation of civilizations, in fact.

Dear graduates, I say again, that your values must continue to guide you, as you embark on your new journey and assume greater responsibility. Our world will remain stratified and divided by exclusively narrowly defined interests unless you seek to build bridges of understanding and cooperation. Suffering in other parts of the world will continue to undermine your security and prosperity unless you seek to address it. Moral obligations to others will continue to be an afterthought unless you decide to reinvigorate our common humanity across our divisions.

And finally, your generation will also be judged on indifference to hunger, to poverty, and misery in the world unless you seize opportunities to make a difference. As you commence a new beginning today, take with you my warmest congratulations. I urge you to fight poverty, to build bridges, in other words to uphold our common humanity.

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