Date: July 13, 2020
Time: 10:00 – 12:00 AM, Kabul time
On February 29, 2020 the United States and the Taliban signed the “Agreement to Reach Peace in Afghanistan.” The agreement was unanimously endorsed by the United Nations Security Council on March 10, 2020 through Resolution 2513 (2020).
According to UNSCR 2513, “… a sustainable peace can be achieved only through an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned peace process that leads to an inclusive, negotiated political settlement.” The Resolution further emphasizes “… any political settlement must protect the rights of all Afghans, including women, youth and minorities, and respect the strong desire of Afghans to achieve durable peace and prosperity.”
Similar sentiments have been expressed in earlier statements by main international actors, civil society, and Afghan government officials. All statements and sentiments about peace in Afghanistan are clear about the peace process being multi-faceted, multi-level, complex, and requiring simultaneous efforts in a number of fronts.
There are serious concerns about the terms of a negotiated deal between the US Government and the Taliban in segments of the population, particularly among women, vast swathes of youth, and ethnic and religious minorities. There are also worries about a new constitution vaguely in line with sharia as one of the key demands of the Taliban.
The inclusion and participation of women as mediators and/or negotiators in the peace process – in line with Afghanistan’s commitment to UNSCR 1325 and the subsequent resolution on Women, Peace and Security – have to date remained absent from the negotiations. Only with protestations from some international aid providers to Afghanistan and civil society in the aftermath of the Moscow talks in the spring 2019 have steps been taken to include women in the ongoing talks – though minimally and for the sole purpose of discussing women’s rights.
Despite these shortcomings, all mentions of a possible peace with the Taliban have been welcomed by a charged wave of optimism. The intra-Afghan dialogue and discussions over a peace and reconciliation plan present an opportunity, particularly for women and civil society organizations, to exert themselves by articulating their terms for a sustainable peace. This articulation must be based on as full as possible an understanding of ordinary citizens’ needs, anxieties and hopes and expressed freely and without pressure and prejudice.
The premise for this Open Forum is that the armed conflict between the Taliban and the government backed by international military power has reached a “mutually hurting stalemate”, a situation where neither of the two sides engaged in protracted and sporadic battle can win. The outcome of an unending mutually hurting stalemate is more deaths of the fighters from both sides, mounting civilian casualties, and a general state of misery and hopelessness for the broader population.
This Open Forum for Peace will create another opportunity for holding a dialogue on peace without pressure and prejudice and to maintain the momentum created by the recent and ongoing efforts for peace. The open forum is organized within the framework for sustainable peace, developed by NAC-PP and APPRO based on peace processes from around the world, as a means to develop a civil society-initiated and driven Roadmap for Peace.
The format for this event will be a presentation to set the parameters for the panel discussion and the open discussion that follows. A communiqué will be prepared based on the discussions during this and previous open forums as a means to highlight the relevant elements for the framework and the roadmap for peace.
The confirmed panelists are:
• Ms. Lailuma Nasiri – Activist and Deputy Head of Afghanistan Justice Organization
• Ms. Nargis Nehan – Former Minister of Mines and Petroleum, founder of Equality for Peace and Democracy
• Dr. Sima Samar – State Minister for Human Rights and International Relations and member of UN High-Level Advisory Board on Mediation
• Dr. Timur Sharan – Former Deputy Minister, Policy and Program, Independent Directorate of Local Governance and independent analyst
• Dr. Saeed Parto – Director of Research, Afghanistan Public Policy Research Organization
• Moderator: Mr. Ahmad Shaheer Anil – Executive Director, Afghanistan Public Policy Research Organization
Note: The language of the event will be in Dari
Please Register by July 12, 2020 through the following link:
For more information, call: 0702167533
See: https://www.un.org/press/en/2020/sc14139.doc.htm. For the full text of the Resolution see: https://undocs.org/S/RES/2513%20(2020)
See, for example, the European Union’s Outcome of Proceedings (2017), available from: https://www.consilium.europa.eu/media/23921/st13098en17.pdf and Outcome of Proceedings (2019), available from: https://www.consilium.europa.eu/media/39011/st07978-en19.pdf.
For additional information on intra-Afghan peace talks, see: https://www.rferl.org/a/report-taliban-delegation-touches-down-in-china-for-intra-afghan-peace-talks/30239673.html, and
See: APPRO (2018), Mutually Hurting Stalemates, Peace Building, Actors, Factors, and Mechanisms. Available from: http://appro.org.af/mutually-hurting-stalemates-peace-building-actors-factors-and-mechanisms/