Remarks by Sayed Sadat Mansoor Naderi, the State Minister for Peace and member of the negotiating team at virtual discussion on the Peace, Development and Security Nexus, Afghanistan 2020 Conference in Geneva
Excellencies Dr. Mohib (National Security Advisor), Deborah Lyons (UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Afghanistan and Head of UNAMA), Sergio Jaramillo (Senior Advisor at the European Institute of Peace), distinguished guests, panellists, ladies and gentlemen.
I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all of the speakers and panellists today.
This was indeed a very stimulating and thought-provoking discussion today.
As Afghanistan’s State Minister for Peace I found the discussions particularly useful for our own work, and I would welcome further dialogue on how we can build on the ideas discussed today and translate them into practice.
I would like to invite all of you to reach out to me and my team with additional thoughts or ideas on how we can all work together to take this agenda forward as the peace process unfolds.
I want to offer some reflections on some of the points and insights presented in today’s discussion:
First, H.E Dr. Mohib highlighted the need to priorities security by investing in the capability and growth of ANDSF also he emphasized to continue focusing on a long-term development agenda to achieve a nexus of peace, security and development.
Mr. Bowden (Mark Bowden, Senior Research Associate with the Humanitarian Policy Group) elaborated Afghanistan had distorted process will must address access to aid increasing rural urban divide need strengthening local governance. Issues of policing needs to be lock hacked in depth specially how to integrate militia in to the system.
Ambassador Hirji (Sheherazade Hirji, Agha Khan Development Network) focused that each village and provinces throughout the Afghanistan has its own complexities. What do community need from us is inclusiveness and community building. She talked about education specially the gains we have made over the past twenty years and also, she emphasized on self-reliance, how to tackle conflict and conflict resolution.
Dr. John Manza (NATO HQ, Assistant Secretary General Operations) elaborated on how to maintain ally unity throughout the process as we are entering into the peace negotiation. He also touched on the tangible aspect of support in Geneva and also prepare Afghan forces to operate fully independently. Obviously, He also mentioned the fact that NATO needs to adopt their role post peace agreement.
Sayed Aqa (Vice President of Islamic Development Bank) talked about good governance and security inclusive sustainable development, unemployment and unfair distribution of aid is the root causes of instability. All segments of society’s role should be inclusive, role of international community, He talked about founding is important, but implementation should be done and should be led by the government. He also mentioned lack of coordination between donor community is a major challenge.
Dr. Karam (Azza Karam, Secretary General, Religions for Peace) talked about the important concept of trust. Trust is essential, specially between institutions, citizens and civil society, look at the local context, role of religion and religious actors and leaders should be the central focus of the framework for development. COVID is a good example of how religious leaders can play a very effective role.
The main point that I take away from today’s event is the need for a balanced approach to security, development and peace.
It is clear to me that over the past 19 years the international community, preoccupied with winning the war on terror, focused too much on security in its support to Afghanistan, with less weight placed on achieving sustainable development and peacebuilding objectives.
Going forward, we must place greater emphasis on development and peacebuilding initiatives that help resolve local conflicts and place human rights and the long-term reduction of violence against civilians at the forefront.
These measures must also include tangible improvements in education and economic opportunities, especially for our young people, many of whom are facing a bleak and uncertain future.
Of course, to continue our common fight against forces of global terrorism, our brave security forces will still need the support of the international community, and we are grateful for all that has been achieved over the past two decades.
But unless investments in security infrastructure are complemented by a renewed focus on peacebuilding and development, we risk repeating the mistakes of the past.
We need all three areas to advance in parallel if we are to achieve our vision of just and sustainable peace.
Finally, I want to emphasize the importance of the timing of this conference, which is convening at a crucial time in our country’s history.
Although we are working hard to achieve a negotiated peace settlement, our citizens continue to suffer from violence and poverty each day.
This conference is therefore important not only from a financial perspective which we are grateful for, particularly during the global pandemic, but also from a political and psychological perspective.
It demonstrates to the Afghan people that they have not been forgotten by the international community and there is some hope their suffering may come to an end.
The commitments given in this conference will convey the assurance towards a future that our people may enjoy living in a peaceful Afghanistan, where the human rights and dignity of all citizens are respected, and the healing process is well underway.
Thank you again for all of your support, and we look forward to continuing to engage with you as friends and partners to achieve a better future for Afghanistan.