Time: 15:30 – 17:00 hrs (CET)
Language: English (with interpretation into Dari and Pashto)
Online: Zoom link will be sent to you one day before the event, and after personal registration.
The Danish Refugee Council’s Diaspora Programme (DRC) and the Vienna Institute for International Dialogue and Cooperation (VIDC) warmly invite you to a panel discussion on the current progress of the peace talks between the Afghan government delegation and the Taliban negotiators.
The talk will be attended by Fawzia Koofi, a female peace negotiator from the Afghan government delegation, Dr. Sima Samar, the former head of Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights Commission, the Afghan Journalist Bilal Sarwary and Rahela Sediqi, women’s rights activist from the Afghan diaspora in the UK. This online event will be moderated by Sana Safi, BBC journalist based in London.
The Turkish government will host a U.N.-led conference on the peace process in Afghanistan, which is expected to take place from 24th of April to 4th of May in Istanbul. The upcoming peace talks will serve as a platform for the Taliban and the Afghan government to reach an agreement to end the war in Afghanistan. With the withdrawal of the remaining 2,500 U.S. troops and their allies from Afghanistan by September 11, 2021, a cease-fire and an interim government to secure peace are expected to be the main points of the talks. The gains made in the last 20 years, such as democracy, freedom of expression, women's participation in social and political life and the rights of minorities, are the main concerns of many Afghans.
But how can the U.S., the UN and the rest of the international community guarantee that a new interim government will lead to sustainable peace? Who can guarantee that Afghan women will not lose what they have gained over the past 20 years? Have the Taliban really changed from the 1990s, when they banned all women from public life? What measures will prevent Afghanistan from becoming a proxy war of Pakistan and Iran? And finally, what role can the Afghan diaspora play in securing a sustainable and just peace?
The panel discussion is part of the DRC’s Diaspora programme ADEE initiative in cooperation with the VIDC. The project aims at supporting increased dialogue and agency within the Afghan diaspora in Europe as well as between the Afghan diaspora and the Afghan Government. This new project will strive to improve coordination, increase collaboration across organisations and facilitate higher level of engagement and influence for the Afghan diaspora in Europe.
Upcoming online events will cover topics such as: Asylum, Integration, Advocacy on the situation in Afghanistan & consultations on the Afghan National Diaspora Engagement Policy
15:35 – 16:50: Panel discussion
16:50 – 17:00 Closing remarks and follow up
Fawzia Koofi is a member of peace negotiation team representing Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, she was recently nominated for the Nobel peace prize. After the fall of the Taliban, she continued law faculty night shift while still working with UNICEF Afghanistan on women and children's rights.
Sima Samar is a renowned advocate of human and women's rights in Afghanistan. She was appointed as the inaugural chair of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission. She has recently been appointed as the new member of United Nation’s Secretary-General’s High-Level Advisory Board on Mediation.
Bilal Sarwary is an Afghan journalist based in Kabul. He is a former longtime producer and reporter for the BBC World Service, he has also appeared regularly on France 24, Radio New Zealand, Turkish Radio and Television, CNN, CBC, and Al Jazeera English.
Rahela Sidiqi is the founding director of the diaspora organization Rahela Trust, UK. The Rahela Trust was set up in response to the many attacks on girls and young women seeking an education across Afghanistan. She is member of steering committee for Afghanistan Mechanism for Inclusive Peace (AMIP) also co-founder and strategic member of the Afghan Women’s Network.
Sana Safi is a Senior Presenter for the daily BBC News Pashto TV news programme, BBC Naray Da Wakht (BBC World Right Now). Nearly 1.5 million people connect with her on social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram).
Ali Ahmad is a PhD candidate at the Department for Migration and Globalization at the Danube University Krems. Ahmad works as a consultant for the VIDC since 2015.
Adrien Bory is a Project Coordinator at the Danish Refugee Council’s Diaspora Programme. He leads the initiative "Afghan Diaspora Engagement in Europe".