Student Peace Dialogue by USIP Provided Insightful Workshop on Peace Negotiations
On March 14th, AUAF hosted the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) for a Student Peace Dialogue. Students and faculty from Kabul, Kapisa, and Parwan provinces joined in the day-long discussion on how to advance peace in Afghanistan. Mohammad Ehsan Zia, USIP Country Director, along with the USIP team, organized the workshop and opened with a discussion of the historical context and the phases of a peace settlement. He then invited the students to discuss and share their ideas on how to achieve a sustainable peace. AUAF’s President David Sedney welcomed the participants and encouraged them to raise their voices and fight for their rights as they become the next generation of leaders that positively positions Afghanistan on the world stage. The participants then to formed into groups to develop key issues for consideration at peace negotiations and the costs of wars in Afghanistan. Throughout the Dialogue, participants had the opportunity to raise both questions and apprehensions around the ongoing peace process. Some of the main themes that emerged during the discussion were that co-education must not be sacrificed; a ceasefire will have influence in this peace deal for the Intra Afghan Talks; and how the peace process is being received by the Afghan citizens after the US-Taliban agreement.
US Embassy representatives, led by Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) Karen Decker participated in the Student Peace Dialogue as they listened to the concerns and ideas of the debaters. DCM Decker encouraged the workshop to compare the US-Afghan agreement with the US-Taliban agreement, both signed on February 29, to understand the U.S. government’s continued efforts to support the Afghan people through the peace process.
Shoiab Rahim, Senior Advisor to the Ministry of Peace and AUAF professor, participated in the group sessions of the dialogue and urged the participants as the Afghan government looks ahead to the Intra-Afghan talks that “negotiating a settlement is a different position than negotiating a surrender”.
AUAF recognizes the United States Institute of Peace as one of its proud partners for forming such workshops and training to benefit not only AUAF, but Afghanistan’s broader academic community with its updated insights from the ongoing Afghan Peace Process.