EU works to listen to the concerns of people
KABUL - The solution to the conflict in Afghanistan has to be political, said Head of the European Union Delegation to Afghanistan and EU Special Representative, Ambassador Vygaudas Usackas. The peace process must foster sustainable peace within the country. Therefore every Afghan needs to be involved in ending the conflict and building a better future for themselves, he told Afghan academics on Tuesday while addressing the "Perspectives on Reconciliation and Reintegration" Seminar held at the Academy of Sciences.
"Any solution to the conflict in Afghanistan will have to be political. While the military operations led by NATO with troops from 48 countries are a core part of the battle to stop the insurgency in Afghanistan, it is not enough. The EU is fully supportive of the peace process now underway. The High Peace Council (HPC) is playing a valuable role in leading the way towards talks with the Taliban. The EU supports the work of the HPC by regular engagement and also by promoting groups within Afghan society, which are mobilizing for peace such as young people," said Ambassador Usackas at the Seminar held in Kabul.
Most importantly, he stated, the peace process must build peace within Afghanistan – within each sector of society. "Every Afghan needs to be involved in ending the conflict and building a better future for themselves. The EU works closely with the Government to reach out to different parts of Afghan society, to listen to the concerns of people, of human rights organizations, the Parliament and others."
Further, the EU stands firm in its support for stronger and more productive regional cooperation. The EU also strongly supports the Afghan Peace and Reintegration Program. Civil society groups have raised concerns about the possible negative impact the reintegration program could have. Ambassador Usackas stressed that "whereas it is important to remember that reintegration does not mean impunity for criminal acts, we must find a way to bring members of the insurgency back into society, so that Afghanistan can be at peace and continue to involve civil society in this process."
The two-day Seminar is jointly organized by the Academy of Sciences and Kabul University and supported by the EU. Universities are represented from across the country, next to the HPC and the Joint Secretariat. The event is looking to address a range of topics pertaining to the peace process, so for example a more transparent peace process; increased public consensus around the current mechanisms for peace; as well as the generation of new thinking on how to respond to challenges presenting themselves within the peace process. To conclude, a steering committee will put forward a series of papers, including recommendations on the aforementioned topics to the HPC and the international community for future consideration. (PR)