The President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, H.E. Dr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, delivered a lecture on "Peacebuilding in Afghanistan."
President Ghani emphasized that the conflict has exacted a huge financial, infrastructural, and human cost on the people of Afghanistan. Efforts to resolve the conflict at every level underline the people's national will for peace.
It is no longer a civil war, but rather has transformed into a regional conflict embedded in the fifth global wave of terrorism which requires the coordination of peace operations under a strategic vision to maximize effectiveness of limited resources, particularly with respect to the needs of Afghan returnees. Solutions for long-term peace are dependent on regional connectivity, community and individual empowerment, and socioeconomic equality. Afghanistan's wealth in geological, ecological and cultural resources continue to offer great potential for future progress, in addition to the unifying role of Islam and the culture of conflict resolution embedded in Afghan society. It was emphasised that peace will only be sustainable with the full participation of every citizen, particularly women and youth groups.
The lecture was followed by a moderated discussion between H.E. Dr Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and Professor Sultan Barakat, Director of the Center for Conflict and Humanitarian Studies. They discussed the main obstacles to sustainable development in Afghanistan, the important role the Loya Jirga plays as a participatory, inclusive forum for public debate, and the kind of compromise the state expects from the Taliban in order for both sides to reach a political solution.