The Heart of Asia Society, CIC at NYU, and the Center for Conflict and Humanitarian Studies convened the 14th Session of the Track 2 Dialogue Series on December 15, 2021. The topic of this session was "Building Peace in Afghanistan", which focused on regional and international support for Afghan peace.
Four months after the fall of Kabul to the Taliban, Afghanistan is still in limbo. The Taliban have restored the Islamic Emirate by appointing religious clerics to cabinet positions. Even though several of their handpicked ministers have been placed on UN sanctions and various wanted lists, the Taliban is pushing hard to gain international legitimacy and recognition. Several neighboring and regional powers have kept their embassies open, and governments from outside the region, like the EU, the US, and others, have held high-level discussions with the Taliban in Kabul and Doha.
The discussion centered on the security situation in Afghanistan, the economic crisis, weak government institutions, and fragile systems, as well as the potential role of regional actors in maintaining long-term peace in Afghanistan. The Taliban's position on women's rights, particularly girls' education, was also discussed. Mrs. Mahbouba Seraj, an Afghan journalist and women's rights activist, was invited to speak at the session. The session's participants highlighted the importance of regional involvement and proposed developing a platform for Afghans to address their concerns and formulate policies.