Seven years after the fall of the Taliban regime, the stabilisation and reconstruction effort in Afghanistan continues to face great challenges. While major progress has already been achieved in many areas, reconstruction efforts suffer from persistent – if not growing – instability in several regions of the country. At the same time, stabilisation efforts are hampered by delays in consolidating the institutions and the economy.
The country is gearing towards parliamentary and presidential elections in 2009, which will represent a major test for the Karzai government and its allies. With time passing by, support for the Afghan authorities and for the international community’s efforts is being increasingly tested. The weakness of the country’s institutions and its security forces draws growing criticism. Poppy production is sky-rocketing. ISAF forces face fierce opposition in the South, prompting an uneasy internal debate within the Alliance about burden sharing. Problems of co-ordination between the large number of stakeholders on the ground undermine the coherence of the reconstruction and stabilisation effort. These difficulties have prompted calls for a new comprehensive strategy for Afghanistan.
In this context, the seminar will examine the current security situation in Afghanistan, analyse the nexus between security and development, identify the main challenges to stability, and assess how successful the Afghan authorities and the international community are in addressing them. Ali Ahmad Jalali, former Minister of Interior of Afghanistan, will give the keynote address. Other confirmed speakers include Gordon Brett from NATO's Operations Division, Jean-Baptiste Valmary, from the EU Council Secretariat, Bettina Muscheidt from the European Commission DG RELEX, as well as other renowned experts.
Available speeches and presentations can be found here: http://www.nato-pa.int/Default.asp?SHORTCUT=1514