Our guests today are Michael Schoiswohl, legal officer with UNAMA, and the four Kabul University students who participated in the prestigious “Phillip. Jessup Moot Court Competition” which was recently held in Washington, DC. The event, which was organized by the International Law Students Association in Washington, DC, attracted over 500 teams from the world’s top law schools.
ADF: a dialogue on the country’s future development strategy
The Government of Afghanistan and the international community just concluded very useful three-day dialogue on the features of the development strategy that the state of Afghanistan will pursue in the coming years.
Afghanistan has gone through a very fast-paced process of transformation in the last three years. A few benchmarks – among many others – are, piecemeal, the return of refugees, road construction, the adoption of a new constitution, the installation of a freely elected government, the creation of a new army and the restoration of the basic services of health and education.
But much remains to be done to bring the benefits of this transformation tithe population at large. New challenges have emerged, such as the expansion of the narcotics economy, new opportunities as well. And, very importantly, higher expectations have been raised with the establishment of a democratic government, which the state is duty-bound to address without delay.
The Afghanistan Development Forum (ADF) has been an opportunity to look at ways and means for the government to fulfill this obligation as part of long-term, robust development strategy. With three years of intense reconstruction efforts behind us – with their achievements and their shortcomings – we are collectively in a better position to review critically our experience and put together a reconstruction and state building agenda that is more finely tuned to the realities of Afghanistan today, to the new requirements and the new possibilities offered by its regional environment.
Beyond the consensus that has been achieved on some important issues –the need to intensify the building of economic infrastructure; to gear economic growth toward the reduction of poverty; to focus on large-scale education and training in order to enable the population to participate in a modern economy, among many others – a key outcome of this three-day meeting is the reaffirmation by the international community of its support to Afghanistan. International solidarity with its people will not stop with the completion of the political transition and the establishment of an elected Parliament. It is for the long haul.