Afghanistan, international civilian engagement

Today, Ambassador Eklil Hakimi spoke as a panelist at a roundtable discussion, titled Afghanistan: Moving Forward, organized by International Relief and Development and hosted at the Embassy of Slovenia in Washington, D.C. The panel’s topic of discussion was the importance of continued international civilian engagement in Afghanistan.

During his remarks Ambassador Hakimi acknowledged that despite progress over the past decade, shortcomings still exist in Afghanistan, and that “A strong and enduring partnership between the Government of Afghanistan and the international community will be required to meet these challenges.”

Ambassador Hakimi outlined the Government of Afghanistan’s plan for transformation beyond 2014. He discussed in detail the government’s key national priority programs and the reforms that the government is pursuing to ensure that international assistance will be effectively used to reach Afghanistan’s shared goals with the international community.

In conclusion, Ambassador Hakimi noted that, “It is important for the international community to promote long-term economic development, trade, and investment in Afghanistan because Afghanistan’s economic stability directly affects global security. Without a viable economy it will be more difficult to counter the insurgency.”

Other panelists at today’s discussion included Melanne Verveer, Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, and Larry Sampler, Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Office of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Ambassador Verveer discussed the importance of women’s participation in the transition process. She said, “One of the women that I met in Afghanistan left a great impression on me when she said ‘Do not look at us as victims, but as the leaders we are.’ We can help Afghanistan face its future challenges, but it must also include women as full partners.”

Larry Sampler expressed USAID’s continued support for Afghanistan’s reconstruction. He said, “The willingness of Afghans to move forward is unmistakable. And the capacity is present and growing daily. Our job at USAID is to support our Afghan colleagues as they continue to move forward, rebuilding their country and building their own future”

When the panel discussion finished, guests were invited to view a photography exhibit of photojournalist Manca Juvan’s work in Afghanistan.


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