Ambassador Ludin speaks to conference on responsibilities in Afghanistan
The Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the Nordic Countries, Mr. Jawed Ludin, was one of the invited speakers at a conference organized by the Norwegian Red Cross and the International Peace and Research Center on November 18th and 19th, 2008. The conference was held in Oslo. And the topic was the challenges and opportunities for civilian, military and humanitarian actors in Afghanistan.
Mr. Ludin thanked the organizers for taking an important initiative to bring different actors together to share views and concerns from their experience of working in Afghanistan. He said that Afghans are happy for the renewed sense of optimism created by President Barack Obama, especially as there has been a wavering sense of military assistance to Afghanistan.
The Ambassador said that for most Afghans the day-to-day life challenges are more important than issues like blurring of the line between the civilian and military actors. And as for politicizing of the humanitarian and civilian workers, he said that the Taliban are already doing that by targeting teachers, doctors and engineers.
Mr. Ludin said he appreciated the willingness of Norway for its Provincial Reconstruction Team to pilot for introducing an alternative model for PRTs.
He emphasized that the issue of creating space for humanitarian activities is important, but creating space for the state to function is even more important. Accoprding to Mr. Ludin, the provision of space in some cases is not even an issue, as the space is already too crowded, several actors duplicating each other. Mr. Ludin said that creating and strengthening parallel structures to the state is disadvantageous and unacceptable, as it only undermines the role of the government.
He reminded the participants at the conference that the responsibility of driving Afghanistan out of its current state lies with the government of Afghanistan, but it is also the responsibility of the international community to continue its support to the people and government of Afghanistan. He said the government is determined to tackle the problems of corruption, drugs and insecurity, and the recent changes in the cabinet and the removal of 15 governors this year could be seen as examples of that.