Oslo Forum 2012
On the 18 and 19 June the annual global retreat of Oslo Forum took place in Oslo. A distinguished group of Afghan officials was invited to participate in the event; the delegation from Afghanistan included Deputy Foreign Minister H.E Jawed Ludin, Member of Parliament Ms. Fawzia Koofi, Member of Parliament Ms. Shinkai Zahine Karokhail, Head of Afghanistan Red Crescent Ms. Fatima Gailani and Director of the Center for Conflict and Peace Studies Mr. Hekmat Karzai. Afghanistan’s ambassador to Norway H.E. Manizha Bakhtari was also present at the gathering.
Oslo Forum is the leading international network of armed conflict mediation practitioners. On a regular basis, the Forum brings together high level decision makers, senior conflict mediators; key peace processes actors, experts and analysts from many different backgrounds. Every year in June the Forum arrange a global gathering of senior conflict mediation practitioners in Oslo that is co-hosted by the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the independent Swizz foundation Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD Centre).
The transition in Afghanistan is well under way and the transfer of security is scheduled for 2014. Given this background, this year’s annual retreat dedicated a session to exploring the role of regional stakeholders in Afghanistan current and future stability. The question “Afghanistan and its neighbors- how will the region shape the country’s future?” served as a starting point for a 90 minute roundtable debate on the future of Afghanistan in the context of evolving regional dynamics. Deputy Foreign Minister H.E Jawed Ludin was representing Afghanistan in the panel, which also included delegates from the neighboring countries Iran and Pakistan. In the discussion the panelists approached a number of complex challenges, for instance what can be expected of Afghanistan’s future relations with neighbors such as Pakistan and Iran, whether the long-term presence of the US in the region is seen as a threat and whether there is a role for the United Nations (UN) in regional diplomacy.