Minutes of First Preparatory meeting for an Afghanistan conference (October 2013), Strasbourg, February 16th 2013
Participants: Abdulla Nabi, Bashir (Afghanisches Flüchtlingskomitte in Europa), Karim Popoal (IALANA), Reiner Braun (IALANA), Caire Chastain (Collectif Francais OTAN-Afghanistan), Kristine Karch (No to War – No to NATO, Women, KriWi), Christian Ross (PCF Strasbourg), Wahida Kabir (Kommission für Frieden und Freiheit Afghanistan), Farida Selema (Humanitäre Hilfe für Afghanistan, Freiburg), Saber Seleman (Humanitäre Hilfe für Afghanistan, Freiburg), Daud (aus Freiburg aus persönlichem Interesse), Kabil (Humanitäre Hilfe für Afghanistan, Freiburg), Martin Schodlok (Erlangen), Patrice Tanzenstein (Mouvement de la Paix, Besansan), Nader Kabiri (Freiburg, Network in Elass, Hekmatiar), Samira Kabiri, Unabhängige Hilfsorganisation für Afghanen im Elsass, Lucas Wirl (International Network of Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibility, INES), Claudia Haydt (Information Center Militarization, European Left), Rayhana
Excused: Karanzai (Berlin), Österreichische Organisation , Kaderi (HH), Mostamandi, Wahrheit über Afghanistan (Netherlands)
Please note the next preparatory meeting in your agenda: 11:00 April 6th Strasbourg
After a round of introductions Reiner Braun presents thoughts on the main ideas for the conference. Reference and background for the to-be-planned conference is the final declaration of the conference on Afghanistan in Bonn in October 2012. Reiner highlights 4 points:
- Peace and War: Peace is not possible without the withdrawal of all interventionist forces
- Humanitarian development of the country after withdrawal: what can be done for the people: industrial, agricultural, democracy and participation, human security for the people
- Process of reconciliation
- Lessons learned of the war in Afghanistan
Karim Popal adds that the conference should be for Afghanistan and for peace. All Afghan organizations against the war and occupation are welcome to join the preparation of the conference. He states that Afghan organizations have to actively contribute to the conference in order to have it successful and independent (politically and financially). Furthermore Karim proposes to have an evening of Afghan culture as part of the conference.
In an open discussion concrete ideas and proposals for the conference are being made as well as more general statements on the character of the conference. Everyone agrees that the role of women in Afghanistan needs to be addressed not only in a women’s block in the conference but throughout all contend discussed at the conference; they should be integrated in the discussions throughout the conference. Also everyone agrees that all forces wanting peace in Afghanistan should be addressed and engaged in the process of the conference; the conference should serve as a platform to all wanting peace in Afghanistna. Different statements on the future of Afghanistan, especially after 2014, have been made.
Proposals for speakers at the conference: Jürgen Todtenhöfer, Christoph Hörstel, Dr. Amin Karim (Representative of Hisbislami Afghanistan), Representative of Taliban, Women of Afghanistan, veteran of Afghanistan war, Hadria Iasdan Araz (Kabul woman representative), Zofra Jusef (Afghan journalist living in USA)
The following proposals on contend for the conference have been made:
- Addressing of the short and long term perspectives for the sustainable development of the country
- Analysis of what happens after 2014 in Afghanistan; what can we (exile-Afghans and Europeans) do after 2014? What is NATO going to do?
- Justice and non-corrupt justice system, civil rights and justice
- Sustainable agriculture and food sovereignty
- Education and science
- Reconciliation of the Afghan society
- Analysis of the responsibilities of the interventionists and their geostrategic interests in the region
- Ways to a political solution in Afghanistan
- How to ‘decolonialize’ Afghanistan? Which structures have been installed by the interventionists?
Date and location: 11.10.-13.10.2013 in Strasbourg
Proposals for location: Council of Europe, University (Christian and Claire will continue sorting out the best location for the conference)
Organizers: No to War – No to NATO and supporters (all other organizations)
It was agreed to start a dezentralized search for supporting organizations. Aim is to gain 100 organizations of at least 10 countries. Focus should be the support of local Afghan organizations, European peace organizations, European Exile-Afghan organizations, Women and youth organization
As visas might be an issue we should start the visa process as soon as possible and should look for political support of Council of Europe as well as French and German parliamentarians.
Speakers of Afghanistan should have a relation to peace and a certain representativity.
Program Committee: The participants of the meeting establish themselves as the program group for the conference. Kate Hudson, Philipp Ingenleuf and 5 Afghans will be included in the committee. An email list will be created.
Organization/ local committee: Christian will chair the local committee and will activate the 2009 committee for the preparations of NATO counter summit activities. Rayhana and Samira will be part of the local committee.
Coordinating body: Claire, Wahida, Reiner, Karim, Christian (adopted) will be making decisions of the day-to-day work.
A brief discussion on finances takes place. Approx. 20.000 – 25.000 Euros will be needed to conduct the conference. The Afghan participants of the meeting will try to raise at least 2000 Euros from Afghan organizations, 10.000 – 12.000 Euros might come from foundations. The financial contribution of supporting organizations should be a minimum of 100 Euros. The conference fee should be 5/ 20 Euros.
Next meeting: 11:00 April 6th Strasbourg
In the last 30 minutes of the meeting a brainstorm for the title of the conference takes place. Proposals are:
- What future for Afghanistan
- How to reach / Reaching peace in Afghanistan
- Paths to peace in Afghanistan
- European – Afghan Peace Conference
- For a real democratic state in Afghanistan
- Dialogue and self-determination as a rescue of Afghanistan
- For a legitimate government in Afghanistan
- Reaching peace without weapons in Afghanistan
- Steps to peace in Afghanistan
- Making Peace in Afghanistan
Also Reiner introduces a rough draft on the possible elements / structure of the conference:
- Friday, Saturday, Sunday
- Friday: opening session (3 hours)
- Saturday: plenary and 2 workshops; Saturday evening: culture block
- Sunday: presentation of organizations + final plenary
Minute taker: Lucas Wirl, Train from Strasbourg to Berlin, 23.2.2013