Nansen Center for Peace and Dialogue urges Norway and the international community to remain committed to the people of Afghanistan and keep lines of communication open.
The dramatic shift of power in Afghanistan has been shocking and frightening, and it is still difficult to grasp what has really happened in such a short timeframe. At the Nansen Center for Peace and Dialogue we are deeply touched by these events and our thoughts and concerns go to all Afghans who live in rural communities, in cities and towns, and those who have left their homes for protection and live far away from their loved ones.
20 years of military presence commits
It is time for self-examination and renewed commitment from the international community. Twenty years of western military intervention has left Afghan citizens with broken hopes and unpredictability. We know there is a strong fear for the future, especially regarding rights for women, children, minorities, activists, and journalists.
It is our concern that Norway and the international community must stay committed to the Afghan people and not turn a blind eye under these extremely fragile conditions. Lines of communication must remain open, humanitarian aid continue and be strengthened, basic human rights ensured, and the most vulnerable individuals and groups need to be protected.
Demonstrating courage and resilience
Over the past years we have learned to know Afghans through cooperation with dedicated, hardworking colleagues and friends, particularly among the local staff of the Norwegian Afghanistan Committee (NAC), working in hard-to-reach communities. We are sincerely impressed by their commitment, resilience, and courage under unimaginable challenges.
Hopefully all that has been invested in trust building and dialogue within communities and with local Taliban leaders, will lay the foundation for meeting the needs of ordinary citizens by providing education, health, and security for all, including women, young people, and minorities. This requires, however, that fundamental human rights and security is maintained.
Dialogue on all levels
Under the current state of emergency, building peace from below may sound naive and unrealistic to some. However, the Nansen Center for Peace and Dialogue believes that in the long run, it may be the only way for communities to reconcile and build a peaceful future. At the Nansen Center for Peace and Dialogue we are committed to do what we can to assist our Afghan colleagues and friends in this work.
Dialogue on all levels is needed, from top level between international community and Taliban leadership to grassroot level within and between communities. Basic security and protection of rights is a prerequisite and needs to be guarded throughout the process. Therefore, it is of vital importance that diplomats and international humanitarian organizations return to Afghanistan and that the United Nations takes a stronger role to ensure continued commitment from the international community.