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Conferences - Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Views from Afghanistan

On June 25th, IPI convened a meeting of its Forum on World Affairs for a discussion on the political and security situation in Afghanistan. The high-level roundtable meeting attracted a select group of UN ambassadors and senior officials from the UN Secretariat, among others, who discussed the question "What are the strategies to address the Afghanistan's political and security challenges?" The discussion focused on the Afghan perspective on the situation and on the views of the Afghan authorities and of Afghan experts on the political and security challenges in the country.

Chair
Terje Rød-Larsen, President, International Peace Institute

Speakers
Ali Jalali, Distinguished Professor at the National Defense University

Masoom Stanekzai, Adviser to President Karzai

Saad Mohseni, Director, Moby Media Group

Hekmat Karzai, Director of the Center for Conflict and Peace Studies, Kabul

Barnett Rubin, New York University

Speaker Biographies
Minister Ali Jalali is Distinguished Professor at the National Defense University in Washington, DC. He was Interior Minister of Afghanistan from January 2003 to September 2005. In this position, Mr. Jalali was in charge of the creation of the Afghan National Police, and he led the operations to protect the constitutional Loya Jirga in 2003, as well as the presidential election in 2003, and the parliamentary elections in 2005. He was also responsible for the reform of provincial and district administration.

Minister Masoom Stanekzai is an adviser to the President of Afghanistan. He has served as vice chair for the Demobilization and Reintegration Commission, a group responsible for the disbandment of the illegal armed groups, since 2005. Mr. Stanekzai is a Senior Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace. He was Minister of Telecommunication and Information Technology in the Afghan Transitional Government from 2002 to 2004. In this post, he was responsible for the reform and development of the communications sector.

Mr. Saad Mohseni is Director of the Moby Group, a media company with interests in television, radio and print, which he founded in 2002. Moby Media Group is estimated to reach an audience of about 11 million Afghans, which equates to around 70 percent of the total media audience in the country. Before founding the Moby Group, Mr. Mohseni was an investment banker.

Mr. Hekmat Karzai is Director of the Center for Conflict and Peace Studies in Kabul, an independent research center with a focus on statebuilding, governance, conflict resolution, and peacebuilding. Mr. Karzai worked as a fellow at the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research in Singapore, and at the Edmund Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Mr. Karzai also served in the Embassy of Afghanistan in Washington.

Dr. Barnett R. Rubin is Director of Studies and Senior Fellow at the Center on International Cooperation at New York University, and a leading expert on Afghanistan. In November-December 2001 Dr. Rubin served as special adviser to the UN Special Representative of the Secretary General for Afghanistan, Lakhdar Brahimi, during the negotiations that produced the Bonn Agreement.

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