Afghanistan: Pathways to Peace – Update
By Gerald Ohlsen
Since launching its report on the first phase of its work in June and hosting a discussion of a peace process in Afghanistan at the University of Ottawa in September of 2012, Pathways has focused on planning and fundraising for the next phase of work.
Discussions of the report were held with several Embassies, including the United States and United Arab Emirates but attempts to reopen discussion with DFAIT were turned aside, as the government continues to reassess its position with respect to reconciliation.
In the fall, David Lord, former Executive Director of Peacebuild, traveled to Kabul to review the results of the first phase with Afghan partners, analysts and the donor community, and to identify Afghan priorities for further action. This lead to a detailed Concept Note that forms the basis of ongoing discussions with a number of potential funding partners, including the government of Australia and the United States Institute for Peace. Partnership discussions have also been undertaken with War Child Canada, the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation, the Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation (Ireland) and St. Paul’s University.
The prospect of western withdrawal from Afghanistan has heightened concerns among our Afghan partners about the risk of a return to civil war and has heightened interest among governments and foundations in the need to accelerate peace discussions.
In response to growing public concern and to increase awareness of the issues involved in Canada, members of the team have recently published articles in Esprit de Corps and Embassy magazines. The website is being redesigned, a newsletter is planned and a public fundraising campaign will be undertaken to supplement approaches to donors.
For more information, visit http://afghanpathways.org/