Afghanistan beyond 2014: Elections, Political Settlement, Reforms. Recommendations from the Afghan Civil Society

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Afghan civil society leaders called at a CAP event in February 2013

As international troops begin to withdraw from Afghanistan, it is important to focus on strengthening the civilian component of international assistance beyond 2014. In order to discuss concrete recommendations for the various challenges facing Afghanistan, the Heinrich Böll Stiftung and the Center for American Progress held consultation workshops for a large group of civil society actors in Afghanistan in November 2012 and March 2013, and brought a delegation of Afghan civil society leaders to Washington, DC and New York City in February 2013. The delegates emphasized the important achievements made in Afghanistan over the past decade with international help, including in the education and health sectors, infrastructure, and human rights, particularly for women; they also noted the progress made in strengthening the rule of law, state institutions, media, and the private sector. The delegates discussed the important role that civil society aims to play in preserving the gains that have been made and in making further progress in their country’s reconstruction through actively engaging with the Afghan government, the international community, and neighboring countries.