Since the fall of the Taliban, Youth have emerged as an important political and economic force in Afghanistan. They are one of the most important demographic groups, with nearly two-third of the population being under the age of 25 years.
In a country where leadership is traditionally concentrated in the hands of male elites of a certain age and standing, youth have started to push into the political and economic arena demanding their rights to be included as well as offering the skills they were able to hone over the past 12 years.
This policy paper presents the outcomes of three youth conferences facilitated by The Liaison Office (TLO) between January and April 2014.
Youth feel that they have much to contribute to peace and reconciliation as well as regional stability due to:
Being untainted by past involvements in conflict and fighting; pledging to not repeat past mistakes.
Acceptance of the diversity of Afghan society and welcoming of inclusive and participatory democratic structures.
Commitment to a democratic process that offers peaceful change over more violence.
Ability to network across ethnic and tribal groups and reach out to their peers in the insurgency Focus on regional cooperation rather than competition.