The Afghan Peace Process: What are the Opportunities for the UK Leadership
Wed, 27 Jan 2021 13:45 - 14:45 Greenwich Mean Time (UTC±0)
Afghanistan has extensive contamination from landmines, explosive remnants of war (ERW) and improvised explosive devices (IED). Despite ongoing conflict and fragility, Afghan demining is making progress with over 3,000 landmines and 728 tons of ERW destroyed and over 23 million square metres of land cleared in the last 12 months
Demining provides stable employment for 5000 people in Afghanistan, 2300 of whom are employed by The HALO Trust. Of HALO’s employees, 250 are former Taliban fighters. There is scope to provide stable employment for thousands more, including former combatants, providing dignified livelihoods, removing threats to life, and contributing to Afghanistan’s peace and prosperity.
This event will explore the contribution demining could make to the ongoing peace process and Afghanistan’s future. It will look specifically at the role the UK could play in the context of the new UK Aid framework announced by the Foreign Secretary.
Councillor Peymana Assad (Chair)
Founder Labour Foreign Policy Group
Councillor Peymana Assad is a first-generation Londoner and community organiser representing Roxeth, South Harrow on the London Borough of Harrow Council. She came to the UK as a child refugee and upon her election in 2018 became the first person of Afghan origin elected to any public office in the UK. Peymana has worked extensively across the charity sector on gender, peace and security in the Global South and sat on boards for British charities working across Afghanistan and South Asia. She is an Obama Leader of Europe 2020, a Founder of the Labour Foreign Policy Group and a former Parliamentary candidate.
Tom Tugendhat MP
Chair, Foreign Affairs Select Committee
Tom Tugendhat was elected MP for Tonbridge & Malling on May 7th 2015 and re-elected in 2019.
After graduation, Tom worked as a journalist in Beirut, writing about the conflict and the politics and economics of the area. At the same time, he established in Lebanon one of the first public relations companies of the city. Back in the UK, he first worked as a management consultant and then joined the Territorial Army, serving both in Iraq and Afghanistan before becoming the military assistant to the Chief of the Defence Staff.
Tom read Theology at Bristol University, where he also worked in the local homeless shelter in the St Paul’s area. He then studied for a master’s degree in Islamics at Cambridge University.
Founder and Director, Farkhunda Trust
Rahela Sidiqi is founder and director of the Farkhunda Trust for Afghan Women’s education, and a women’s rights activist. Mrs Sidiqi is former Senior Advisor of Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission of Afghanistan (IARCSC), where she developed and led various reform policies across the country, such as civil service law, reform procedures and structural adjustment processes.
Mrs. Sidiqi has been governance and reform advisor at senior level of both government and international organisations, where she helped develop strategic policies, implementation plans, administrative reform, capacity building and the grassroots development for UN-Habitat, CIESVE, DFID, USAID, UNHCR and OXFAM, and Civil Service Commissions, along with 47 ministerial agencies and several NGOs in the private sector.
With an MA in Social Development and Sustainable Livelihoods, Rahela Sidiqi was member of Technical Advisor Group for Transparency & Right to Information at The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and led initial Access to Information Law consultation in Afghanistan, with government and civil society organisations during 2009-2011.
Dr Farid Homayoun
HALO Afghanistan Programme Manager
Farid is an Afghan national who has been the HALO Afghanistan Programme Manager since April 1995, and who was the first HALO Afghanistan employee recruited in 1988. He is currently managing in excess of 2,500 Afghans and international staff who work in Central, Northern, South, Southeast and Western Regions of the Country, Dr Farid is responsible for all aspects of HALO Trust operations across Afghanistan and plays a vital role in liaison with the Government Authorities and Donor Embassies in Kabul. He is married with six children.