March 14, 2017
Mediothek Afghanistan offices with the generous financial support of the German Federal Ministry for Foreign Affairs(AA) in Kabul, Balkh, Kunduz, Nangarhar, Khost, Herat in Afghanistan and moreover in Peshawar, Islamabad and Quetta( Pakistan) successfully organized and implemented nine initial or local “Youth Ambassadors in Afghanistan and Pakistan: Cross-Border Dialogue for Reconciliation,” programs in their respective provinces, two events were organized in Kabul and two in Islamabad while the other provinces mentioned held one event each. Afghan and Pakistani young activists representing a wide spectrum of society from university and school students, to civil society organizations, youth activists, young academics, journalists, teachers, artists, tradespeople and young religious scholars participated in these events.
In the course of these events participants engaged in intensive discussions on matters of peace and reconciliation with the aim of developing comprehensive perspectives of the young generation on the future in the region.
Experts and analysts delivered presentations and discussions on issues of conflict, peace, reconciliation, mechanisms for improvement of relations giving the shared values of both countries and the potential of youth in building peace and friendship.
Afghanistan-Pakistan Young ambassadors program aims to:
· To enable young multipliers from civil society on both sides of the border to engage in dialogues on reconciliation and mutual future perspectives for Afghanistan and Pakistan.
· To enable participants to involve as representatives of young generation in taking over political responsibility by involving in a regional dialogue and network on reconciliation
· To contribute to temper and transform the mistrust and strengthen empathy through the young ambassadors.
· to enable young citizens of both nations to understand similarities and differences,
· To break the barriers of misconception that has contributed to the mistrust between the two countries.
· To generate a broader political dialogue in both countries and on a cross-border level and beyond.
· To pave way for laying the foundation stone of a regional youth movement engaged on the issue of peace and progress.
· To create a cross-border youth dialogue to develop ideas and recommendations for reconciliation between Afghanistan and Pakistan,
· to enable participation of youth in a political dialogue, and establish youth networks
· And…to develop shared perspectives of the young generation on the future in the region.
Relations between both neighboring countries are strained and both countries suffer from insecurities and common challenges, while they have common values encompassing culture, religion, tribe, economics, and society. At the same time, both nations suffer from brain drain as young people of both countries leave their motherlands in quest of better lives in western countries and beyond.
With a profound understanding of these realities, Mediothek Afghanistan organized the events through its local representatives as a part of the larger initiative to to enable young multipliers from civil society to engage in dialogues on reconciliation and mutual future perspectives for Afghanistan and Pakistan; to increase youth role and participation in political issues; to engage youth to work for the establishment of permanent networks for maintaining health relations; to undo the mistrust between both nations and to stir and create a broader political dialogue through youth engagement and awareness on various levels.
This is the initial and preliminary phase of the program, or the local programs, in which young activists from Afghanistan and Pakistan, selected meticulously in provincial and local levels, to came together to discuss crucial issues and prepare for the larger and main program to be held with young activists from Pakistan and cross-border regions.
Participants engaged in various simulations and exploited different formulas of peace and conflict and conducted teamwork on shared values, mutual threats, and mechanisms for broadening cooperation among youth and institutions of both countries.
Alexander Fierley, Deputy Head of Mission, Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany spoke to the participants in Balkh and encouraged the young activists to play a constructive role in improving relations between both countries. The diplomat recalled the challenges between European countries in the past and how they managed to overcome their challenges through dialogue and cooperation, stressing that such programs can pave way for the improvement of relations between both nations.
Members of each dialogue or event were selected to participate in the main event to be held in Kabul later this year; the selected members will be representing the team and their proposals for further development in the main event.
The program is financially supported by the German Federal Ministery for Foreign Affairs
Nine Initial “Youth Ambassadors in Afghanistan and Pakistan” Events organized
March 14, 2017