Ed Laws (Chair)
Senior Research Officer, ODI
H.E. Caecilia Wijgers@caeciliawijgers
Ambassador of The Netherlands to Afghanistan
Director, Criminal Justice Research, World Justice Project
Head of General Directorate of the Prosecutor's Office for Combating Violence Against Women, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
Director, The Liaison Office
Director for South Asia Unit, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland
The November 2020 pledging conference in Geneva will provide a vital platform for the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GoIRA) and the international community to demonstrate progress and recommit to a peaceful future for the country. Given the recent deal between the United States of America and the Taliban, and tentative steps forward on an intra-Afghan dialogue including all key domestic actors, the outcomes of the pledging conference will be decisive in determining how Afghanistan grasps the present prospect of a peaceful and stable future.
Ensuring justice for all, in line with Afghan and international commitments to achieving SDG16+, is an essential prerequisite for a durable peace. Today, only 38% of Afghans who experience an everyday justice problem are able to access help; among key state institutions, the courts are the least-trusted by ordinary citizens. Access to justice will enable Afghan women and men to assert and enforce their rights, obtain redress for grievances, and resolve disputes amongst themselves non-violently, within a framework of rule of law.
This event provides a space for consultation and policy discussion on the role of access to justice in securing a peaceful and stable future, and how GoIRA and international stakeholders can incorporate justice commitments in the lead-up to and during the conference. This event aims to contribute to shifting justice to the top of the agenda in Geneva, and present practical recommendations for how to operationalise commitments to justice.