International conference of ” Civil Society ” in Paris for Afghanistan


In the name of Almighty Allah

International conference of Civil Society in Paris for Afghanistan

Malek Sitez
Afghan Researcher

The international convention of the Civil Society and the private sector for supporting Afghanistan which was chaired by Bernard Kouchner, foreign minister of France, was held On May 24 in Paris.

The gathering which had been initiated by the participation of the representatives of Afghanistan’s supportive countries, representatives from; Civil Society, private sector and the government of Afghanistan considered as a foreground for the upcoming international conference of Afghanistan’s supportive countries that is to be held on June 12 in France.

The convention has launched some useful debates in separate sessions regarding the role of the Civil Society, international supports programs and its implementation strategies, how to involve & encourage the private sector in the economical development of Afghanistan and effectiveness and quality of the international aids to Afghanistan.

But, the important question which was raised; is that; did the Civil Society develop that much in Afghanistan that could be able to play an important role in specifying and explaining the government and its programs?

Democratization of Afghanistan needs Civil Society’s reliable and useful role. Value system needs Legal legitimacy. The Civil Society which is a connecting bridge between the people and the government creates such legitimacies.

Civil Societies are citizenships or civil centers that form democratic system under the rule of law. Civil society organizations are centers that activate citizen’s role in political, economical, social and cultural systems, thus citizens as the essence of civil society’s value system can be created and activated by the Civil Society.

But, it seems as in the last six years great attention has not been paid to the role of the Civil Society in Afghanistan.

The role of the citizen has been placed in isolation and even citizen has not been created yet, newly formed Civil Society of Afghanistan which is indeed NGOs, social institutions and corporate sectors, are about to be separated while faced with financial problems.

On the other hand, these institutions had not been able to reveal their independence due to the governmental, political and business influences. They look forward to the international community which is the only donor. They want the international community to play their effective role in officially recognition of the Civil Society by the government of Afghanistan.

What is generalization of Human Rights?

The other important duty of the Civil Society is generalization of human rights and monitoring it. This includes civil, political, economical, social and cultural rights. The social rights especially the rights of the vulnerable groups such as, women, children, immigrants, refugees and displaced should be prioritize in governmental programs with the support of the international community, in order to reach or create the civil society in Afghanistan.

The international community along with Afghan government should allocate both human and financial resources for supporting the civil society of Afghanistan.

The other significant role of the Civil Society is promoting the culture of respecting the law and the rule of law among the citizens, because without implementing the law, democracy is something meaningless.

Constitution of Afghanistan has officially recognized the role of the Civil Society in generalizing the human rights; but the law enforcement, respect for law and establishing the rule of law are the most important shortages that causes most social abnormalities in the Afghanistan.

Some efforts which have been made in term of limiting the freedom of media are examples of disrespecting the civil society.

Ideological extremisms, is another major challenge toward the formation and development of the civil society in Afghanistan. The people of Afghanistan are Muslim people and are sincere toward their religious believes, but the extremists intends to use these values for their political purposes.

They consider the civil society and human rights values as imposed phenomena on the people and even in some cases define them against the religious values which may have a negative impact in weakening the role of the civil societies in the country.

The government of Afghanistan should pay its great attention in this regard, and never let the people of Afghanistan to be the victims of such problems once again. Therefore, the government of Afghanistan should launch some constructive and comprehensive programs based on the principles of Islam along with the collaboration of the civil society institutions, religious scholars and media.

Civil society, political institutions and private sector of Afghanistan needs more and serious attention. These institutions can play a remarkable role in term of state-building. This constructive and active triangle should become the foundation of the value system of Afghanistan.

In these contexts, the government of Afghanistan requires recognition of roles and missions of the mentioned triangle. In fact, this triangle can bring valuable legitimacies for the government of Afghanistan.

Paris gathering is a good opportunity for resumption of the important discourses for the Civil Society and Human Rights. Capacity building, program stability and continuity, transparency and accountability are most important preconditions for establishing a productive and constructive civil society in Afghanistan. But, less presence of civil society institutions & private sector of Afghanistan and the major role of the international institutions at the gathering indicate strong influences of the international community’s strategies on Afghanistan. But, on the other hand, coordination among civil society and private sector on initiating a constructive dialogue with the government of Afghanistan and the international community can pave the ground for the civil society and the private sector to be considered as collaborative and assistant institutions by the government of Afghanistan.

The Civil Society of Afghanistan same like the government is restricted to the supports of the international community and is in urgent need of such supports. Paris conference can be a turning point in this regard.

Taken from BBC webpage

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