On 17 October at the United Nations, the East West Institute (EWI) presented key recommendations from its latest report, “Afghanistan Reconnected: Regional Economic Security Beyond 2014,” which highlights the potential for economic growth and stability in Central Asia. The event was supported by the Permanent Missions of Germany and the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations. Permanent Representatives to the United Nations of several of Afghanistan’s neighbor countries, including China, India, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Turkey, Tajikistan and other government officials participated in the event, as well as United Nations officials, civil society representatives, and experts.
Afghanistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, H.E. Ambassador Zahir Tanin, delivered the welcome address. He highlighted the importance of EWI’s Abu Dhabi Process report and its aim to identify and promote opportunities for economic growth in Afghanistan and the region. The initiative “could not have come at a more timely moment,” the Ambassador remarked. “Just a few weeks ago, a new President was inaugurated in what was the country’s first democratic transition of power from one President to the next.” The new national unity government, led by newly elected President Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, is focused on securing long-term peace, security and economic development in Afghanistan.
Ambassador Tanin emphasized the importance of regional cooperation to stability in Afghanistan. “Our economic cooperation and our economic interconnectivity provide us with a solid basis for strengthened peace, security and stability both in Afghanistan and in the region, which in turn will a create a safe environment for investment and build greater confidence between countries,” he said. “This mutually enforcing relationship applies not only to Afghanistan but also to region as a whole.”
Following Ambassador Tanin’s remarks, other distinguished government representatives, civil society members and business leaders participated in panel format to frame the economic and political context following the recent Presidential elections and to discuss opportunities for economic growth in Afghanistan.