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Swiss-organised conference sends message to Kabul

Interim Afghan Prime Minister, Hamid Karzai (left), shakes hands with Mohammad Ismail Qasemyar (right), at the official opening of the Loya Jirga in February

(Keystone Archive)

A conference organised by the Swiss Peace Foundation to discuss the future of Afghanistan has come up with useful recommendations.

The conference, which was set up to formulate recommendations for the upcoming traditional assembly, the Loya Jirga, ended in the Afghan capital Kabul on Sunday.

The main points addressed in the meeting were the improvement of the security situation, the Loya Jirga election process, the reform of the constitution, national reconciliation and the promotion of human rights including gender equity.

Furthermore, the assembly agreed that the future Afghan constitution should guarantee freedom of speech, basic human rights, Islamic values and should be approved by the people.

The interim Afghan prime minister, Hamid Karzai, who also took part in the meeting, promised that the Loya Jirga would take the formulated recommendations into account. The traditional assembly will begin talks on Afghanistan's future government on June 22.

Fair representation

The 200 Afghans taking part in the meeting were selected according to age and gender in order to achieve a fair representation of ethnic regional and language groups.

It was co-financed by Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands as well as by various foundations. It was also coordinating with the planning committee of Loya Jirga and the civil department of the United Nations mission in Afghanistan.

The meeting was a follow-up to a conference in the German city of Bonn late last year, which showed that all ethnic groups needed to be involved in deciding the future of Afghanistan if a peace process was to be successful.

swissinfo with agencies

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