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Lords to hear evidence from former UK Ambassador to Afghanistan

Monday 21 September

The House of Lords International Relations and Defence Committee will this Wednesday question the UK’s former Ambassador to Afghanistan and other witnesses during the second evidence session in its inquiry into the UK’s diplomatic, military and aid strategy for Afghanistan.

The evidence session will take place virtually and will include questions on the UK’s priorities for engagement with Afghanistan and the roles of women and minorities in the peace process.

The session can be followed on Parliament TV from 10am on Wednesday 23 September. Giving evidence will be:

10am

  • Sir Richard Stagg KCMG, former British Ambassador to Afghanistan;

11am

  • Dr Orzala Nemat, Director, Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit;
  • Charles Davy, Managing Director, AfghanAid; and
  • Mark Bowen, Senior Research Associate, Overseas Development Institute.

Questions will include:

The peace process

What is your assessment of the prospects for the negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban? What would success look like, and what would happen if the talks fail?

How can the participation of women and minorities in politics and society be supported in the context of these talks? What are your views on women’s role in the peace process?

Domestic situation

To what extent have international and domestic efforts to build Afghanistan’s institutions (such as the judiciary and the rule of law) and measures to promote the rights of women, freedom of religion and belief and freedom of expression, and anti-corruption initiatives been successful? How best can they be sustained and strengthened?

Can Afghanistan successfully operate as a multi-ethnic state? To what extent do the current constitutional arrangements achieve this?

The future of foreign aid

What would be the consequences of a reduction in foreign aid? Is the Afghan economy capable of generating enough growth to compensate for any cuts to foreign assistance?

The UK’s engagement

What should be the UK’s priorities for engagement with Afghanistan in the next five to 10 years, and what impact might the creation of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office have on this?

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