Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, May 31st, 2020

Ownership of the Peace talks

As direct talks between the United States and the Taliban are in the process, ensuring national ownership has gained a central role in the country and international circles. National ownership of the talks can further open the door for peace in Afghanistan. The success of peace talks depend on aligning such efforts with those led by the Afghan people and government. Such alignment helps us to ensure the Afghan leadership and ownership of the process and thereby achieve a sustainable political settlement with the Taliban. To ensure such ownership, the peace talks shall be open and transparent to encourage the involvement and ownership of all Afghan stakeholders. The US and international community, and regional stakeholders shall stress the imperative need for the Taliban to directly talk with the Government and the emphasis on the centrality of Afghan people and government in the peace process as an essential element and inclusive part of the process.
Required Factors for Peace Talks Success
As past experience and peace studies show, there are several factors that are vital for a successful peace talk; including to be perceived as legitimate and credible, particularly in the eyes of the local population; ensure national and local ownership of the peace process; genuine commitment to a political process by the parties in working towards peace; clear, credible and achievable mandates, with matching personnel, logistic and financial resources; unity of purpose within the Security Council, with active support to UN operations in the field; host country commitment to unhindered UN operations and freedom of movement; supportive engagement by neighboring countries and regional actors; the utmost sensitivity towards the local population and upholding the highest standards of professionalism.
Local Guarantee of Peace
A sustainable peace requires the Afghan government to develop specific programs to address the needs for Peace and Democratization process in the country. Afghan government shall take all the necessary measures to build social cohesion to strengthen the ability of grassroots communities to connect and provide input into evolving governance structures. Such programs shall focus on state reconstruction, aiming to increase public trust and strengthen democratic institutions. Such programs play a major role in building bridges between local communities and their leaders at all levels.
Role of the International Community
The international community has an extremely important role to play in this respect. Not only it is imperative for donor countries to voice their continued financial support for both the country’s development and military assistance to the Afghan armed forces, but all countries with an interest in a peaceful and stable Afghanistan need to demonstrate their unwavering, yet critical, support for a negotiated peace process. No one denies that Success of Afghanistan Peace Process Will Depend on International Support for Local Efforts. International community shall seek to reinforce the capacity of Afghan society, both the government and citizens, to strengthen and ingrain democratic culture and practices that underpin state-building, and promote sustaining cohesion between Afghan at the national and local levels. This will be achieved by supporting effective and legitimate governance, promoting citizen ownership of democracy and peacebuilding, and enhancing the contribution of women and youth to peace and democracy.
Afghan peace talks have entered to a critical phase. While direct talks between the United States and the Taliban have further opened the door for peace in Afghanistan, the success of these talks depend how much the Afghan people and government will be involved in the process and have the ownership of the talks. International support during and after the peace process, must be contingent upon the continuity of the State, its institutions and the constitutional framework. International community and regional countries play a critical role both during the talks and post conflict to oversee the implementation of the peace deal and guarantee that the warring parties to implement their commitments that will be made in a possible agreement.