The Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination co-sponsored a panel discussion, "Crisis Diplomacy at the Crossroads: Afghanistan and the Macro Region," on Thursday, April 26 at 4:30 p.m. in 016 Robertson Hall. The panel featured Sam Gardiner, US Air Force (retired); Zahir Tanin, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the United Nations; Wolfgang Danspeckgruber, LISD Director; and Karam Nachar, Ph.D. candidate in history, specializing in Syria.
The event was co-sponsored with the Woodrow Wilson School and Near Eastern Studies. It was free and open to the public.
H.E. Dr. Zahir Tanin is the Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the United Nations. He presented his Credentials to H.E. Mr. Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations on 19 December 2006. During his tenure at the United Nations, Ambassador Tanin has held a number of other positions in the Organization. Ambassador Tanin has served as a Vice-President of the 63rd and 65th Sessions of the General Assembly on behalf of the Asian Group. In this capacity, Ambassador Tanin served as acting President several times including during High Level General Assembly Sessions As Permanent Representative of Afghanistan, Ambassador Tanin has participated in the high level meetings of the General Assembly as a member of his country's high level delegation since 2007, has delivered statements on behalf of the Government of Afghanistan in the Security Council, General Assembly, and other events and panels both within and outside of the UN. Ambassador Tanin has traveled to high level meetings around the world to represent his country, including the 4th UN Conference on Least Developed Countries in Istanbul in June 2011, and as head of delegation in LDC conferences in Lisbon in 2010, in Delhi in 2011, and the Non-Aligned Movement Ministerial Meeting in Cuba in 2009. After chairing the informal plenary of intergovernmental negotiations on Security Council reform during the 62nd General Assembly, Ambassador Tanin was appointed Vice-Chair of the Open-ended Working Group and Chair of the Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN) on Security Council Reform during the 63rd General Assembly in 2008. Ambassador Tanin was reappointed to chair the ongoing negotiations during the 64th, 65th and 66th sessions. In this capacity he has spoken frequently at conferences around the world, most recently at the Global Governance and Security Council Reform conference in Rome, and also at the Doha Forum, in May 2011. As Chair of IGN, Ambassador Tanin presided over seven rounds of negotiations and produced a compilation text which is currently in its third revision. Ambassador Tanin has also served as a Vice Chair of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People since 2006, and has Chaired or attended numerous meetings around the world in this capacity. These conferences include include the UN International Meeting in Support of the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process in Brussels in June 2011, the UN Seminar on Assistance to Palestinian People in Helsinki in April 2011, the UN Latin American and Caribbean Meeting in Support of Israeli-Palestinian Peace in Uruguay in March 2011, and the UN International Meeting About Palestinian Political Prisoners in Vienna in March 2011, as well as a number of other meetings on the issue. Ambassador Tanin's statements addresses and articles from December 2006 through September 2009 are published in his book, "Afghanistan on the World Stage." Before his appointment as Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Tanin worked for eleven years with the BBC: as a Producer from 1995 to 2000; as a Senior Producer from 2000 to 2001; as an editor for BBC World Service, Afghanistan and Central Asia from 2001 to 2003; and as an editor for the BBC Persian/Pashto Section (Editor for Afghanistan) from 2003 to 2006. Before joining the BBC, Ambassador Tanin was a research fellow in International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science from 1994 to 1995. Ambassador Tanin is a graduate of Kabul Medical University. He began his career in 1980 working as a journalist in Kabul. He was Editor-in-Chief of Akhbar-e-Haftah and Sabawoon Magazine until 1992. He co-authored The Communist Regime in Afghanistan, a study of the political and social changes in Afghanistan from 1978 to 1992. He also authored Afghanistan in the Twentieth Century. He produced a landmark 29-part program, The Oral History of Afghanistan in the 20th Century, which was broadcast on the BBC.
Col. Sam Gardiner, US Air Force (retired), works on strategic issues. He has taught a course on strategy at the National War College for 20 years. He has taught strategy at the Air War College, Army War College and Naval War College. In addition, he was a visiting scholar at the Swedish Defense College. He has been involved with and facilitated State Department strategy reviews on Burma, Kosovo, Haiti, Bangladesh, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zimbabwe, Nepal, Sudan and Afghanistan. He designs and conducts war games. He has conducted games for the Air Force, Navy, Army, CIA, and Defense Intelligence Agency and the State Department. He has conducted numerous war games on the military options for Iran and written extensively about the issue. He recently conducted a war game focused on Syria.
Wolfgang Danspeckgruber is the Founding Director of the Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination at Princeton University and has been teaching on issues of state, security, self-determination, diplomacy, and crisis diplomacy at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and the Department of Politics since 1988. He is also founder and chair of the Liechtenstein Colloquium on European and International Affairs, a private diplomacy forum in Liechtenstein.
Karam Nachar is a Ph.D. candidate in history at Princeton University, specializing in Syria.
A webcast of the panel discussion is avilable on LISD's YouTube channel.