The Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination convened the colloquium on “Strengthening Afghanistan and the Region," in Istanbul, Turkey July 21-24, 2005. The colloquium was funded in part by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Woodrow Wilson School, and the government of Liechtenstein.
The colloquium focused on the conduct of Afghanistan’s 2004 presidential elections and parliamentary elections to be held in 2005; institutional design, which includes culture and education; and as well as the establishment of infrastructure and vital economics. Regarding Afghanistan’s security dimensions, the colloquium also addressed border security, narcotics, and organized crime. Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration (DDR) of former combatants, Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs), and more generally, the role and impact of the international community on the country were also considered. Discussions focused on the pragmatic details of policy debates related to these issues as well as broader, more theoretical questions of state building, legitimacy, and viable institutions. The goal of this colloquium was to consider these issues in the context of the future of Afghanistan and the region as the country moves out of immediate post-conflict transition as a secure, politically and economically viable state among its neighbors.
This colloquium brought together senior policy makers, academics, members of the governments of Turkey, Afghanistan, and its regional neighbors, as well as representatives from the EU, US, India, Russia, and other countries, key multilateral institutions such as NATO, and non-governmental organizations.