The Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto has said that the world should not forget Afghanistan and need to focus on the country one more time.
"Unfortunately the aid has not come for all areas in the country," stated Haavisto, who visited Doha after touring Afghanistan.|
He was giving a lecture, organised by Center for Conflict and Humanitarian Studies (CHS) at Doha Institute for Graduate Studies.
The topic of the lecture was ‘Finland's Role in Peacemaking’. Professor Sultan Barakat, CHS director, was the moderator.
Finland has so far contributed 385mn Euros to the international aid for Afghanistan since 2002. The minister said: “As the international donors prepare for the conference in Geneva in November this year, our message to the donors will be not to forget Afghanistan. We all need peace in Afghanistan, particularly the neighbouring countries like Iran, Pakistan and India. They all agree that the peace in Afghanistan is necessary for them also. Our battle while preparing for the conference is to convince the donors to commit for the development in Afghanistan. There should be no donor fatigue.”
Appreciating the role of Qatar in hosting the ongoing Afghan peace process in Doha, Haavisto, who has long been a mediation practitioner, said: “This is very important phase of the process taking place here. The role of Qatar in bringing the parties together is appreciable. There are always people who promote cynicism whenever there are peace negotiations. I am however hopeful for the success of the ongoing process.”
Responding to a question, about inclusivity of all sections of the society in the peace talks, raised by a female member of the Afghan negotiating team, the minister said: “I will try and make sure that the issue of including women and minorities in the donors’ conference. I always say that woman and youth are very important stakeholders in any peace making attempt. The education for Afghan women is a key issue.”
Regarding the question of Finland’s role in getting the Gulf crisis resolved, the minister said: “It is very important that the Gulf countries come together. I really understand what regional co-operation means. For now, I cannot say what can be the Finish component in the process.”
In his lecture, Haavisto highlighted the need for international mediation, multilateralism, inclusion of women and youth, use of technology in mediation and role of the civil society in peace making. “Current health crisis created by Covid-19 pandemic has taught us a lesion that not a single country can fight the pandemic alone. We need multilateralism to tackle the issue. Finland has increases its aid to WHO after the pandemic broke out.”