Peace and Reconciliation in a Multipolar World



can point to progress in the future. We have, if I may put it, four leading figures from individual countries in the region that are having to deal with peace and reconciliation and one very experienced Minister who has both worked in the field dealing with peace and reconciliation but is also somebody who is highly knowledgeable and the conflicks taking – conflicts taking place in these regions as well. They are Abdullah Abdullah, the chief executive of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, we have Sigrid Kaag, the Minister for foreign trade and development from the Netherlands, we have Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Qatar, we have Abdelkader Messahel, — al Teera. A great amount of experience around this table for this corporation. Whey wanted to do is having a bit of a conversation amongst the group for 30 or 40 minutes but I do want to leave time for this audience that is here, many of whom know the region very well, to have an opportunity to ask questions and engage in the conversation in this for forum-style room that we have. Let me kick-off, if I may, with you, chief executive, a little bit on the issue of peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan. Here we are some 17 years, 18 years after the overthrow of the Taliban and yet it would feel to many that Afghanistan is still living through many of the same internal contradictions and conflicts internally that were present then, despite these two series of elections. What is it that you feel has changed? What is it that you've learned over the last year, certainly in your time in government, about the requirements internally for peace and reconciliation? What would be some of the key principles that you would put on the table from your experience in Afghanistan that we should be working with? >> Thank you for the opportunity. In Afghanistan, apart from the impact of multipolar world, getting into the internal dimensions, perhaps in the past 18 years we missed some opportunities. But, apart from that, it's 40 years, four decades, since the war is going on in Afghanistan, it's four decades since the Soviet invasion of the country. And some of the – the impact of some of the events of the past cannot be ruled out, for example, when the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan then the whole world withdrew from Afghanistan because there was another situation in Europe and elsewhere, the Cold War had ended. That in itself had an impact. In the space, the vacuum, was felt – filled with ambitious goals of our neighbor. But, in the past 18 years, the main imperative insight the country had our own system worked better the democratic process issues of govern ance into people's participation in the process, issue of justice, the rights of the people, we would have been in a different position in the situation. So the internal dynamics is critical. The other thing is the commitment of the leadership, whether there is genuine commitment for peace and reconciliation because, in Afghanistan, successive governments have tried with the process. And lots of ups and downs in the process itself. But talking about multi conceptual world, what is not being talked about in Afghanistan or in the context of Afghanistan is the fact that Taliban are asking for Islamic (inaudible) which is a different type of ruling, which is like the religious scholars are getting together and appointing an Emir so everybody would be obedient to that type of system. While we embarked upon a different system. So in terms of the concept – >> But will you need to reconcile those two concepts? Are they reconcilable or is that the fundamental obstacle? >> The fundamental obstacle has been the Taliban have refused at times, and most recently as well, to sit together directly with the Afghan government to talk and discuss the issues, including the issue of governance, including the issue of withdrawal of the troops, the American troops, so NATO. What they say is that we talk to the Americans and the – about the troop patrol and we will try to be more inclusive when we rule again. So I think that is the main obstacle but by sitting around the table, one can find ways because they also have a stake in peace. Although it's a little bit – if I look at the other side of it, for example, narcotic, the source of funding for the fight in Afghanistan, the emergence of Diaz, the emergence of al-Qaeda from the old day, these are other aspects >> Just the last point, do you have certain red lines within your government beyond which you think peace and reconciliation must not compromise? In other words, are there certain red lines you feel you absolutely need to stick to because otherwise the kind of society, the country country with the rights of women and education, the type of country Afghanistan will become will be one that it is not worth reconciling for? >> The point is that are there any conditions for this sort of the – the talks? No. So getting to the table we have not put any conditions. This sort of visualize it in a different situation. Taliban have certain ideas. We have the people – a lot has changed in Afghanistan in the past 18 years and this is a misconception that these changes were imposed upon the people of Afghanistan. Yes, the support from the international community in the space that it created, it helped these changes. But people will not go back on their rights. But let's sit together around the table and see what we could do. If the people opt it, if there is a mechanism that the people of Afghanistan, the majority of the people opts for the way of Taliban life, let's discuss it. How we can find out because it's their idea that they think it's good for the people. Do the people think that it's good for them? >> OK. Thank you very much. Let me turn after that example of a very live dilemma in reconciliation to you, Mr Messahel, because I think Algeria is a very interesting experience. One was brutal period of violence and instate which has nod risen again, despite some considerable instability in the region all around you. Could you share your thoughts of the drivers of reconciliation, the drivers of stability, what were some of the key elements and the key lessons from Algeria? >> >> You will be speaking in French, I am giving you time to pick up your head phones to say that le will be giving his answers in French, although I will be asking my questions in English, which threw people. I am just giving people a chance. Over to you. >> Thank you. Could I preface my remarks by thanking you for having chosen this topic. I think it is a world of great turbulence that we now face and where the actual idea of peace and reconciliation are very important to our people and they're very important to the future of the planet. Now, you want me to talk about the experience of my country, and perhaps I could start by a question that has been raised. The President, in fact, asked me to go to the gulf countries and it was in August 2016 – no, rather 2017, in fact, that I went there and what we were looking at was the following. By which miracle you, the Algerian s, in 1997 you were about to fail as a country, and this was in August 2017. So those years on, so by what miracle had that come about? A study was done by the institute in Washington and it said that Algeria, who was amongst the safest countries in the world, and it was in line with Switzerland. So how did we go from this situation of war, with a breakdown with all the deaths and how did we get from there to where we are today to be one of the safest countries in the world? And I said, well, simply this – we're just talking about the gift of people really. It was under the President that we did this and we did it in three stages. At first we had civil agreement and the policy was national reconciliation, and we actually then experienced peace by doing that. And this meant that we then created the Algeria that we have today is now a very safe country and, indeed, I have seen what happened in Scandinavia and in – there were situations – the situation was that this was a strategy that we really put in place and it was a long-term strategy. So the first thing you needed is a will to change. And you need a will of the part of the people, of course. And also you need to have a real legal basis to this and also you needed to have popular support and it is vital that you have that when going for reconciliation and development. And it is important to do that, not only when fighting against terrorism and indeed we actually did that using our Army, the Army had an important role to play, and also there was a popular support for that. But it's not just that, though. It's not that simple. You also have to look at the strategy that was – where we were trying to anchor democracy. Now, here there is a manual, the role of the democracy fighting against terrorism and the thing is that democracy was a choice that was made, it was a strategic choice and we didn't do it just because it was in vogue. Democracy is really the antidote to extremist discourse. Because, if you're not careful, it is just one discourse that will be heard and it is also what works against exclusion to say if you're not with me you're against me and, therefore, it is democracy, that is the very basis for peace and it is through democracy that this comes about. And also we've also had a broad based de radicalization policy and this is a very important indeed when going for peace and stability because what we tried to do is to take us away from this fear of extremism. We worked in the mosques and also we worked cultural ly as well and we went back to our religion tenets really. We wanted to be – show solidarity. We trained Imam s and it is very important because, remember, it's very important because these are graduates who actually work their religions. These aren't charlatans and you have to make sure that schools really actually teach real politics and civics. And we also have to free up the press as well to make sure that people can express themselves and all of this has to be done lawfully done of course. So national reconciliation can only happen if we actually take ownership of it. And this is based on a non-interference, so one should not interfere in other country, it is based on, that and ownership – that is to say if we have a problem it's up to us Algerians to sort it out and we have to take it a certain distance here. Now, you spoke about Algeria and Oman, it is based on these principle s – three principles. We have now become a stable country. We have become a safer country and it's Hank – thanks to that reconciliation policy that that's happen and it's also thanks to the support of the citizens and also we've managed to do it, we have managed to live together, we have managed to live in peace. There is a peaceful co existence that we have now introduced into the country. On the 16th of Play and this is a resolution of the United Nations, which is the day of peaceful co existence. >> You've laid out and I must bring other speakers in as well, I think the question we will want to come back to later on but Ngo not for right now is is this period of peace in Algeria sustainable and I think you've said you've put in place a number of structures there that should be able to sustain it. But I'd like to come back to that issue later on because in a way there will have to be some type of transition certainly in the presidency at some point democratically in Algeria and it will be interesting to hear how you deal with transitions in this period you've had. I do want to bring other speakers in. Mr Bassil, when people look at Lebanon for resolving problems it looks like democracy prevents violence but seems to lead to a grid lock in the capacity at times to govern and to bring about change in terms of the economy, in terms of infrastructure. So what is different or what is working at the moment? What are the experiences of Lebanon in terms of peace and reconciliation when it is a country that is potentially so divided internally and is reflected that way in its democratic parties? >> Thank you for the opportunity. Lebanon is very unique. Maybe you cannot find another country where you have such in equity between religions and they're co partnering in ruling the country. So maybe here in Europe you have most ly Herzegovina which is newly formed is a bit similar. But again our democracy that is very hard to reach among 18 conventions living and sharing the power and the government and the Parliament and the presidencies, and this consensus, once you reach it, gives you stability. It's a bit difficult to reach in every process. You know, in forming a government, in adopting electoral law and there is always this anxiety that we are living internal because the system is based on religions. So everyone has to preserve its prerogatives and its role, especially in the region where the Christians still having their stronghold in Lebanon and they believe this is how they keep on spreading their message of tolerance. On top of this, We have our external problems coming from the fact that Lebanon has witnessed all the historical conflicts since ever. We had first the Ottoman empire with the Turks, so we have the Arab-Turkish conflict, then we passed to the Arab-Israeli conflict, which is still existing fiercely, and now we are moving to the Arab-Persian conflict. And all the three are converging in Lebanon. On top of it, the clash of civilizations between Christians and Muslims, between Sunnis and Shias. So having all this together, Lebanon is still able to absorb being a bumper, Lebanon has been called the leber ate of diversity. Now it's a bumper of all the clash that we are witnessing in the region. We have reached our internal reconciliation but you have to keep on maintaining it because it's a dynamic that never ends. >> Let me bring Sigrid Kaag in, because I want to make sure we get to the issue of geopolitics. You've travel and worked in your UN roles. You listen especially with your former UN hat on as well as your current role in the Netherlands government and you listen to these three very different experiences, what do you take away some of the key elements for reconciliation that allow success versus those that limit it? >> I think there's one strand of observations that are in the realm of the observe. The pirs is you want to address the root causes that led to conflict, or unresolved conflict so it's usually social exclusion, political exclusion, marginalization, and then you have the toxic influences of the conflict frtion you look at the Syria in the early day, the military was still absent from the operation, that quickly spun out of control and it became a regional conflict. But there are many other such situations. Lebanon has always suffered as well. Sometimes the Lebanese love to import regional influences so there's a give and take in money, arms, political. >> And export >> And you also export. And we could come to that. But so there's always a balance there. But I think the basics of course remains root causes of unaddressed grievances and they're often around economics, they're about power, and they're about status of minorities, be they yes or no. And in today's world, unfortunately, identity also in Europe has come to be a very toxic new element into the equation. What could change is I think in the way we approach peace processes as one of the elements to arrive at the highest level of reconciliation which ultimately is amongst the people in conflict is to look at local situations, local dynamics and be powerful there, build invest, look at national processes and I think never hijack it through the old templated version we have now and I think we don't see many success in formulas. We take it outside of the country, we run a UN process, some of them have run for decades without result, and we are too afraid to pull the plug and say let's take a step back, what did the data tell us snow how is the power dynamic shifting? I think President Trump's decision we were taken by surprise, we don't agree to the same problem analysis let alone the solution. It's interesting because it forces everybody to rethink, take stock, and come up with a better approach to unaddressed conflict situations, including the question of Syria. I think I would always like to also pay homage to ib Rahimi who confluid colluded – concluded after his effort it wasn't working, absence of political will, stalemate Security Council, all those elements are still there in many other conflict situations. The Security Council's agenda is full most of the year with protracted crisis, unresolved issues, at best a peacekeeper operations it doesn't have the piece to keep but it's present and there. But that should be telling us that our old formula are not suited to new conflict situations. The numbers have increased over the last decade, the nature of conflict has altered and changed but we're going after sort of a new disease with aspirin and I think this calls for totally new approach, a little bit more risk embracing, which countries, let's say, from the European Union, I can't say we're the most risk embracing in terms of politics. We don't like to talk to people we shouldn't be talking to that are sanction this, but then empower others to do to to get to a result because we overpromise to most people in conflict situations and we truly underdeliver. >> Well, I think your comment about risk embracing gives me a good segue, if you don't mind, to turn to Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al Thani because Qatar is known as taking risks in recent years. Qatar is certainly a country that believes it has an approach regionally to reconciliation that is quite activist and involved. Could you share from your perspective more the less about the internal change but the dynamics externally? In other words, to what extent can a country like Qatar play a constructive role in peace and reconciliation today? It's in an awkward position with some countries allied to it and others confront ing it severely. But with the United States taking a more transactional approach it would seem that countries in the region, and I think that is what Sigrid Kaag was saying, they will have to step up and play more of a role. How difficult is it to play that role today? >> Well, thank you, thank you first for having me today and I would like just to comment on the parts – on the comments which are touching really the heart of the reality. As you have just mentioned, we are – we are living in very complicated situation right now in the region and Qatar has been taken a different approach in the foreign policy and it has been very successful in the last decade and it's proven in different areas of conflict, one of the examples is Darfur where Qatar brought peace over there. Lebanon was an example when they had the agreement about the President and they agreed to elect the President at that time when they had Dohar agreement. Other conflicts of cat a is promise, one is Afghanistan and Qatar had this unique position because of its size, its ability, to move and to talk to all the parties in their conflicts. And we try to utilise these resources and these abilities for the good, for bringing peace and reconciliation for those countries. But if the countries themselves they have no – they are not entering and engaging these peace processes with good intentions, you cannot impose peace. We are just acting as a facilitator and as a mediator. But the main players are the parties of the conflicts. What you want to get from the facilitator whether it's a country or an organization, a regional or subregional or international organization is just as important, it's just the facilitation. And the main process should be developed from insieg side. Here what happened in Lebanon when you talk about the success story, because the process was driven from inside and facilitated by other friends and allies. Now, looking at it also from another prospect when you look at those domestic conflict, it all has a regional dimension and geo political dimension. My country is – has this geo political conflict right now with three of the gulf countries which really paralyse the ability of the GCC to contribute for the peace and to be a force of stability as everybody expect because the GCC in itself it's a strength when it's a block, but if you have each country are acting separately, it has no – it has no power. It has nothing to do. And the GCC itself, as an organization, as a regional organization, which proved that it was the only successful model in the Arab region unfortunately now it appears that it wasn't successful to solve its own conflict. So also we need to look at those regional mechanisms which should support peace and reconciliations in other countries but also should make sure that these regions staying together have a clear understanding on the needs of cooperation and the needs of dispute resolutions. Right now, we have it's more than almost 20 months since the blockade of Qatar and nothing has been produced, nothing has been achieved by the GCC as an organization . So it's becoming very complicated and we need, as a region, we need to have an ownership, yes, but we need to act with good intention and good faith at the beginning >> One of the criticisms that I think has been made by your GCC partners is – has been that openness in a way to test the limits of democracy in other parts of the Middle East, in a way the fear is that particular parties may get into party that end up having one man, one vote, one time, if you see what I'm saying and then democracy is not something that at least in the terms that I understand it is practised in Qatar. So to what extent is there going to have to be different horses for different courses and what credibility can a country like Qatar bring to the table when it is recommending a form of reconciliation that is highly different to the one that it applies domestically? Is that element of contradiction, we have to live with the diversity and maybe diversity is what we need across the region? Does it limit your capacity to carry out this foreign policy? >> First of all, Qatar has never promoted that Qatar is a force of change by imposing democracy or others. What we are promote ing, what the people want in those countries that Qatar supports. And Qatar in itself is a democratic country, yes, but it's progressing towards a people participation and the power, not like standing like stand still. And I – for me, if I want to apply a democracy, it doesn't mean that I have to apply specifically the democracy mod nell the West that will — model in the West that will work with our country and our ult culture. Each country has its own culture and way that democratic means can be adopted and Qatar – this is the policy has taken from the beginning. We have started a reform process where people participated first of all in the – on voting on the constitution and then introducing the democratic practice by municipality counsels co-uns and elects, women participation from the first election, then preparation for parliamentarian election, free media, a lot of other means of democracy are there in Qatar and practised every day but it's not called a democracy, yes. But what Qatar adopt as a policy from the beginning when it comes to the region, we stood against leaders who oppressed their people. That's what Qatar did. During the Arab Spring, Qatar taken a position that's supportive of the people and this position wasn't taken like when the presidents or the heads of those states or those authoritarians are not taking any action or not conducting any violence against their own people. We didn't start until those have conducted violence against their own people >> Thank you. Points taken. Let me come back and switch the conversation now just with a few questions about the changing geopolitical environment in which you're operating. Here we have Qatar hosting as of yesterday the next series of meeting between the Taliban and the United States. >> It's still under way today. >> Yes, I think so. >> I just wanted to get your impression from your position at the heart of government in Afghanistan. Is it a different group of players now having to play a role? Are you seeing the gulf as more important partners or equally important fart partners — partners to the United States? Is there a more competitive environment, is Iran playing a more active role in Afghanistan? How the is the change in geo politics changing the peace in Afghanistan? Quickly, just a quick – in a nut shell view points on this. >> A big nut shell >> Yeah, a big nut shell. >> Afghanistan has gone through different phases in the world, Cold War, then sort of uni polar world and now multipolar. And to – of course because it is multipolar world, we cannot do away with the things that we need to do inside the country. Address poverty and employment and certain other things. The things will not come from outside. The other reality is that, as long as the parts in the region, they play a zero sum game, it's only an opportunity for those who do not believe in peace, and pursue their own extremist terrorist agendas. We have also been witness to that, and the other issue is the presence of sanctuaries in our case in our particular country. And to – so it's a unique situation. When we started in 2001, there was a lot of convergence of interest, the way that it was perceived in by countries of the region, powers – world powers. That situation has changed. And that is – and there is another reality as well. For example, Russia has a different position today. Iran has slightly different from Russia but still different position. Pakistan has made sure that things will continue. The Taliban making headways in Afghanistan, if it happens, then of course it will hurt the central Republic and it will hurt the interests of Russia. But because of the interests they have elsewhere, it will come to it. >> You can live with a balance of power in Afghanistan >> A balance of power in politics >> It doesn't help with reconciliation? >> No. It's the opposite. Also when it comes to the United States and its policy towards Afghanistan, the consistency and coherence of that policy is important. If it is one day that we don't talk to the Taliban and we shouldn't talk to the Taliban, nobody should talk to the Taliban and – the only way forward is to talk to the Taliban, unless withdraw. These are the conditions that a country like Afghanistan which I mentioned at the beginning has gone through 40 years of how much more we can take and of course it looks like a wishful thinking to bring back countries on the basis of the realities that exist in the mid-term and long term. Terrorism, extremism is not in their interest. That will be the key. >> If I may turn to Gebran Bassil, Algeria should have the argument of not having that external inteer for instance as it went through a really brutal period. In a way do you think you were uniquely lucky in not having that external interference or was the fact that you had a good economic relationship with the European Union with your neighbor to the north, what being difference and what lessonies can you apply to others or was Algeria in a unique situation? >> I think what is a particularly characteristic of our situation is our history, the history that we had gone through over the countries – centuries we had something which was very fundamental to us and I think this has been proven throughout history. So we are very allergic to external interference we don't like people interfere ing in our affairs and we would never agree to anyone coming in. I will get to that. We don't like people interfering in our affairs and this is an underlying principal for us. As I said, the basis of our diplomacy is basically 3-pronged approach. First, this non-interference and we would not accept this and we would not do it to others. The second is that we keep our distance. We are very careful. Now, I spoke to Russia,ly be in Washington next week, basically I have a good relationship with Europe. So basically we don't come down on any particular side and we see this equidistance as important as well and it's part of the independence of decision making and it's not always ese I in this world. Also, now, we have a border 1,000 kilometers with Libya but there is not a single soldier from Algeria in Libya, not a single bullet has gone into that country. There is no company that's gone in. Now, we talk about solutions that come from the outside and everyone can make a contribution to that. But we would be against ideological military or economic or political confrontation because there are certain vested interests and we have to face up to that. And I think we have to see the situation that country is in and if you look at Libya, that is something you see in other regions as well. And now why are these problems in Libya sort of against women, for example? And I would – I know the country and I've been to the country and in fact I've covered the country from east to west, ill'm one of the few who's done that and I went to the east, I went to the north and even Libyan leaders who can't do the trip that I did. And now amongst the Libyans people want to get out of the situation they're in and they are amazing people. We have trained educated women and they can get through this but I think we have to let them get on with it. We have to allow them to sort out their own problems and that is the basis here. Now, there was a certain amount of slippage during the 1990s because there were Algerian leaders who wanted to try and solve our problems from the outside and that was reject ed by the people. So basically ownership is very important and absolutely essential and the same way it goes in all our regions. >> Interference has happened and others have become involved. It becomes very difficult to put it back together again. >> So if someone has intervened in your country from the outside, it makes it very difficult to make that good again. Algeria has – didn't have that experience. >> Well, no. Now, interference isn't just military, it can be ideological interference. We had the integrationists for example, now – now we went off to Afghanistan to fight against communism at the time and they came back and Bosnia and there are a number who came into Algeria. So you could have ideological interference as well and we suffered that. And it is about take ownership of our Islam that we are able to deal with this and it is a moderate Islam. Now it's important that we allow our people to resolve their own problems. Now Syria started with a small demonstration in a town and this then became a domestic problem and then it become international problem and now it's brought in Russia and the United States. This started with a simple demonstration. So now I'm saying this with the Lebanese Minister here present – Syria is – was a great place for co existence. And this had worked well there. Now, (inaudible) was Jewish and so all of that was part of that culture. And what is fragmentation? Particularly when it becomes from a religious source. They resisted the Ottomans, they resisted the French, the British colonialists so they lived together and then it just broke down. >> In a nut shell again? >> We will see how the nut shells go. I do want to get some questions in a second and I will call a few questions after Bassil and let you answer them first so I will give equal amount of time to everyone. On Syria, specifically, what do you see as the next steps because at the moment certainly I think your government is trying to find a way to think about if President Assad is in essence won the civil war there has to be a way to find reconciliation. Is that the position at the moment of the Lebanese government? Is that what you're working towards and is that going to work given the external powers that have different views on that future? >> Yeah, it's again trying to export the model of Lebanon because we export ed the alphabet, the commerce, and we imported the problems, we had our war. We used to talk of the Balkanization of Lebanon. Now after we found our reconciliation, we're talking of the Lebanese's of the Balkans and of Iraq and now the lebonnization of others. The model of the co existing is still holding. Despite that we are on the most challenging, you know, for humanity now is the ability to live together. We are having the, for example, the Lebanese model which is the antidote of terrorism, and the antimodel of monolithic society is like Israel, which is on our side causing us the problem. So we are having both terrorism, extremism, that is reflected in groups like the Talibans and Nostra and then states like in our case Israel. So not easy to find stability amongst all this and it is manly because of our — mainly because of our culture, our ability to absorb, to adapt to bear with such measure problems, but, again, the interferences – Lebanese like to bring interferences, you know. Maybe again in culture because this is how is our society, in the east and west. For sure, we can absorb everything. But, again, being a neutral is not really possible because of the interferences. And trying to spread our tendency towards equilibrium is not easy because it's changing the demographic, with the border force, demography, economic, military, so that is why it's a changing dynamics always and stopping others from interferencing into our society is not so easy. So mainly it is our target is to have a stable Syria. Second or again, because we believe that secular state is the answer to all our problems and diverse societies but we are faced with what – where there's attempts always to create the vision and to have states, monolithic states in our region colliding like steel boards together, colliding each other all the time instead of melting together like the melting pot of Lebanon. >> Look, let me get a few questions in. I will give an opportunity to Syria and Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al Thani to come in. Who would like to pose some questions to the audience here? We will certainly carry on our conversation but I do want to give the opportunity in the last 10 minutes? >> Anyone want to come in? Thank you. Right. There first, please. >> Thanks. I was – the analysis just given about Syria with respect to having sphieed so long and then — survived so long and then now seeing a cleansing or homogenise ation. Part of this is global warming, the droughts is this correct? Is that the right analysis? Is that part of the problem? >> Gentlemen, if you want you have a microphone in front of you. >> In the era of Trump and the streets and battlea and Krishna, would United States be a true reconciling peace broker that we see was going on? And that's to the Sheikh and with what's going on what you said about the gulf and Qatar and the other countries, I mean, the easiest part is and I know the answer is we are willing to sit but they're not willing to sit. Why are we not going to extra mile to get this sorted out? Because the problem in the region is substantial and could affect other areas, not just – I mean, eventually, we will have people from the region, the governments will be peaceful together, I have families in Qatar, others have families in Bahrain and elsewhere, so we are having as people we are having a problematic issue in terms of solving this thing out where it could be sat with these guy s sitting across the table and sorting this out. >> If you could pass the microphone back, please. >> My question is to the Minister of Algeria. I understand very well of the three points the non-interference, the equidistance as a Swiss parliamentarian it's very obvious. I have more difficulties to see how you organize aappropriation, if in a country you have two or three tribes which you have different opinions an interests. How do you manage to create a national appropriation? >> Right. Good. So we have a question, we will come back to you on. Microphone here and one tha will be the last one. Sorry. One, two, and then we will finish. >> I'd love to hear any thoughts on the role of cultural heritage and how the shared cultural heritage of the region can help to bring high level of peace. Thanks. >> Great. >> Hello. I am a Palestinian citizen – citizen of the State of Israel. I have family all over the world. I cannot visit them. My question is I think the time has come for us to do something really drastic. I see a bright Middle East if we all cooperate and resolve this issue and if we're willing to sit down with the terrorists we might as well be willing to sit down with a country that exists that will never go anywhere. Really what is the right strategy to move this conflict and really address the big elephant in the room? >> That's a nice easy one to get at the end! I am not sure what I will give that particular question to. Let me – I want to start, if I may, Sigrid Kaag, on the issue perhaps you know Syria well. I don't know how much you know it that well but you may have a view as to how intrinsic the move from urban cities and away from rural areas were. And I would love to hear views on whether Trump can be a reconciler as well. Any other points you would like to pick up because this will probably be the last round of comments. >> I can do it very briefly. When I was in charge of the clearing of the weapons I wasn't in charge of the climate change but I know that climate change is one of the root causes of conflicts. Exclusion, marginalization, access, corruption. A warring economy brings a whole new so-called elite that comes to power successively and we need to be mindful of that. The second part is identity, cultural heritage, particularly important particularly many reconciliation but giving it equal weight. You can't have a hierarchy of identities. Europe, presumed to have been stability stable it's changing it's become a negative instrument or a force for good. So hence co existence needs to be nurture and invested. The third point is youth. This region all country, young people are isolated, feel unheard, are not part of any particular process. I won't address the elephant in the room, to my mind, women at the table, but I'm glad here, but the women of your countries are also not at the table. The Syria process, Libya process, Yemen process, where are they in the back room advising the UN envoy? They have to be at the table. 50% of the population. Transformation out of conflict is recognizing inequality and equi in equity it's not rocket science most of the time. I very much commend the power to having it people-led with help from outside, where appropriate. I think Oman hasn't been mentioned, I think partly because they've been so discrete and effective and don't want much out of it other than stability and solutions that can be facilitated. I think last but not least civil society as a whole, again that's the counterveiling force for the new players. In many countries there's seen to be a sector, they're not. They need to be given voice and I'm looking at Angela Kane from the dialogue advisory Group but also center for humanitarian dialogue, so many of the track 2, track 3 processes that also involve private sector create job, create hope and perspective to sort of address the issues when you want to have the day after. Many days after never come because we don't invest in the outset. In the political process which a lot of the time is social economic with politics riding over it. I mean, we ignore that to our peril, hence climate change is not addressed. And we will see many series of new conflicts and they're not difficult to predict. They're happening under our very eyes. >> It will be interesting to see the role Europe which will experience the spillover of all of these effects if we don't deal with them quickly, whether Europe could play a more forward role in this. Deputy Prime Minister Al Thani, to you. >> >> Just a quick comment. We have four minutes for four people. >> No problem. >> Regarding the US role and can it be reconciliner the region, yes, they can still be a reconciler because they are partners and ally of most of the countries in our region. I am not talking specifically about the GCC here but I am talking about the bigger regional conflicts with what's happening in Syria, whether what's happening in Libya. US is a superpower in the world, it's a fact over there and with the absence of the enforcing mechanism from the United Nations you have those superpowers need to use their influence in order to impose peace and reconciliation. Second, regarding the GCC conflict and why Qatar doesn't go the extra mile, I think our brother from Bahrain, if you look back since the start of the crisis, Qatar has gone twice the extra mile while the other countries were unwilling to sit and Qatar remained with its position, despite the hostility which it's been subject to and we tried our best to isolate this crisis from the people because we have interconnected families that we are allowed to come to – without any procedures they shouldn't apply, they are not forced to submit proof they have lived there, and there is plenty of GCC citizens among them from the blockading states are centering – entering Qatar back and forth. I won't mentioned their names because I don't want them to be captured. >> Abdullah Abdullah what are some of the key takeaway s you want people to take away from your experience in Afghanistan? More engagement externally or more diverse group of actors or, you know, is it really up to Afghanistan itself to find the reconciliation? >> No, the end state is with the Afghan people but look at the conditions. Can we do it as a state. Today, absolute majority of the people of Afghanistan want peace. But what are the conditions there? So how we can reconcile different interests with a very rigid positions of the countries around us and beyond us – >> Could there be an economic answer? There's Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India? >> Inspite of all the things that was in the way, these projects like a gas project and electricity project and also our active participation in the regional institutions, this will happen. At the same time, fundamental decision has to be made by a few countries that in the mid-term and long term in is not in Nair interests. The continuation of the conflict might suit some thinking but not in the mid-term. >> I will finish with you, last, on the appropriations that unfortunately there's one question that hasn't been answered as well here, apart from climate change from Syria, which is is it time to be bold on the Arab-Israel set of conversation, the question that was asked here, what would be your position and your answer? >> There's always time for peace but you need two to tango. Culture is the basis of everything. I believer that time is now for the return of refugees, time is for the reconstruction of Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, because bidding on the fact that forcing this moment of people, exposing the cultural clash which is causing also the Western extremism here and you see the rise of it and the reaction of it in our region, and the displacement now of fighters using them from various – from a place to another and creating killing zones for them is actually creating more breeding of violent people. So I believe that we should all be convinced that we cannot have economic globalization while having culture and isolation. >> Could line I'm sure. From Mr Bassil, there was a specific question about appropriation and whether it's possible to do that and whether that challenge was for you if you could finish one minute on appropriation. >> Yes, it is both precise but it'ses have very apposite. This is the basis of appropriation. What do we mean? We mean there should be a dialogue and reconciliation and people have to buy into that. So the problems of Algeria have to be sorted out by Algerians without any exclusion. That is to say everyone has to sign up to this. There has to be a national debate and the future of the country concerns all Algerians both young people, women, and indeed I'm going to be visiting next month and I'm going to make presentations there in your country, certainly you will be happy thatly be in your country, but women in Algeria at the very center of this ownership and we're talking about a Muslim country. 40% of our judges are women. And it is women who administer justice. In education, more than 65% are women. In medicine, we would say most doctors are women. And I was in communication and 60% of journalists are women. So women have an extraordinary role to play and this is because of our history and we are now very much involved, all of us, in building a new Algeria, but basically women are the future of man and the future of the country. >> And the President as well. Let me just say I'm not going to try to wrap up such a want to thank our five panelist s for looking inside about the external environment as well in a very disciplined way. I hope you've picked up some of the gems that came from each of them through the course. So a big strong hand for our panel. Thank you.

6 thoughts on “Peace and Reconciliation in a Multipolar World

  • I promote the idea of EU having a "peace commissioner" that can work both internally and in other parts of the world

  • America under Trump rejects climate change completely. As we watch each YouTube session of this years WEF energy & climate shows up in all of them. This coupled with Trump's misguided love of murderous regimes makes America an outlier, a disingenuous partner. His mind is hermetically sealed from reality, he's surrounded by a cabal of war mongering men. He's enabled a sort of religious American flavored Taliban. He and he alone in his shrunken mind can save America from imaginary bogeymen. The upside is this forces the rest of the world to forge new relationships. In particular this allows the rest of the world to reexamine how we got here h how to move forward. One game changing opportunity is to move from military forces built for global conflicts. Reposition the money & manpower to achieve sustainable relationships with our finite and only home, earth. The mental genius & resulting science we've poured into military weapons are an enormous resource that can be redirected to climate and everything that comes with our climate challenges. Great informative discussion! Thanks to all for your efforts to move to a world we can proudly bequeath to our grandchildren, great grandchildren, and hopefully the many generations to come. Examining our expanding knowledge of how OUR ancestors in only 100,000 years came should give us the strength to do the same for the future generations.

  • Lebanese representative hits the mark. Grateful to Lebanese leadership for the voice & more importantly the actions that are pragmatic and hopeful

  • Breaking news! White coats to begin being rounded up for committing the horrible, reprehensible and unforgivable crime of being involved with, and complicit, in illegally destroying a human life. No more allowing brain damaged women to take this sinful and shameful act upon their own shoulders. The American medical Association and the ILLEGITIMATE and illegal criminal federal government is also about to face charges of treason for allowing international human rights abuses and crimes against humanity go unpunished. Mcmerika, it's judgement day ol sons

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