Roya Rahmani was Afghanistan’s first female Ambassador to the United States and to Indonesia, and she served as the first director general for regional cooperation at the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She won the Best Human Rights Activist Award from the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission in 2007. Indonesia Tatler named Rahmani the “People’s Ambassador” in 2017, and in 2019, she was featured on Time Magazine’s “100 Next List” for being a “fierce advocate of peace on Afghan terms.” She has nearly two decades of experience working with governments, nongovernmental organizations, and multilateral institutions. She is currently the Vice Chair of Public Policy at Delphos, serves as a senior advisor at the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center, is a distinguished fellow at the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace, and Security, and acts as a senior fellow for international security at the New America Foundation. You can find more information about Ambassador Roya Rahmani on this website.
“Afghanistan: A Security Dilemma That May Be Solved Through Non-Militarized Means”
“Just two years ago, Afghans celebrated over 1 billion dollars in exports and facilitated a 60% increase in access to safe drinking water since 2001. It took the Taliban just two years to undo two decades’ worth of progress. Today, more than 24 million Afghans, over half the population, need humanitarian aid to survive. The majority of Afghan families face food insecurity. It is estimated that 95-97% of Afghans live below the poverty line. This is a grave failure, not just of the peace we tried to build, but of the systems we put in place to protect that peace and to protect the Afghan people. My address will serve two purposes: 1) to reconsider what it means to create lasting peace and; 2) to renegotiate Afghanistan’s role in geopolitics to prioritize sustainability and regional and global cooperation. There are many factors that contributed to the collapse seen over the last year; this symposium, and others like it, represents an opportunity to address them and to reimagine the path to a peaceful, prosperous region, Afghanistan included.”