• NATO: Response from the Secretary General to ENNA & BAAGs letter, July 2014

    In June, ENNA (the European Network of NGOs in Afghanistan) and BAAG wrote to the Secretary General of NATO on their recommendations ahead of the September 2014 NATO Summit.  The attached response from Ander Fogh Rasmussen was received in July.  In it, he states his agreement that forming a permanent position for the currently temporary Special Representative for Women, Peace & Security is a priority.  He also refers to the development of the UNSCR 1325 Action Plan, and to the progress made by the ISAF Gender Adviser since her deployment in April.  

    PDF icon NATO response to ENNA Summit letter July14.pdf
  • Chatham House: Rebooting a Political Settlement, July 2014

    As part of their Afghanistan: Opportunity in Crisis programme, Chatham House review how the political reconciliation and peace-building process in Afghanistan is faltering.  Events of the last year - the Taliban office opening in Doha, the prisoner exchange between US soldier Bowe Bergdahl and 5 Talib inmates of Guantanamo Bay - have progressed the cause, but not to their full potential.  Meanwhile, the tactics of the international government involvement come under scrutiny. 

    PDF icon CH Rebooting a political settlement Jul14.pdf
  • Report of the UN Secretary General to the Security Council, June 2014

    The Secretary Generals rquarterly report to the General Assembly Security Council covers the period early March - June 2014, during which the first round of voting in the Afghan elections took centre stage.  His report also reflects on the security situation which saw a 22% increase in security incidents compared to the same period in 2013 - a rise he puts down to the Taliban's efforts to disrupt the elections.  Other comments include human rights violations, the passing of the Criminal Procedure Code (including its contraversial Article 26) and the flooding crises affecting the north of the country. 

    PDF icon SG Report to the GASC June 2014.pdf
  • ENNA & BAAG: Women's security in Afghanistan - Recommendations to NATO, June 2014

    BAAG partnered with ENNA -  the European Network of NGOs in Afghanistan - to provide recommendations ahead of the NATO Summit planned for September 2014 and the Foreign Ministers meeting in June.  Progress in women’s rights in Afghanistan represents a key indicator of change that lays the foundations of an inclusive, democratic and peaceful society. Advances in women’s rights and participation – in education, employment, public life and other spheres – are primarily an achievement of Afghans themselves. Yet, NATO and the international community at large continue to have a critical role to play – as well as responsibilities – to ensure that these hard-won and still fragile gains are consolidated and expanded. ENNA, BAAG and their members provide recommendations to ensure that preparations for the NATO summit are effectively informed by the analysis and experience of both international and Afghan civil society organisations (CSOs), and to outline actions and outcomes that NATO should prioritise, so that their strategies to promote the rights of Afghan women and girls and participation of Afghan women are successful and sustainable.

    PDF icon Joint Recommendations BAAG ENNA to NATO -June 2014.pdf
  • NATO: Action plan for the implementation of policy on Women, Peace & Security, June 2014

    NATO and its partners are committed to implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325, adopted in October 2000. UNSCR 1325 recognises the disproportionate impact that war and conflicts have on women and children, and highlights the fact that women have been historically left out of peace processes and stabilisation efforts.On 25th June 2014 they released, for the first time, an Action Plan for the implementation of the NATO/EAPC Policy on Women, Peace and Security. The intent is to reduce barriers for the active and meaningful participation of women in defence and security institutions, operations, missions and crisis management.Key action areas include the further integration of a gender perspective in the areas of arms control, building integrity, children in armed conflict, counter-terrorism and human trafficking. This will be complemented by the development of military guidelines and appropriate reporting mechanisms to prevent and mitigate conflict related sexual and gender-based violence. Afghanistan participated actively in the development of the Action Plan. 

    PDF icon NATO EAPC-wps-action-plan.pdf
  • International Crisis Group: Afghanistan's Insurgency after the Transition, May 2014

    In their latest report on Afghanistan, the International Crisis Group examine the security challenges in light of the international troop withdrawal, analysing in detail the situation in the four provinces of Faryab, Kunar, Paktia and Kandahar.  Findings and recommendations include concerns that donor's current plans to support the Afghan security forces are insufficient but that a post-transition government may have better prospects for reviving peace talks. 

    PDF icon Intl Crisis Gp-afghanistan-s-insurgency-after-the-transition.pdf
  • HRW: Under Attack - Violence against health workers, patients & facilities, May 2014

    Human Rights Watch and the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition report on the unacceptable attacks on those offering health support in conflict zones.  The ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross) identified 1,809 specific incidents of violence targetting health workers or facilities in 2012-2013. In Afghanistan (page 17), dozens of attacks - including deaths - were reported in 2013.  As elsewhere, these attacks do not just affect the communities using those local facilities - they affect the wider population when health operations have to be suspended or curtailed, or when health workers are reluctant to work in insecure areas.  

    PDF icon HRW Under Attack - violence health workers May14.pdf
  • Report of the Secretary General on children and armed conflict, May 2014

    The UN Secretary General's report to the Security Council highlights a 30% increase in child casualties in 2013.  The situation in Afghanistan (from page 5 onwards) includes the targetting of children in schools, recruitment of child soldiers and suicide bombers and sexual violence against boys and girls perpetrated by anti and pro-Government forces. 

    PDF icon SG report on children & armed conflict May 2014.pdf
  • New American Foundation: Strategic Empathy, April 2014

    This report presents the argument that US policy in Afghanistan has failed partly due to a lack of understanding of - or 'empathy' with - both the Taliban and the Afghan government.  In approaching the Taliban as a 'threat to the West' rather than as an internally-focused group driven by numerous ideologies, including their resistance to US 'invaders', the US has in many instances exacerbated the problem rather than alleviated or eliminated it.  

    PDF icon New America Foundation Strategic Empathy.pdf
  • ORG: The UN and Casualty Recording, April 2014

    The Oxford Research Group's report explores the current state of casualty recording practice, and use of information about casualties, within the UN.It concludes that when the UN systematically records the direct civilian casualties of violent conflict, and acts effectively on this information, this can help save civilian lives. However, casualty recording is not currently a widespread practice within the UN system.This report looks at experiences of, and attitudes towards, casualty recording from the perspectives of UN staff based in New York and Geneva. It includes a case study of UN civilian casualty recording by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan’s Human Rights unit. Finally, the report discusses challenges to UN casualty recording, and how these might be met.

    PDF icon ORG-UN-and-Casualty Recording.pdf
  • AREU: The Afghan National Army - Sustainability Challenges beyond Financial Aspects, February 2014

    This report by the Afghanistan Research & Evaluation Unit (AREU) highlights some of the challenges facing the Afghan National Army.  Though rightly hailed as a success story in the building of Afghanistan's security infrastructure, many problems hinder it's development.  These include high attrition rates, insufficient logistical support, political interference or patronage and a reliance on importing external models which are unsuited to the Afghan context. 

    PDF icon AREU - ANA Issues Paper Feb14.pdf
  • US Department of Defense: Report on Progress toward Security & Stability in Afghanistan, November 2013

    With Afghan security forces responsible for the majority of security operations (95% of conventional operations and 98%  of special operations by time of reporting), this US report provides an optimistic picture of their abilities and the future security of the country.Compare this to the civilian casualty reports of 2013 and you'll see that this year proved to be the bloodiest since UNAMA started recording civilian casualties - calling into question the abilities of the ANSF and the strength of the insurgency.  

    PDF icon US DoD Report Progress Security and Stability Nov13.pdf
  • Oxfam: Women and the Afghan Police, September 2013

    Twelve years after the fall of the Taliban, violence against women is on the increase. But millions of Afghan women will never see a female police officer in their communities, let alone be able to report a crime to one, with just one female police officer for every 10,000 women. Even where they are recruited, policewomen face serious challenges including discrimination, lack of training and facilities, sexual harassment, as well as social stigma.This report makes specific recommendations to the Afghan Government, but also makes suggestions to the UK as a donor to intensify efforts to reform the ANP and enhance women’s roles.  

    PDF icon Oxfam-afghanistan-women-police-100913-en.pdf
  • International Alert: Conflict Ideas Forum 4, September 2013

    For its 4th Conflict Ideas Forum in June 2013, International Alert convened an informal meeting of representatives of civil society, academia and aid agencies in London. The purpose was to discuss the realities and myths associated with the international military withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014 and its potential consequences on local conflicts within the wider region,with a view to identifying possible peacebuilding interventions.  BAAG Director Jawed Nader participated in these discussions.

    PDF icon Int Alert ConflictIdeasForum4_Summary_ Jun2013.pdf
  • Danish Institute for International Studies: Taliban Talks, March 2013

    Taliban Talks: Past, present and prospects for the US, Afghanistan and Pakistan takes stock of the efforts to achieve some level of reconciliation with the Taliban after more than 11 years of war. It deals with the recent history of initiatives to engage with the Taliban, outlines the challenges to these initiatives and derives some recommendations for how to move forward with the peace processes. 

    PDF icon DIIS Taliban Talks Jun2013.pdf