Asia Society's Young Afghan Leaders Make Case at Bonn Afghanistan Conference
Young Afghans who are part of Asia Society's Afghanistan Young Leaders Initiative (AYLI) submitted a report on key issues facing their country, and strategies to solve them, to the Afghanistan International Conference convening in Bonn this week.
Titled Afghan Youth Vision 2014 and Beyond, the report prepared by AYLI was presented as a list of recommendations to the participants at the Bonn Conference, where U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and German Chancellor Angela Merkel were in attendance.
Based on the 2014 transition process — the timeline for American troops to withdraw from Afghanistan — the paper takes note of the need for a proper functioning bureaucracy and administrative policy in the country.
The Afghan youth leaders, including 26-year-old Tamim Asey, a senior policy advisor at the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock, were selected as part of the annual Asia21 Young Leaders Forum for 2011, a core network of leaders from diverse professional backgrounds who are tasked to serve one-year terms in which they focus on pre-selected core issues and ways to address critical challenges.
The two-page report highlights some of the most pressing issues confronting Afghanistan at the moment, such as the need for a sound economic model, population growth control, energy creation and key concerns regarding law and security, including:
- The need for the development of an economic model in compliance with the economic transition plan and effectively utilizing natural resources.
- A long-term strategy to balance population vs. socio-economic growth and population growth control measures.
- Investment in agriculture, mining, energy and infrastructure to ensure economic stability.
- Taking special note of regional relationships and security factors.
- Establishment of an Economic Planning Commission to serve as a policy and strategic think tank to the government.
- Development of the private sector.