2016 Annual World Economic Forum

H.E. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, accompanied by Mr. Eklil Ahmad Hakimi, Minister of Finance, Dr. Suraya Dalil, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations office in Geneva, and President’s senior advisors attended the annual World Economic Forum held from 20th to 23rd of January 2016 in Davos Switzerland.

The World Economic Forum is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging political, business, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. The annual meeting in Davos is an incredible convening forum for global stakeholders and an opportunity to share perspectives on the issues facing global business and beyond. This year’s theme for the World Economic Forum was “The 4th industrial revolution”.

On 21st January 2016, on the side-line of the World Economic Forum, a trilateral meeting was held between Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United States to support and enable an Afghan-led, political process that promote a dialogue between the Government of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and Taliban.  In the meeting Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United States expressed their commitment to accelerate diplomatic and political efforts to put an end to the conflict in Afghanistan.

H.E. President Ashraf Ghani emphasized on safeguarding Afghanistan’s sovereignty, unity, independence, territorial integrity and Islamic principles that are fundamental to resolving the current conflict. The legitimacy of the Afghan State and the legitimacy of Afghanistan’s constitution must be fully respected. The rights of all Afghans, especially women, must be respected in any peace process.

On 22nd January 2015,  H.E. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan together with Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary-General of NATO,  Ashton B. Carter, US Secretary of Defence, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies, Office of the Prime Minister of Singapore,  moderated by Espen Barth Eide, Head of Geopolitical Affairs, Member of the Managing Board of World Economic Forum participated in a  panel discussion on “The Global Security Outlook”.

H.E. President Ghani while speaking about the intersection between fragility and competition in Afghanistan stated that Afghanistan is dealing with medium-term challenges, not short-term, and if those challenges are not defined in correct horizon terms, we cannot put strategies for containments or overcoming them. Speaking about terrorism H.E. President Ghani added that it is a distinctive pathology that has caused prevention in the freedom of travel and has made us suspicions of our neighbours.

H.E President Ghani while thanking the NATO Secretary General and the United States Secretary of Defence for the ultimate contribution of men and women from more than 40 countries in Afghanistan stated that the international level of understanding terrorism is remarkable, but the regional dimension is missing in action. Unless all the States in the region realize that it is a common threat and there is a need to respect the rules and cooperate with each other, we will continue to be exacerbating.

H.E. President Ghani on the issue of state-building said that citizens do not only need security  but also social cohesion and citizens should be put in front and centre of all our actions, in particular women. As long as we have exclusion of women, we are not going to get a meaningful and sustainable peace.

On regional cooperation, H.E. President Ghani stated that it is absolute to have regional cooperation for economic development. By naming Turkmenistan as a good neighbour, H.E. President Ghani expressed his delight to have a neighbour like Turkmenistan, who is supportive for the future of Afghanistan and investing in the pipeline through Afghanistan.

On the side-line of the World Economic Forum, H.E. President Ghani met Mr. Johann Schneider-Ammann, President of the Swiss Confederation, Mr. Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum, Ms. Federica Mogherini, Deputy and Foreign Minister of the European Union, Mr. Bill Gate, founder of Microsoft and one of the biggest funder of the polio eradication program in Afghanistan, Ms. Gayle Smith, USAID Administrator, Ms. Christine Lagarde, President of the International Monitory Fund to discuss potentials and opportunities in Afghanistan, peace and stability, national security and its regional and international dimensions and polio eradication programs in Afghanistan.

BBC and CNN also conducted interview with H.E. President Ghani.