By Mirwais Nahzat (2009-10 Sauvé Scholar)

Current Sauvé Scholar Mirwais Nahzat joins a group of distinguished speakers at a conference hosted by the Liu Institute of the University of British Columbia: After 2011? A discussion of Canada’s role in Afghanistan: Implications for the integrated model. 

Gordon Smith, Director of the Centre for Global Studies at the University of Victoria; former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Ambassador to NATO set the tone of the discussion in his remarks “Reconsidering Afghanistan”. He was followed by Elissa Goldberg, Director-General of the Stabilization and Reconstruction Task Force Secretariat (START), and former Representative of Canada in Kandahar (ROCK) speaking on “Lessons Learned”.

Advocating a Holistic Approach, Mirwais stressed that Canada must develop a five-year development strategy focusing on three key priorities: good governance, primary and technical education, and agriculture and rural development. Creating decent jobs, especially for youth and women, improving access to education and rule of law will give ordinary people a stake in their country’s future. Canada can make a difference if its aid strategy focuses on what is practical and tangible.

Other speakers who delivered position statements included:

  • Chris Alexander, Former Canadian Ambassador and Deputy Special Representative of the UN Assistance
Mission in Afghanistan
  • Robert Muggah, Research Director, The Small Arms Survey
Graham Fuller, Former Vice-Chairman of the CIA National Intelligence Council and CIA Station Chief in
  • Janice Stein, Director of the Munk Center for International Studies
Lauryn Oates, Freelance consultant
  • Graeme Smith, Foreign Correspondent, Globe and Mail (Stationed in Afghanistan from 2006 to 2009)

Former Sauvé Scholar (2007-2008) Emily Paddon gave the Introductory Remarks at the opening of the conference.