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A preparatory meeting before the conference
Mr. David Fraser Harris, Secretary General UPF Middle East, was the MC for the event.
Mr. Patrick Jouan, vice-president, UPF France, introduces Mr. Reza Jafari
Mr. Reza Jafari, President of Afghanistan Peace Dialogue.
Mr. Umberto Angelucci: Chair, UPF Middle East
Ambassador Mme Shukria Barakzai, former Ambassador of Afghanistan to Norway, addresses the audience
Ambassador Mme Shukria Barakzai, former Ambassador of Afghanistan to Norway
Mr. Jacques Marion, Co-Chair, Universal Peace Federation - Europe and the Middle East
Mr. Keith Best TD MA: Chair of UPF UK, Former MP
Dr. Rahela Kaveer, Chair of the World Hazara Council
Dr. Michael Balcomb, President of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification – Europe and the Middle East, addresses a question to the panellists (left to right) Ms. Farzana Adell, (Masters student), Reza Jafari; Jacques Marion, Dr. Rahela Kaveer, and Ambassador Mme Shukria Barakzai
The Afghan Peace Dialogue presented UPF with a Certificate of Appreciation, held here by Mrs. Margaret Ali, director, UPF-UK
Left to Right: Mr. David Fraser Harris, Secretary General UPF Middle East; Mr. Jacques Marion, Co-Chair, UPF Europe and the Middle East; Ambassador Mme Shukria Barakzai, former Ambassador of Afghanistan to Norway; Mr. Reza Jafari: President, Afghanistan Peace Dialogue
The speakers and participants at the conference

Click here for the report by Dr. Rahela Kaveer, Chair of the World Hazara Council.

The Afghan Peace Dialogue (APD) and Universal Peace Federation (UPF) were partners in an event discussing 'Strategies for Peace and Good Governance in Afghanistan' on January 10th, 2024, in the London UPF – UK HQ. The purpose was to examine the situation in Afghanistan following the overthrow of the government and the emergence of the Islamic Emirate in Afghanistan. Following the agenda of the Afghan Peace Dialogue, the aim is to study the future of the country, establish international relations for the future government, to establish a legitimate and inclusive state in Afghanistan, and develop the necessary collaborations at the international level.

The Afghan Peace Dialogue and the Universal Peace Federation have been forging a meaningful collaboration aimed at fostering dialogue and finding other strategies for peace and development among the diaspora groups constituting the key communities of Afghanistan. This collaborative effort recently unfolded at the UPF's UK headquarters in Lancaster Gate during a conference on January 10th. Mr. Reza Jafari: President of the Afghanistan Peace Dialogue Movement who has partnered with UPF in prior conferences in Vienna and Paris, extended invitations to several UK-based Afghan representatives. The event commenced with a planning meeting, followed by a conference addressing the imperative for such collaborative endeavors and exploring potential modalities for effective cooperation.

Mr. Umberto Angelucci: Chair of UPF Middle East and President of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU) Middle East, an organization affiliated with UPF, shared a compelling account of his seven-year life in Afghanistan. His passionate narrative resonated with the audience, shedding light on the challenging experiences he and his wife encountered, that sadly were not uncommon for those in the audience.

Ambassador Mme Shukria Barakzai, former Ambassador of Afghanistan to Norway, was honored as an Ambassador for Peace of UPF during the program. Her impactful speech, particularly focusing on the rights of women and the shifts observed over the 20 years of governance in cooperation with international forces, struck a chord with the audience as she reflected on the stark contrast following the recent transition of power to the Taliban government.

Key UPF Representatives: The event saw the participation of significant UPF figures, underlining the organization's dedication to the conference and future collaborative initiatives. David Fraser Harris, the UPF Middle East Secretary-General, served as the Master of Ceremonies, while Mr. Jacques Marion: Co-Chair of Universal Peace Federation - Europe and the Middle East, as well as Mr. Keith Best TD MA: Chair of UPF UK as well as a former MP, reinforced the serious intent of the Universal Peace Federation in promoting peaceful dialogue between the communities that comprise Afghanistan.

Commitment to Dialogue:  Dr. Michael Balcomb: President of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification – Europe and the Middle East and Dr. Rahela Kaveer, President of the World Hazara Council, further symbolized the commitment to Afghanistan's future. Despite recent health challenges, Reza Jafari's attendance, along with Dr. Kaveer flying from the USA, highlighted the collective commitment to the crucial work of fostering dialogue among the diaspora communities.

Interactive Session: The conference included an engaging panel discussion, including Ms. Farzana Adell, (Masters student), Reza Jafari; Dr. Rahela Kaveer, Jacques Marion and Ambassador Mme Shukria Barakzai  who responded to questions from both the audience and the attending media, fostering a dynamic exchange of ideas and perspectives.

The Lancaster Gate conference served as a pivotal moment in advancing collaborative dialogue for Afghan peace, bringing together diverse voices, experiences, and commitments in a shared effort to contribute positively to the nation's future.

The programme ran as follows. (Click on the titles to see the videos.) 

Moderator: Mr. David Fraser Harris, Secretary General UPF Middle East

Welcome Message: Mr. Robin Marsh, Secretary General UPF – UK

Greetings by Dr. Michael Balcomb: President of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification – Europe and the Middle East

Introduction of Mr. Reza Jafari by Mr. Patrick Jouan

Mr. Reza Jafari: President of the Afghanistan Peace Dialogue Movement

Dr. Rahela Kaveer: Chair of the World Hazara Council 

Ambassador Mme Shukria Barakzai who received an Ambassador for Peace Award

Mr. Jacques Marion: Co-Chair of Universal Peace Federation - Europe and the Middle East

‘Introduction to Universal Peace Federation’

Mr. Keith Best TD MA: Chair of UPF UK, Former MP

Mr. Umberto Angelucci: Chair of UPF Middle East

Panel Discussion:

Ms. Farzana Adell, (Masters student), Reza Jafari; Dr. Rahela Kaveer, Jacques Marion and Ambassador Mme Shukria Barakzai 

Questions from the floor – in-person and online

Concluding Remarks: Mr. Reza Jafari

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