Positive developments occurring in Afghanistan are overshadowed by media focus on bad news, say two leading Canadian officials who gave a talk at CIGI on Feb. 3. Canadian Forces Colonel Roch Lacroix called 2009 a turning point in the military conflict in Afghanistan while Civilian Chief of Staff Tara Denham spoke of non-military initiatives currently underway in southern Afghanistan.
Chris Alexander, former Canadian ambassador to Afghanistan, is cautiously optimistic about the country's future. Afghan institutions, like the Ministry of Agriculture, are starting to show promise and the country's economy is showing progress in some areas. Mr. Alexander spoke at CIGI on Feb. 10 as part of a two-part public lecture.
Bringing stability to conflict-ridden East Africa requires combining disarmament and development efforts. The CIGI-sponsored event featured John Siebert and Kenneth Epps of Project Ploughshares who spoke about how efforts to reduce armed violence cannot be carried out in isolation. Other social factors play a big part. Their talk was based on a new report: Addressing Armed Violence in East Africa.