In light of growing public skepticism of the Afghanistan mission among Canadians, fuelled by the rising casualty rate for the military mission in the South, it is important to ask why Canada is there. Why is the stability of Afghanistan important to Canada? Beyond the daily media coverage of the war in the South, what progress has been made to bring peace and stability to Afghanistan? What has Canada's contribution to this effort meant? What are the consequences of failure?

Speaker Bio


Christopher Alexander is one of the two Deputy Special Representatives of the Secretary General for Afghanistan appointed by Secretary General Kofi Annan. Mr. Alexander is responsible for political issues, including continuing electoral and parliamentary issues, as well as issues related to peace and stability, security sector reform, and human rights.

He served as Ambassador of Canada to Afghanistan from August 2003 until October 2005. Prior to this assignment he was Minister Counsellor at the Canadian Embassy in Moscow from 2000 to 2003 and served as second secretary at the same mission from 1993 to 1996. He has also served at Foreign Affairs headquarters in Ottawa as deputy director responsible for Canada's bilateral relations with Russia and as Assistant to the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. Mr. Alexander joined the Canadian Foreign Service in 1991. He received a BA from McGill University in Montreal in history and politics in 1985 and an MA from Balliol College at Oxford University in England in philosophy, politics and economics in 1991. Mr. Alexander was chosen as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in 2005.