Symposium on Cultural Diplomacy in Afghanistan & Central Asia

"Democracy, Development, and Diplomacy in Afghanistan & Central Asia"

(Berlin; June 21st - 23rd, 2013)

Symposium Overview

Afghanistan is a country in transition. With half of the American troops and almost all of the British troops currently stationed in the country expected to be withdrawn before the end of 2014, the handover of power and transition to self-governance is increasing in pace as the country prepares to manage itself with complete independence. This will naturally pose a challenge to a country in which war has been waged for over a decade. In light of the war in Afghanistan, it is often forgotten that for the majority of the Twentieth Century, Afghanistan was a self-governed, relatively moderate country; it was only after the Taliban seizure of power in 1996 that Islamic fundamentalist rule was established, leading to a massive disregard for human rights and the rule of law. Regardless of whether the American invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 was justified, the country is now on the road to self-governance and democratic representation, and the International Symposium in Cultural Diplomacy in Afghanistan & Central Asia will address important issues regarding the past, present, and future of Afghanistan and other central Asian states.

Symposium Locations

Based in Berlin, the Conference will be hosted at a number of important political, historic, and cultural locations across the city, and will consist of excursions to the country's top institutions and landmarks. Featured locations during the Conference will include: German Parliament, Berlin City Hall, European House Berlin, the German Foreign Office, the Brandenburg Gate, and the House of World Cultures, in addition to various foreign embassies and governmental institutions.

Symposium Participants

Participation in the conference is open to governmental & diplomatic officials, academics, artists, journalists, civil society practitioners, private sector representatives, young professionals and students as well as other interested individuals from across the world.

If you would like to reserve a position and participate in the symposia, please click on the "Apply Now" link below and fill out the online application form:

Symposium Speakers

Speakers during the Conference will include leading dignitaries, heads of state, ministers, politicians, diplomats, academics, journalists, authors, and artists, as well as figures and experts from international politics, economics, the cultural sector, diplomacy, and civil society. These speakers will include a large number of individuals from the ICD Advisory Board. To learn more about the ICD Advisory Board, please click here

Participant Papers

The Institute for Cultural Diplomacy encourages academic research and analysis of issues related to the goals of the Symposium, and would therefore like to welcome participants to submit a paper they would like to be considered for delivery at the Symposium. Following the Symposium, select papers will be chosen to be included in the proposal document that will be issued and sent to all governments and leaders of the international community following the Symposia.

Certificate of Attendance

All Symposium participants will be awarded an official Certificate of Attendance upon completion of the program, which will provide details of the speakers who took part in the event, and list the topics which were discussed. Each certificate will be signed by members of the ICD Advisory Board.

Symposium Agenda

The International Symposium on Cultural Diplomacy in Afghanistan & Central Asia will bring together speakers from a wide range of fields, including politics, journalism, diplomacy, and activism, in order to discuss and debate key issues relating to Afghanistan and Central Asia. The Symposium will place emphasis on the transition of power in Afghanistan, the possible challenges that the country will face, and the potential solutions to these problems. The Symposium will also explore the histories and cultures of countries in the Central Asian region in order to explain and analyze contemporary conditions in these states. Central Asian countries are notable for their vast array of tribes and cultural groups, thus providing an exciting opportunity to explore the often varying cultures and heritages of various groups within single countries.

The aim of the International Symposium on Cultural Diplomacy in Afghanistan & Central Asia will be to establish ideas and initiatives for the advancement of diplomacy, governance, and stability in central Asian countries. The Symposium will present a unique opportunity for high-level speakers from a variety of fields to gather together and debate current issues facing these countries, and in the process, establishing solutions to the various contemporary and future challenges in the region. The International Symposium on Cultural Diplomacy in Afghanistan & Central Asia will furthermore examine the measures that current governments and organizations in the countries in question can take in order to improve conditions across the board, as well as the role to be played by external governments and groups in facilitating steady, sustainable progress across Central Asia.

The Conference will focus in particular on the following areas:

  • The Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO)
  • Regional Security & Stability During and After the Transition of Power in Afghanistan
  • The History & Development of Central Asia
  • Strengthening Democracy & Government throughout the Central Asian region
  • Cultural & Indigenous Rights
  • The Future Role of International Organizations & Governments in Afghanistan and Central Asia