Video for this event is now available on Columbia’s YouTube channel.
The Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies and the Center for International Conflict Resolution, School of International and Public Affairs, presents a Saltzman Ambassador Series event:
“Power Struggle Over Afghanistan: An Inside Look at What Went Wrong – and What We Can Do to Repair the Damage”
A presentation of his new book by Ambassador Kai Eide, former United Nations Special Representative to Afghanistan, former Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA)
With remarks by Ambassador Zahir Tanin, Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the United Nations
Moderated by Jean-Marie Guéhenno, Arnold A. Saltzman Professor of Professional Practice in International and Public Affairs, Director, Center for International Conflict Resolution (CICR)
Ambassador Kai Eide was appointed the former United Nations Special Representative to Afghanistan and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) on 7 March 2008, a position he held until March 2010. He has previously served as the Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General in Kosovo in 2005. His report to the Secretary General of the United Nations on the political situation in former Serbian province of Kosovo resulted in the launching of the negotiations that ultimately brought about the independence of Kosovo. Ambassador Eide has also Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1997–1998. He has been a member of the Norwegian Foreign Service since 1975. He was the Norwegian ambassador to North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) from 2002 to 2006 and to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) from 1998 to 2002. He has also been posted as Special Adviser on the Balkans at the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and as Norway’s ambassador at the International Conference for the former Yugoslavia. He has also been active in national politics; for the Conservative Party. In the Syse government, between 1989 and 1990, he was appointed State Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister. He later served as a deputy representative to the Norwegian Parliament from Akershus during the term 1993–1997. Ambassador Eide holds a cand.mag. degree from the University of Oslo in 1975, where he studied political science, international law, French and literature.
Ambassador Zahir Tanin During his tenure at the United Nations, Ambassador Tanin has held a number of other positions in the Organization. Ambassador Tanin has served as a Vice-President of the 63rd and 65th Sessions of the General Assembly on behalf of the Asian Group. In this capacity, Ambassador Tanin served as acting President several times including during High Level General Assembly Sessions. As Permanent Representative of Afghanistan, Ambassador Tanin has participated in the high level meetings of the General Assembly as a member of his country’s high level delegation since 2007, has delivered statements on behalf of the Government of Afghanistan in the Security Council, General Assembly, and other events and panels both within and outside of the UN. Ambassador Tanin has traveled to high level meetings around the world to represent his country, including the 4th UN Conference on Least Developed Countries in Istanbul in June 2011, and as head of delegation in LDC conferences in Lisbon in 2010, in Delhi in 2011, and the Non-Aligned Movement Ministerial Meeting in Cuba in 2009. After chairing the informal plenary of intergovernmental negotiations on Security Council reform during the 62nd General Assembly, Ambassador Tanin was appointed Vice-Chair of the Open-ended Working Group and Chair of the Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN) on Security Council Reform during the 63rd General Assembly in 2008. Ambassador Tanin was reappointed to chair the ongoing negotiations during the 64th, 65th and 66th sessions. In this capacity he has spoken frequently at conferences around the world, most recently at the Global Governance and Security Council Reform conference in Rome, and also at the Doha Forum, in May 2011. As Chair of IGN, Ambassador Tanin presided over seven rounds of negotiations and produced a compilation text which is currently in its third revision. Ambassador Tanin has also served as a Vice Chair of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People since 2006, and has Chaired or attended numerous meetings around the world in this capacity. These conferences include include the UN International Meeting in Support of the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process in Brussels in June 2011, the UN Seminar on Assistance to Palestinian People in Helsinki in April 2011, the UN Latin American and Caribbean Meeting in Support of Israeli-Palestinian Peace in Uruguay in March 2011, and the UN International Meeting About Palestinian Political Prisoners in Vienna in March 2011, as well as a number of other meetings on the issue. Ambassador Tanin’s statements addresses and articles from December 2006 through September 2009 are published in his book, “Afghanistan on the World Stage.” Before his appointment as Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Tanin worked for eleven years with the BBC: as a Producer from 1995 to 2000; as a Senior Producer from 2000 to 2001; as an editor for BBC World Service, Afghanistan and Central Asia from 2001 to 2003; and as an editor for the BBC Persian/Pashto Section (Editor for Afghanistan) from 2003 to 2006. Before joining the BBC, Ambassador Tanin was a research fellow in International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science from 1994 to 1995. Ambassador Tanin is a graduate of Kabul Medical University. He began his career in 1980 working as a journalist in Kabul. He was Editor-in-Chief of Akhbar-e-Haftah and Sabawoon Magazine until 1992. He co-authored The Communist Regime in Afghanistan, a study of the political and social changes in Afghanistan from 1978 to 1992. He also authored Afghanistan in the Twentieth Century. He produced a landmark 29-part program, The Oral History of Afghanistan in the 20th Century, which was broadcast on the BBC.
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