hrinking – closing – no space: Governments across all continents villainize civil society actors. Where does their sense of threat emanate from?

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The democratic environment over the last decade provided a crucial opportunity for civil and political activities in Afghanistan in which not only political parties but also civil society organizations, youth groups and networks were founded to consolidate democracy and endeavor to push forward their participation in politics and society.

Environment and Resource Equity

Globally, political leaders are lauding the acceptance of the global and legally binding Paris Agreement on Climate Change at COP21 as a historical moment. It achieves a goal long believed unattainable. However, judged against the enormity of the challenge and the needs and pressure from people on the ground demanding a global deal anchored in climate justice, the Paris Agreement can only be called a disappointment.

Climate change requires urgent action, as hardly any government will deny. Business is also beginning to rise to the challenge. Nevertheless, the voluntary commitments being developed for the climate summit in Paris (COP21) are falling short.

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Democratization & Youth

In 2015, the hbs head office in collaboration with regional offices in Afghanistan and Pakistan arranged a delegation visit to Berlin and Brussels from to discuss country situation, women parliamentarians performance, gender equality, peace building, shrinking spaces for women rights activism, and share the findings of the comparative study “Unmaking Political Patriarchy through Gender Quotas?” with a wide range of stakeholders at the European level.

Within the framework of the hbs research project "Reviewing Gender Quotas in Afghanistan and Pakistan" a delegation of women parliamentarians, together with civil society activists from Afghanistan and Pakistan, went on a visit to Berlin and Brussels. The delegates discussed the findings of the study on women's political representation as well as their role in peace-building and security in the region with European parliamentarians, policy makers, experts and practitioners.

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Foreign, Peace and Security Policies

Since its formation in 2014 the National Unity Government of Afghanistan has in different occasions, expressed its commitment to share the benefits of Afghanistan’s geographic centrality through regional cooperation - particularly economic integration - with its neighbors and countries beyond the immediate neighborhood.

Today, the 100th year’s of Afghan- German relationship celebrated in Afghanistan. The good relation of Afghan-German goes back to 1916s with the establishment of initial contacts between the governments of the German Reich and the Emirate of Afghanistan.

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The Heinrich Böll Stiftung is a German foundation and part of the Green political movement that has developed worldwide as a response to the traditional politics of socialism, liberalism, and conservatism. Our main tenets are ecology and sustainability, democracy and human rights, self-determination and justice. We place particular emphasis on gender democracy, meaning social emancipation and equal rights for women and men. We are also committed to equal rights for cultural and ethnic minorities. Finally, we promote non-violence and proactive peace policies. To achieve our goals, we seek strategic partnerships with others who share our values. Our namesake, Heinrich Böll, personifies the values we stand for: protection of freedom, civic courage, tolerance, open debate, and the valuation of art and culture as independent spheres of thought and action.