Barn springer in i en skolbyggnad

School in Yrskin in the North of Afghanistan. Photo: Kajsa Waaghals

After the Taliban takeover: What future awaits Afghanistan?

The Swedish Committee for Afghanistan is organising its biennial international conference on November 11, 2021, in Stockholm. The conference will gather experts, policymakers, civil society, and academia to discuss the latest developments.

The Taliban have again taken control of Afghanistan. It´s still early to conclude what “the new normal” will look like and several questions are being raised. What direction are Afghanistan and its people heading and how can people’s rights be defended? With the freezing of international donor funds to the state institutions, and against the backdrop of protracted drought, covid-19 and a vast majority of the population living below the poverty line, the current humanitarian crisis could evolve into a disaster. How can the international community continue its support to the Afghan people? How should it relate to and engage with the Taliban regime? What does continued support to women’s rights look like?

Due to a limited number of seats, the conference is by invite only but the conference will be livestreamed on our digital platforms. 


09.00 – 09.30 Welcome and Introduction
Bengt Ekman, Chair, Swedish Committee for Afghanistan
Andreas Stefansson, Secretary General, Swedish Committee for Afghanistan

09.30 – 10.15 What can be concluded of the direction of the policies and their implementation of the Taliban regime after almost three months in power?
Kate Clark, Co-Director Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN)
Anders Fänge, Member of SCA board, previous SCA Country Director

10.15 – 10.30 Break

10.30– 11.00 Keynote address
Per Olsson Fridh, Minister for International Development Cooperation, Sweden

11.00 – 11.45 How should the international community relate to and engage with the Taliban regime?
Ashley Jackson, Co-Director of the Centre for the Study of Armed Groups at Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and author of ‘Negotiating Survival: Civilian-Insurgent Relations in Afghanistan’

Barnett Rubin, Former senior adviser to the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan at the US State Department, and a nonresident fellow of the Center for International Cooperation of New York University and the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft.

Tomas Niklasson, Special Envoy of the European Union for Afghanistan, European External Action Service

11.45 – 12.00 Short reflections from morning sessions

12.00 – 13.00 Break

13.00 – 13.45 What are the conditions for continued support to women’s rights, and what may such action look like?
Jamila Afghani, Executive Director of Medica Afghanistan, president of the Afghan section of the International Women’s League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)

Najwa Alimi, Journalist and recipient of the Per Anger prize 2019

Khalid Fahim, Programme Director and Deputy Country Director, Swedish Committee for Afghanistan

13.45 –14.00 Break

14.00 – 14.45 How can the international community work together to support the Afghan people?
Ulrika Modéer, Assistant Secretary General and Director of Bureau of External Relations and Advocacy, UNDP

Carin Jämtin, Director General, Sida (the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency)

Terje M Watterdal, Country Director, Norwegian Afghanistan Committee

14.45 – 15.30 Break

15.30 – 16.15 Closing session


Contact: Stephanie Esk, Project Manager,
Press Secretary: Cajsa Wikström,