Afghanistan has one of the youngest populations on earth, with 65% or more of school age or below. While huge strides have been made in restoring the education sector, with seven million now back in school, quality and access remain huge issues — especially in insecure areas. Children and child soldiers continue too often to be victims of violence. Their rights will remain under constant threat without more concerted efforts to end impunity and restore the justice system. But the most precious gift anyone could give to the children of Afghanistan would be an end to the conflict. The quest for peace will continue to involve efforts at many levels — from community outreach in districts and villages to concerted engagement with Islamabad and other capitals on the shape of a political settlement. Afghanistan’s conflict was not home-made: it behooves the world to go the extra mile for peace — for the sake of subsequent generations.
Christopher Alexander was Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General in Afghanistan from December 2005 until May 2009. In this position he was responsible for political affairs, including elections, disarmament, governance, regional cooperation, rule of law and police reform, as well as cooperation with ISAF. Prior to this assignment he served as Ambassador of Canada to Afghanistan from August 2003 until October 2005. He was number two at the Canadian Embassy in Moscow from 2000 to 2003 and second secretary at the same mission from 1993 to 1996. A career diplomat, Mr. Alexander joined the Canadian Foreign Service in 1991. He received a BA from McGill University in Montreal in history and politics in 1989 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. He grew up in Toronto, attending the University of Toronto Schools (UTS) from 1979 until 1985. He has recently moved back to Canada with his wife Hedvig Christine Alexander – who worked in Afghanistan for seven years, most recently as Managing Director of Turquoise Mountain. Their daughter Selma Zolaykha Alexander was born in April 2009. He is now writing a book on Afghanistan. Chris Alexander was recently selected to be the federal candidate for Ajax-Pickering for the Conservative Party of Canada.
May 13th, 2010
Door Open @ 6pm
Lecture @ 7pm
Reception Following Lecture
Don’t miss the Silent Auction
(Cash or Cheque Only)
INNIS TOWN HALL
2 Sussex Ave., Toronto
Street Parking & Underground Lot ($6 flat) available across from Innis College
St. George Subway Exit, South of Bloor St.