"It is all about raising political awareness of the people," President of the NIMD Board Bernard Bot said after a mission to Afghanistan.
From 18 to 24 May 2007 Mr Bot headed an NIMD mission to Kabul to explore the possibility of working in this war-torn country that only recently established a democratic government with an elected president (since 2004) and parliament (since 2005).
The delegation, which included NIMD Board Member Willem Haitsma (ChristenUnie) and the Dutch politicians Mariko Peters (GroenLinks) and Angelien Eijsink (Labour Party) - met with party leaders, parliamentarians, experts and diplomats in Kabul. Among them were Mr Spanta, Afghanistan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Rabbani, former President of Afghanistan and current leader of Jamiat Islami Rabbani and Mrs Barakzai of the democratic Third Line Group.
"There is a lot of work to do in the field of democratisation," Mr Bot said in an interview with NOS Radio 1. Currently there are more than 80 political groupings but in most cases a clear political agenda has not been established. Some of the groups are linked to war lords but according to Bot, there are also initiatives of ‘enthusiastic young democrats’ in the parliament.
In the coming months the NIMD Board will decide whether or not NIMD will initiate a programme in Afghanistan and if so, what the content and scope of such a programme would be.