Afghanistan

March 28, 2020 - April 9, 2020

Energy and Fuel Exploration Workshop

From March 28th-April 9th, 2020, CLDP will host an Energy and Fuel Exploration Workshop for over 35 participants from Afghanistan's mining sector. The workshop will cover Afghanistan's new mining laws and regulations as well as technical developments in the field. 

March 10, 2020 - March 14, 2020

Middle East, South Asia and Eastern Europe: CLDP Conducts 10th Annual Pre-Moot Competition

Amidst the global impact of the coronavirus, the Annual Willem C. Vis Moot in Vienna and Hong Kong was cancelled. More than 400 teams from over 80 countries had anticipated to compete in the premier program this April. In response, on March 10-14, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, CLDP, in cooperation with the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for International Legal Education and the Bahrain Chamber for Dispute Resolution, successfully converted the 10th Annual Middle East Vis Pre-Moot into a virtual Vis Pre-Moot. The virtual pre-moot was the first to showcase a virtual program that was able to connect participants from around the globe simultaneously, overcoming technical obstacles that could impede connections. Additionally, CLDP and its partners developed virtual tools that improved mooting practices, such as virtual moot rules, automatic scoring, and electronic grade submissions. The pre-moot program provided a series of live sessions, recorded lectures, interactive virtual breakout sessions, and practice rounds. The highlight of the 5-day virtual program was a two-day competition, consisting of general rounds and elimination rounds, along with a “virtual gala.” The winner of the event was the Royal University of Colombo. More than 100 attorneys from around the globe volunteered their time to serve as advisors and arbitrators. The Vienna organizers have now called on CLDP to assist them in converting this year’s global moot into a virtual event. CLDP will now be working closely to support the Moot organizers in Vienna next month in designing and implementing the global event so as to enable the 400+ registered teams to submit their required oral arguments for competition. For more information, please visit: http://premoot.bcdr-aaa.org/.

February 10, 2020 - February 12, 2020

Afghanistan: CLDP Workshop on Advance Rulings

On February 10-12, 2020, as a part of CLDP’s technical assistance to the Government of Afghanistan under the World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade Facilitation, CLDP will host a workshop in Colombo, Sri Lanka on Advance Rulings for officials from the Afghanistan Customs Department (“ACD”).  The three-day workshop will feature a refresher on skills needed to conduct classifications, valuations, and rules of origin, and experts from U.S. Customs and Border Protection and CLDP will work with the ACD to develop legislative amendments and draft regulations for Advance Rulings.

January 14, 2020

Afghanistan: CLDP Participates in U.S. Embassy Minerals Working Group Meeting

On January 14, 2020, in Kabul, Afghanistan, CLDP participated in the Minerals Working Group (MWG) meeting hosted by the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan. The MWG is comprised of international donors and representatives from the Afghan government and private sector and focuses on issues related to the extractives industry. Last year, CLDP provided comments and revisions to the 2018 Minerals Law and implementing regulations. Participants included the U.S. Embassy Kabul Economic Section, USAID, and various international donors, including the European Union, U.K. Department for International Development, and Asian Development Bank.  Afghan participation included the Minister of Mines and Petroleum, Deputy Minister for Policy and Programs, Deputy Minister of the Afghan Geological Survey and a representative of the Administrative Office of the President. The Minister of Mines and Petroleum gave an update on the enactment of the mining regulations and provided an overview of upcoming restructuring of the Ministry and the proposed new method of awarding mineral rights. Stressing that the goal is to jumpstart the mining sector, the minister requested donor community assistance in evaluating the proposed changes.  CLDP’s assistance is helping to create an investor-friendly and comprehensive mining regime that will foster a business environment that attracts U.S. companies and contributes to further developing the Afghan economy. 

January 3, 2020 - January 10, 2020

Afghanistan: CLDP Conducts Advanced Topics Session of Mining Course

On January 3-10, 2020, in Istanbul, Turkey, CLDP, in coordination with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), conducted the Advanced Topics Mining Course workshop. A group of 21 students from both legal and technical backgrounds participated, composed primarily of Ministry of Mines and Petroleum of Afghanistan (MoMP) staff.  This workshop is a part of the two-year mining course that began in October 2018 in New Delhi, India. The technical portion of this workshop covered extraction methods, mining lifecycle, and economic considerations of mine development. The technical participants also visited an operating gold mine to observe best practices in mine development and operation. The legal portion of the workshop focused on best practices for drafting a mining concession and environmental, financial and social issues associated with mining projects. The legal participants also conducted mock negotiations between a government and a mining company. Legal and technical participants will train others in their respective departments in the subjects they learn during the two-year mining course. Creating a cadre of high-level trainers will help bring the necessary skills of MoMP to a level that will foster a business environment in the mining industry that is attractive to U.S. companies and will help develop the Afghan economy.

December 6, 2019 - December 14, 2019

CLDP Facilitates Mining Consultations Between Afghanistan and Colombia

On December 6-14, 2019, in Bogota, Colombia, CLDP and the U.S. Geological Survey facilitated meetings between officials of the Afghan Ministry of Mines and Petroleum and the Colombian Ministry of Mines and Energy. The parties discussed best practices in governance of the emerald industry, learned about Colombia's model of formalization of artisanal and small-scale mining, and agreed to sign a memorandum of understanding under which the respective agencies of Colombia and Afghanistan will cooperate and share knowledge on methodologies, policies, and strategies for effective management of the mining sector. The Afghan delegation also met with emerald miners, brokers, and exporters, observed the operation of emerald polishing enterprises, and visited an emerald mine operated by a U.S. company. Adopting effective management practices in the mining sector, specifically for gemstone operations, will lead to an improved trade and investment climate in Afghanistan. 

December 3, 2019 - December 4, 2019

CLDP Holds Regional Trade and Transportation Forum in Uzbekistan

On December 3-4, in Termez, Uzbekistan, CLDP sponsored a regional trade and transportation forum titled “Challenges of Transit vs. Opportunities for Trade”, in coordination with USAID’s Competitiveness, Trade and Jobs initiative. The event brought together more than 140 participants from Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, India, and Pakistan. The combined group of public officials and private sector representatives in the logistics, transport, and freight forwarding sectors discussed regional barriers to cross-border trade and explored potential ways to increase and improve trade via road, railway, and river transport. Participants also visited the newly-constructed cargo terminal and the operating Termez river port. Of particular focus during the forum was the role Afghanistan can play in connecting the South and Central Asian regions for increased trade. The discussions culminated in the signing of connectivity Memoranda of Understanding between all represented countries. 

November 4, 2019 - November 7, 2019

CLDP Supports Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative

On November 4-7, in Dubai, UAE, CLDP participated in a Self-Assessment and Planning Workshop organized by the Afghanistan Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative International Secretariat. The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) is a global standard to promote open and accountable management of natural resources. The workshop aimed to assess Afghanistan’s readiness for reinstatement as an EITI-implementing country which is key to increasing foreign direct investment in the country’s minerals sector. 

October 21, 2019

Washington DC: CLDP Joins TIFA Council to Report on Work of Expert Level Working Groups

CLDP Attorney Michael Cofield participated in the U.S.-Central Asia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement annual meetings on October 21-22, 2019 in Washington, DC. On Monday, October 21, CLDP briefed the TIFA-level Working Groups on the work and results of the CLDP-facilitated regional Expert Level Working Groups on customs issues, standards, sanitary/phytosanitary measures, intellectual property rights, and women’s economic empowerment.