The agreement is part of more than 18 months of peace talks – and nine rounds – involving Khalilzad, Taliban representatives, Afghan government delegations and many other special representatives or envoys from neighbouring or regional countries and international organizations. The signing of the agreement was preceded by a seven-day reduction in the violence agreement, seen as a test of the Taliban`s ability to control their armed forces. It is clear that strong and useful recommendations are most likely to come from a strong and thoughtful truth commission with sufficient human resources and expertise to reflect on the impact of its results and make recommendations in response to those recommendations. A commission that structures its work to examine and better understand the important patterns of past abuses and the causes and consequences of past strategies and practices will be much better able to propose major changes compared to commissions that focus most of their energies on case-by-case investigations. In addition, many previous commissions have turned to reform recommendations previously proposed by foreign donor organizations, intergovernmental agencies, non-governmental organizations or independent scientists. The most favourable environment in which strong recommendations are expected from a truth commission is that there is already a great deal of attention and reflection in the face of the clear threat posed by major conflicts and potential violence resulting from a serious investigation into past abuses, and it is ironic that truth commissions are seen as an instrument for peacemaking. But the fact that they have the power of a silent and forbidden history, the great demand of victims to know the full truth behind their suffering, and the widespread perception that such a story, if not addressed, could be an even greater source of conflict for years to come. The official truth, which seeks abuses in the past, alone will never be enough to end or prevent the resurgence of violent conflict, but it can be a central element of a peace strategy. A truth commission is likely to have an impact on conflict resolution and prevention in three different ways. First, if the formal search for the truth is agreed as part of a peace agreement between the belligerents, it can be seen as a concrete and positive initiative that can serve as an incentive for peace. Secondly, a Commission can help prevent the return of violence by confronting and defusing tensions around past conflicts. And thirdly, a report on the truth helps to trace the necessary reforms of the state to find solutions to the country`s difficult problems – for example, by fully understanding the weaknesses of justice or by thinking about how to better structure elections to bring in all minority parties – and to lay the groundwork for the Commission to continue or build on that basis.