International Conference on Afghanistan Kabul, 20 July 2010
On July 20, 2010, the Government of Afghanistan will bring together representatives of more than 70 partner countries, international and regional organizations and financial institutions to deliberate and endorse an Afghan Government-led plan for improved development, governance, and stability. The International Conference on Afghanistan, the first of its kind in Kabul, will mark the culmination of several months of intensive study and rigorous policy debate on Government priorities implemented through national programs, to deliver on the key goals of economic growth and job creation. Building on commitments made at the recent international London Conference, the conference aims to support a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan. It will be opened by H.E. President Hamid Karzai, and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, and co-chaired by Foreign Minister Rassoul and UN Special Representative Staffan de Mistura.
Nine years since the start of its renewed partnership with the international community, Afghanistan stands at a critical turning point in its efforts to achieve lasting peace, security, and stability. Last January, Afghanistan and its international partners gathered in London to reaffirm their commitment to achieving lasting peace, stability and prosperity in the country. Specifically, the Afghan government and its international partners agreed on the need for a reinvigorated and prioritized Afghanistan National Development Strategy, affording special attention to the key areas of security, economic development, governance, regional cooperation, and reconciliation and reintegration. A better prioritized and more implementable ANDS will contribute to:
• More effective utilization of international assistance thorough better alignment of international aid with government priorities and the channeling of increased assistance through the Afghan national budget;
• Strengthened capabilities, with the assistance of International Community, within the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and the gradual transfer of responsibilities leading to ANSF-led operations;
• Enhanced efforts for strengthening regional cooperation with a view to increased collaboration among neighboring countries in support of a secure, stable and prosperous Afghanistan;
• Enhanced “Afghan-led” reconciliation and reintegration efforts, to build confidence and to consolidate peace and security throughout the country;
• Combating corruption and strengthening governance to ensure an effective, transparent and accountable civil-service at the national and sub-national levels.
The International Conference on Afghanistan marks a new phase in Afghanistan’s engagement with the international community. A key goal of the conference is to mobilize international confidence and resources for a new generation of “bankable” national programs, in accordance with the Afghanistan National Development Strategy and President Karzai’s inaugural speech of November 2009.
In order to consolidate security and advance socio-economic development and good governance, Afghanistan requires the sustained support of the international community in the years to come. The International Conference on Afghanistan offers a unique opportunity for strengthening international partnerships for a stable and prosperous Afghanistan. On security, conference participants will emphasize increased Afghan security force responsibility for military operations and, in this regard, underscore sustained international assistance so as to enable the Afghan national army and police to reach their target strength and size.. Additionally, Afghanistan will seek the support of the international community for the implementation of its national security policy and strategy, to be presented at the International Conference on Afghanistan within the framework of the ANDS. On development, the conference will endorse fourteen integrated national programs for improved ANDS implementation of socio-economic priorities. This will include Afghan government programs to enhance progress in the key areas of agriculture, education, mining, and energy generation and transportation infrastructure. For its part, the international community will commit to align its aid behind these government priority programs and to channel a greater portion of development aid through Afghanistan’s national budget. On regional cooperation, conference participants will seek to increase collaboration among neighboring and regional countries to address the challenges of terrorism, extremism, drug trafficking and organized crime affecting both Afghanistan and the region. Moreover, t participants will deliberate upon regional economic cooperation and seek progress on the most effective ways to support specific regional development projects. On reconciliation and reintegration, conference participants will be briefed on the outcome of Afghanistan’s National Consultative Peace Jirga (NCPJ) from 2-4 June 2010 in Kabul. The international community is expected, in turn, to support Afghanistan’s reconciliation and reintegration efforts, including through financial contributions to the “Afghanistan Peace and Reconciliation Trust Fund.” Another key focus of the conference will be strengthened governance and combating corruption. Cognizant of their vital importance, the Government of Afghanistan will update the conference on its reinvigorated counter-corruption strategy, including strengthened High Office of Oversight and Anti-Corruption (HOOAC) capabilities and the establishment of the hybrid Afghan-international Independent Oversight Board (IOB) to oversee progress in the fight against corruption.
Venue: Ministry of Foreign Affairs Date: July 20, 2010 Participants: Over 70 partner countries, international and regional organizations and financial institutions Conference Agenda: To be provided at a later date.