Afghan Government and community prepare for upcoming 2016 conferences on Afghanistan
KABUL - The Government of Afghanistan, the International Community and representatives from Afghanistan’s civil society and private sector met today to prepare for the upcoming 2016 conferences on Afghanistan and reaffirm their partnership and commitment to Afghanistan’s long term development.
Today’s special session of the Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board (S-JCMB) was co-chaired by the Minister of Finance, H.E. Eklil Hakimi and the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, Mr. Nicholas Haysom. The meeting focused on preparations for the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan, which will be co-hosted by the Government of Afghanistan and the European Union on 4 and 5 October this year.
The Brussels Conference on Afghanistan follows on from the London Conference held in 2014 and the last Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) held in Kabul in September 2015.
Today’s JCMB offered an opportunity for the Government and its international partners to review ongoing dialogue ahead of the upcoming conference, at which new development assistance pledges for 2017-2020 will be made.
In his opening address, H.E. President Ghani highlighted progress in security and development amidst challenging circumstances. He called for the Government and its International Partners to set realistic goals and focus on outcomes, building on successes and learning from failures.
Mr. Haysom, the head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), outlined reforms made by Afghanistan since the September 2015 Senior Officials Meeting. He encouraged the Government to continue progress on reform implementation in the coming months and highlighted the importance of the Government’s work on anti-corruption, economic growth, human rights and justice as critical to the development agenda.
Highlighting the importance of the two upcoming 2016 Afghanistan Conferences, Mr. Haysom emphasized the linkages between the Brussels Conference and the upcoming NATO Summit, to be held on 8 and 9 July in Warsaw, at which future security funding will be determined.
Development partners expressed support for the Government’s focus on key priorities, including tangible actions to prevent corruption and strengthen the economy. Partners also expressed their commitment to work with the Government as it prepares a new national development strategy to define post-2016 development priorities, for which pledges will be made at the Brussels Conference.
Echoing the President’s review of progress since the SOM, the Minister of Finance, H.E. Eklil Hakimi, emphasized the Government’s success on revenues and key economic reforms. He also highlighted commitments and recent progress to empower women in the public sphere. Welcoming partners’ interest in the forthcoming new development strategy, he described the pillars around which the new strategy will be structured, and called for sustained international assistance at or near current levels.
EU Special Representative, Ambassador Franz-Michael Mellbin welcomed the broad agreement between the Afghan Government and the donors on the results achieved so far and on the many areas that still need improvement. He pointed out that implementing the agreed reforms and demonstrating its will to improve governance is the best way to ensure continued exceptional levels of support for Afghanistan at or near current levels. Success at Warsaw and Brussels will allow the Afghan people the time, resources and confidence needed to move Afghanistan towards peace and stability. EUSR Mellbin was confident that working closely together the Afghan government and the International Community would be able to ensure sufficient progress towards the Warsaw and Brussels conferences.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
The Afghan Government and the international community agreed to establish a Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board (JCMB) for overall strategic coordination of the implementation of the Afghanistan Compact at the London Conference (January 2006) and in United Nations Security Council Resolution No.1659.