Afghan government and international community seek to reaffirm partnership ahead of critical conferences
KABUL - Afghan leaders and high-level representatives of the international community met today in Kabul to map out the key security and development priorities for the country, and identify how international support will have real impact on Afghanistan and its people.
Regarded as a curtain-raiser for the important upcoming conferences on Afghanistan dealing with security (Warsaw in July) and development (Brussels in October) participants at the special session of the Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board included President Ashraf Ghani and co-chairs Eklil Hakimi, the Minister of Finance and Nicholas Haysom, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan.
Speaking at the opening of the one-day event in Kabul, President Ghani said that there is a political will for reform, and Afghanistan will go to the upcoming Brussels and Warsaw summits with all the necessary reforms addressed.
In common with many international partners, President Ghani identified corruption as one of the most significant challenges facing the country.
“Corruption is still a big challenge, but reforms are taking place,” said President Ghani, noting that court trials are 75 per cent faster than before.
Haysom said the Afghan Government continues to face daunting challenges, including in the areas of security, development, corruption and economic growth for which it both needs and seeks international support.
But he added that the government should be credited for some advances such as the increase in revenue collection and for meeting its IMF benchmarks: “These are impressive achievements that must be sustained.”
Corruption is a key challenge that permeates the security, economic, institutional and political spheres, persistently impeding and eroding the progress that Afghans seek and that they deserve to see, said Mr. Haysom.
While noting that the government has taken important steps in leadership and oversight to anti-corruption efforts, Mr. Haysom said that immediate and tangible results are essential to building Afghans’ confidence in the future of their country.
“The challenge we jointly face, said Haysom, “…is to demonstrate that international support and assistance will have a real impact on Afghanistan and its people.”
Mr. Haysom said international partners look forward to engaging with the government as it prepares a new national development strategy that will guide post-2016 development priorities.
The Board is a high-level decision-making body established by the Afghan Government and international community that provides a platform for strategic coordination, joint policy formulation and problem-solving in Afghanistan.
The Afghan Government and the international community agreed to establish the Board for overall strategic coordination of the implementation of the Afghanistan Compact at the London Conference (January 2006) and United Nations Security Council Resolution No.1659.