Afghan Government and partners review development progress and challenges
KABUL - Afghan Government leaders, diplomats and representatives of international organizations, civil society and the private sector met today at a session of the Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board (JCMB) to discuss progress and challenges in implementing the Afghanistan National Peace and Development Framework (ANPDF).
Co-chaired by Finance Minister Eklil Hakimi and the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, Tadamichi Yamamoto, the meeting addressed topics ranging from anti-corruption and justice reform to infrastructure development, services delivery and job creation.
In his opening remarks, President Ghani said: “The majority of Afghan citizens have said multiple times that they want a state that can protect their constitutional rights and provide the ordinary Afghan with justice. Corruption, bad governance, impunity, and reactive politics, however, are fundamental obstacles to achieving the type of state that the citizens desire. Reform is not an option, it is an imperative. Without comprehensive reform, we will both lose the patience of our citizens, and the support of our international partners. For reform to be meaningful, it cannot be driven by one person, or one office. It must be nationally owned.” President Ghani also called for the end to ethnic polarization and pledged to present an action plan on preparation for 2019 presidential election within 3 weeks.
The upcoming major conference - the Senior Officials Meeting scheduled for October 2017 in Kabul - follows last year’s Brussels Conference, at which new development assistance pledges through 2020 were made, following the London Conference held in 2014 and the last Senior Officials Meeting held in Kabul in 2015.
Minister Hakimi, echoing the President, said that the theme of the meeting is Towards Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) 2017. “Nine months ago, we met in Brussels to re-affirm our mutual commitment to the future of Afghanistan. There, we presented our plan to make our vision for a new Afghanistan a reality. Today, we intend to show you what progress has been made on the implementation of the Afghanistan Peace and Development Framework and show you that our commitment to achieving self-reliance is as strong today as it was in Brussels last year; and in London before that.”
Noting that the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan set out a new development and reform agenda, UN envoy Yamamoto recognised the Government has achieved important, complicated, and challenging reforms. “Those achievements deserve recognition, both within and outside this room. The Afghan people need to hear what is working. They should know that for all of the challenges and all of the difficulties, progress is possible. It is more than possible. It is real,” he said.
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 1659.