Geneva Conference on Afghanistan

Government of Afghanistan & United Nations - Conference on Afghanistan
27-28 November 2018


Goal of the Geneva Conference on Afghanistan

The goal of the conference was to show the solidarity of the international community with the Afghan people and the government in their efforts for peace and prosperity; and for the Afghan government to renew its commitment to development and reform. This was a crucial moment for the government and international community to demonstrate progress and commitment, and maintain the momentum for elections and opportunities for peace.

The conference was also an opportunity to emphasise the importance of the development and reform agenda and the need to advance it as a constructive contribution to peace and security. This particular conference was also crucial in measuring results against the $15.2 billion committed by the international community for Afghanistan in 2016.

The Geneva Conference on Afghanistan took place between two pledging conferences: the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan (2016) and the next pledging conference expected to be held in 2020.

Outcomes of the Geneva Conference on Afghanistan

  1. A Joint Communiqué. PDF iconEnglish | PDF iconDari PDF iconPashto   
  2. The Geneva Mutual Accountability Framework (GMAF). PDF icon English
  3. For the Government of Afghanistan: Gain the continued confidence and support of the international community and of the Afghan people by: presenting progress and continued commitment to reform, democratic processes and development for the people of Afghanistan.
  4. For the United Nations: Demonstrate unflinching support and commitment to the development of Afghanistan, as a key contribution for peace and security.
  5. For the international partners: Showcase solidarity with Afghanistan and demonstrate to respective domestic audiences that support is leading to results in Afghanistan.

Read the United Nations Security Council press statement on the Geneva Conference, issued 10 December 2018 in New York.

Format of the Geneva Conference on Afghanistan

The conference was divided into thematic side events on 27 November, the main conference on 28 November, and other meetings that took place in the margins of the two days.

Geneva Conference on Afghanistan - Programme

Geneva Conference on Afghanistan - Side Events

Geneva Conference on Afghanistan - Side Meetings

Background on the Geneva Conference on Afghanistan

In 2011 at the Bonn conference on Afghanistan, the international community agreed on a “Transformation Decade” for the country. During this period, Afghanistan was promised very considerable amounts of international assistance so that the country could achieve self-reliance by 2024. At the Tokyo Conference in 2012 a system of high-level periodic reviews was put in place with ministerial meetings (invitation to Foreign Ministers because of the comprehensive and political nature of the meetings) every two years and senior officials meeting in the intervening years. The ministerial conferences in 2012 (Tokyo) and 2016 (Brussels) became major pledging conferences obtaining over $16 billion and $15 billion respectively for the years that followed. The next major pledging conference is in 2020.

The Tokyo conference (2012) also introduced the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework (TMAF) as a means to provide direction for the development of Afghanistan through mutual commitments between the Government and the international community. A system of high-level periodic reviews takes place via either the ministerial conference or the senior officials meeting every year. The senior officials meetings are held in Kabul and the ministerials are held outside Afghanistan in order to garner continued political support from capitals. The London Ministerial of 2014 strongly reaffirmed the continued support of the international community and continued monitoring the implementation of commitments by the Afghan Government.

The Brussels Ministerial of 2016 was a pledging conference and included political and strategic elements. The 2018 Geneva conference was not a pledging conference like those in Tokyo and Brussels, but more focused on policy and strategy. In line with the Security Council mandate for the UN to coordinate international donor assistance to Afghanistan, the UN has been co-chairing ministerial and senior officials meetings. Following the senior officials meeting held in Kabul on 5 October 2017 the Afghan Government (President Ghani and the Minister of Finance) asked the United Nations to hold the ministerial conference of 2018 at its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.