One week ahead of the landmark London Conference on Afghanistan, the most senior United Nations official in the country today reaffirmed the world body’s commitment to support Afghan economic, security and human rights initiatives.
“Though the drawdown in international military is nearing its end, the international community continues to stand resolute with the Afghan people,” said the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, Nicholas Haysom, in remarks at a special session of the Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board (JCMB) in Kabul.
The JCMB is an Afghan-international body charged with overseeing the Afghanistan Compact, launched in 2006 to set out an agenda for sustained and prolonged engagement in Afghanistan with a view to consolidating democratic institutions and stimulating the economy. It is co-chaired by the Minister of Finance from the Afghan Government and the head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).
“As Afghanistan’s reform agenda progresses, the international community likewise reaffirms its commitment to aid-effectiveness principles, and to commitments made in Tokyo in 2012,” said Mr. Haysom, who is also the head of UNAMA. He added that the international community is ready to partner with the Government on key humanitarian needs and other priorities.
“Our shared objective is a stronger, more secure, and more prosperous Afghanistan,” the special envoy said. “Our shared work is to make our partnership increasingly strong, sustainable and accountable as a foundation for that vision.”
The upcoming London Conference on Afghanistan is scheduled to take place early December to provide a platform for the Government of Afghanistan to set out its vision for reform, and for the international community to demonstrate solidarity and support for the country.
In remarks made at the event, the Afghan Minister for Finance, Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal, said the London Conference will provide an opportunity for setting priorities for development.
“We expect the London Conference will reaffirm and increase donors’ commitments for Afghanistan,” said Mr. Zakhilwal, adding that Afghanistan is seeking qualitative change in its relations with the international community, especially in terms of regional development and trade.
“I hope we have a tremendous conference in London and return back to Afghanistan with much stronger relations with the international community,” he added.
British Ambassador Richard Stagg, in comments at the event, said Afghanistan has made great strides in many areas during the last 13 years, and identified the London Conference as a way to focus on delivering Afghanistan’s future prosperity and stability.
“We see the London Conference as a critical opportunity to show our support to the National Unity Government and our commitment to an enduring and successful partnership,” said Ambassador Stagg.