26
Sun, May

Ahead of London Conference, Afghan civil society urges momentum and collaboration

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civil-societyRepresentatives from civil society groups across Afghanistan today issued a set of recommendations to the government, ahead of the London Conference, to maintain and build upon the country’s achievements in democratic reform, human rights, rule of law and economic development.


“The international community should make its commitments and assistance to the Afghan Government conditional upon the latter upholding the democratic achievements of the past decade,” said a spokesperson of the Civil Society Joint Working Group (CSJWG), Bari Salam, while presenting the set of recommendations at a press conference in Kabul.
 The recommendations, developed by CSJWG with the support of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, and after in-depth consultations with some 1,500 civil society organizations operating in all 34 provinces of the country, were finalized at a national conference earlier this year.
 In addition to focusing on democratic principles and the economy, the recommendations included combating corruption in government institutions, particularly in the judicial system. The civil society groups asked the Government of Afghanistan to review its financial policies and strengthen local institutions by providing them with more authority and resources.
 “We hope that after the withdrawal of military forces, the percentage of international partners’ military funding re-allocated for civilian purposes will increase significantly,” said another spokesperson of the CSJWG, Farishta Karimi, who underscored the importance of a full census to facilitate the implementation of key development projects on the basis of evidence and needs.
Representatives from the CSJWG not only asked the international community to take steps to limit any interference from countries that threaten peace and stability in Afghanistan, but also called on the Government to put an end to its internal differences ahead of the London Conference and introduce a new cabinet.
 A 61-member delegation will represent Afghan civil society groups at the upcoming London Conference on Afghanistan, which is designed 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 Afghanistan.