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European Commission - Press release

Brussels Conference on Afghanistan: continued international support for Afghanistan's political and economic stability and development

Brussels, 5 October 2016

Today, 75 countries and 25 international organisations and agencies came together to commit their continued engagement and support for a brighter, more prosperous and peaceful future for the people of Afghanistan.

The Conference was co-chaired by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini and the Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, on behalf of the European Union, and, on behalf of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Salahuddin Rabbani, and the Minister of Finance, Eklil Ahmad Hakimi. The Conference was held under the patronage of the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, and the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani.

The Conference adopted a Joint Communique renewing the Partnership for Peace and Development, which reflects the breadth of the international community's engagement in Afghanistan over the coming four years. This includes both political and financial support, which will amount to €13.6 billion for the period 2017-2020, and will be accompanied by continued and accountable reforms on the ground. The European Union and its Member States are together the largest donor, expecting to provide up to €5 billion, including all funding sources, of this overall figure. This represents a continuation of the European Union's high level of commitment to Afghanistan.

In her welcome address to the Conference, the High Representative emphasised that support for Afghanistan is crucial not only for the Afghan people and the future of Afghanistan, but also for the region and the wider international community. She said: “Afghanistan stands at the crossroads of Central Asia and the Indian Ocean, of South Asia and the Middle East. It can become a crucial hub for economic growth in the area and for connectivity among different parts of the world. Today we see an emerging regional consensus for greater economic but also diplomatic and political cooperation towards a stable, secure, and democratic Afghanistan. Here in Brussels we have set the stage for a new regional and international deal for peace and development in the country.”

To this purpose, High Representative Mogherini organised yesterday evening a meeting of key international partners, including the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, and the U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, regional partners at Ministerial level, including from the People's Republic of China, India and Pakistan, as well as the Afghan leadership. The High Representative found among the participants a common basis for stepping up regional political support to the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan.

In his closing speech, when announcing the total financial commitment of the international community to €13.6 billion for the period 2017-2020, Commissioner Mimica said “The Government of Afghanistan has shared with us this morning its vision of how it intends to achieve self-reliance and increase the welfare of Afghan women, men and children. I am particularly pleased that we brought attention to the empowerment of Afghan women and girls during this Conference. Today it has been very clear that now is not the time to reduce our ambition or our investment in the people of Afghanistan.”

A self-reliant, prosperous and peaceful Afghanistan is a priority for the European Union, Afghanistan, its neighbours and the international community at large. The Brussels Conference on Afghanistan has delivered both a reform agenda from the Afghan government for the benefit of its citizens as well as international and regional support and engagement in Afghanistan's political and economic stability and development.

 

For more information:

The Brussels Conference on Afghanistan: http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/meetings/international-summit/2016/10/05/

Watch again Day Two of the Brussels Conference of Afghanistan on EbS: http://ec.europa.eu/avservices/ebs/schedule.cfm?sitelang=en&page=3&institution=&date=10/05/2016

Video and photo coverage of Day Two of the Brussels Conference of Afghanistan: https://tvnewsroom.consilium.europa.eu/event/brussels-afghanistan-conference-573dd1f7a1ace

Press release on Day One of the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-16-3285_en.htm

Press release on new financial assistance to the Afghan Government in the form of a State-building contract:http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-16-3269_en.htm

Press release on new financial assistance to the Afghan Government in the form of a State-building contract:http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-16-3269_en.htm

European Union Delegation to Afghanistan: https://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/afghanistan_en

Website of European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica:https://ec.europa.eu/commission/2014-2019/mimica_en

EU-Afghanistan relations factsheet: https://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/afghanistan/10740/eu-afghanistan-relations_en

EU - Afghanistan development cooperation: https://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/countries/afghanistan_en

IP/16/3329


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