Foreign Minister Rabbani Delivers Remarks on the Afghanistan Geneva Ministerial Conference

Foreign Minister Rabbani Delivers Remarks on the Afghanistan Geneva Ministerial Conference

Dinner Meeting on the Afghanistan Geneva Ministerial Conference

October 28, 2018

Kabul

 بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم

 Minister Qayumi,

Ambassador Yamamoto,

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am pleased to welcome you all to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan. Our meeting this evening is the first in a series of dinner events, which aim at providing opportunities to share updates and discuss views on the most pressing issues, as well as major ongoing processes that focus on the stabilization and sustainable development of Afghanistan.

Our dinner meeting this evening focuses on the upcoming Geneva Conference, which will bring high-level representatives from Afghanistan and our regional and international partners to discuss the status of our shared journey since 2001. We will also discuss the way forward, reaffirming our commitment to consolidating our shared gains of the past 17 years.

Before highlighting some of the key issues on the Geneva Conference agenda, I wish to thank Minister Qayumi and Ambassador Yamamoto, as well as their able teams for their continued efforts to prepare for and organize the Geneva Conference.

I also wish to thank you all for taking the time to attend this event. Your presence here speaks to our unwavering, firm partnership to achieving sustainable peace, stability and prosperity in Afghanistan, our region, and the wider world.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This past week, we witnessed an important milestone in our democratic process. Despite the imposed challenges that confront Afghanistan and our partner-nations, Afghans across our country lined up for hours over two days to exercise their democratic right to vote for their favorite parliamentary candidates. This sent a strong message to the enemies of Afghanistan that our people are determined to move forward towards a stable and prosperous Afghanistan.

On the other hand, however, there have been reports of irregularities and mismanagement which, I hope, will be investigated thoroughly by the relevant authorities so that the legitimacy of the election will not be undermined, retaining the confidence of our public in the electoral process. In the same vein, I hope that—learning from the lessons and challenges related to the parliamentary elections—better preparations will continue to be made for the upcoming presidential elections in 2019 to ensure a fair, transparent and inclusive electoral process.

However, I am glad that with the holding of the parliamentary elections on the set date, we have been able to complete one of the important benchmarks designed to complement the reforms under SMAF. Efforts on accomplishing the other benchmarks have also been well underway and my colleagues from the Ministry of Finance and UNAMA will certainly provide updates on them.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me very briefly discuss why the Geneva Conference is important and what we are expecting from the Conference:

First, the Conference will provide an excellent opportunity to take stock of the progress with respect to the mutual commitments made at the Brussels Conference, while highlighting the challenges that we still face in accomplishing our shared commitments. In Geneva, we will present the status of our reforms in key areas, as well as our priorities for the coming years. We will also discuss with the international community such key issues as the alignment of international assistance with our national priority programs in line with the Afghan National Peace and Development Framework (ANPDF).

Second, the Conference will bring us to a new phase of partnership characterized by a new set of mutual commitments under the Geneva Mutual Accountability Framework (GMAF), which will be crucial in taking our reform agenda forward towards self-reliance in the next few years. Minister Qayoumi will further elaborate on this new framework.

Third, our focus in Geneva will remain on development issues. But the conference will also provide an opportunity to discuss the peace process given the inseparable link between peace and development in the Afghan context. As we have highlighted in the past, our resolve to achieve a peaceful solution to the current conflict in Afghanistan remains strong. Despite our ongoing peace efforts, including the temporary ceasefire with the Taliban, we are far from our intended objective.

That is why Geneva will be an opportunity to discuss how we can further integrate our efforts at the national, regional and international levels in support of an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process. President Ghani outlined this based on a lucid peace strategy in the last two meetings of the Kabul Process, as well as in the Tashkent Conference. But as we remain committed to an inclusive peace process, we are determined to defend our country, people, as well as our developing democracy against ruthless terrorists and their indiscriminate attacks, which we witnessed during the recent elections.

Fourth, as reflected by the Conference’s theme, regional economic cooperation and connectivity underpins Afghanistan’s development agenda. Hence, the Geneva Conference will discuss the ongoing progress made under two prominent Afghanistan-centered regional cooperation frameworks: RECCA and HOA-IP. In this context, the next HOA-IP Ministerial Meeting and the associated investment roadshow—which are scheduled for mid-December—will complement our discussions in Geneva.

Finally, our gathering in Geneva will convey a strong message of international partnership for furthering the causes of peace, stability and prosperity in Afghanistan. This, in turn, will help maintain regional stability and advance international peace and security, in line with the United Nations Charter and other international laws, to which Afghanistan and our partner-nations are firmly committed.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

To conclude, I am confident that the Geneva Conference will mark another milestone in our continued, shared journey. I along with Minister Qayoumi and Ambassador Yamamoto look forward to welcoming our friends, foreign ministers and heads of regional and international organizations in Geneva soon.

Thank you!

Last modified on Thursday, 01/11/2018

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