The World Bank has said that the Geneva conference on Afghanistan in September will be important for the country so as to ensure continued support by the international community towards Afghanistan in years to come.
Speaking to TOLOnews, World Bank country director for Afghanistan Shubham Chaudhuri said that at the conference, donors will assess the performance of the National Unity Government and its programs in order to boost Afghanistan’s economic situation in the future and to improve good governance.
Meanwhile, officials of the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) said that the private sector in Afghanistan still faces serious challenges despite the NUG leaders’ commitments to the international community in at the Brussels Summit to tackle their problems.
“My understanding and I think this is where the Geneva Conference is really going to help with Afghanistan is kind of setting the stage in the next four years; offers an opportunity for the government to be in a conversation with its main international partners to talk partly, looking back at what has been accomplished in the last two to five years, but then to explain what are the plans for the next two to five years,” said Chawdhri.
According to ACCI, the private sector and business community continue to grapple with serious problems in Afghanistan despite government’s pledges to help.
ACCI said that insecurity, kidnappings for ransom, lack of infrastructure, shortcomings in the law and corruption in government institutions are among the top challenges the private sector faces.
“The national unity government has to some extent cooperated with the private sector, but the main problems for the private sector have not been resolved so far, however, at most conferences, it is stated that security issues were being tackled and serious steps taken against corruption, laws have been changed, infrastructure has been established. But we are still facing around 11 to 12 problems and four main issues are related to security, corruption, lack of infrastructures and restricted laws,” said ACCI chief Khan Jan Alokozai.
Previously Tadamichi Yamamoto, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan had called on the national unity government to take solid steps towards fighting corruption, ensure holding transparent elections and finalize the investment law in the country before the conference.
Goal of the Geneva Ministerial Conference on Afghanistan
The goal of the conference is 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 is a crucial moment for the government and international community to demonstrate progress, commitment and maintain the momentum for elections and opportunities for peace.
The conference will also be an opportunity to emphasize 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 will also be crucial in measuring results against the $15.2 billion committed by the international community for Afghanistan in 2016.
The Geneva Ministerial Conference on Afghanistan will be held between two pledging conferences: the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan (2016) and the next pledging conference expected to be held in 2020.