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Govt Gives Heads Up On Geneva Conference

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday said government will attend the Geneva Conference on Afghanistan and will try to create a single definition of “Afghanistan’s peace” for regional and world countries attending the summit.

The conference will be held on November 27 and 28.

Nasir Ahmad Andisha, Deputy Foreign Minister for Management and Resources, said they hoped to bring together foreign powers and regional stakeholders regarding peace in Afghanistan.

“Our definition of peace should be the same and depending on this, competition (among different nations) should move in one direction so we can stop the lack of coordination either on a regional level or inside Afghanistan,” said Andisha.

According to the United Nations, the aim of the Geneva Conference is for the international community to show their solidarity with the people of Afghanistan and government over their efforts to restore peace and stability; and for the Afghan government to renew its commitment to development and reform.

Meanwhile, Integrity Watch Afghanistan, a Kabul-based monitoring organization, said government has not done enough to fight corruption, improve governance and ensure transparency in Afghanistan’s mines ahead of the Geneva Conference.

“The issues that have happened in the past six months show a roll-back in fighting corruption and big corruption cases and also in establishing transparency in the mining sector,” said Nasir Temori, a researcher at Integrity Watch Afghanistan.

The women’s empowerment program until mid-2017 and the citizen charter program in 2,000 villages until December 2017 are other commitments made by the Afghan government to the international community – which an MP said will be raised at the conference.

“Afghanistan’s government has not achieved anything. Corruption is on the rise, insecurity and drug smuggling are other problems, unemployment is another problem. Considering all these issues, government is about to attend this summit with no achievements (having been made),” said Abdul Rahim, an MP.

“Government has not met the international community’s expectations in its activities but it may have been proven already to the international community that the Afghan government does have the will to fight corruption,” said Akbar Stanikzai, an MP.

Sources say that on the second day of the Geneva Conference, six countries involved in the Afghan peace process will meet behind closed doors to discuss the issue.

The Geneva Conference

The Afghan government and the United Nations are expected to host the conference in Geneva on November 27 and 28 where foreign countries are expected to renew their commitment and solidarity with the Afghan people and the Afghan government in its bid to bring about peace and security.

The conference provides a platform for the Afghan government and international community to demonstrate progress and commitment, and maintain the momentum for presidential elections and opportunities for peace and security.

The conference also aims to emphasize the importance and the implementation of mutual commitments made by the Afghan government and the international community towards reform and development and in measuring results against the $15.2 billion committed by the international community for Afghanistan in 2016.

Expected Outcomes of The Summit

•    A joint communiqué.

•    The Geneva Mutual Accountability Framework (GMAF).

•    For the Government of Afghanistan: Gain the continued confidence and support of the international community and of the Afghan people by: presenting progress and continued commitment to reform, democratic processes and development for the people of Afghanistan.

•    For the United Nations: Demonstrate unflinching support and commitment to the development of Afghanistan, as a key contribution for peace and security.

•    For the international partners: Showcase solidarity with Afghanistan and demonstrate to respective domestic audiences that support is leading to results in Afghanistan.

In August, the World Bank said that the Geneva conference on Afghanistan in November 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 at the time 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.

Earlier Tadamichi Yamamoto, the United Nations’ Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan called on the national unity government to take solid steps towards fighting corruption, ensure holding transparent elections and finalizing the investment law in the country before the conference.

According to UNAMA, 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.

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.

Background On Geneva Ministerial Conference On Afghanistan

In 2011 at the Bonn conference on Afghanistan, the international community agreed on a “Transformation Decade” for the country. During this period, Afghanistan was promised considerable amounts of international assistance so that the country could achieve self-reliance by 2024. At the Tokyo Conference in 2012 a system of high-level periodic reviews was put in place with ministerial meetings (invitation to Foreign Ministers because of the comprehensive and political nature of the meetings) every two years and senior officials meeting in the intervening years.

The ministerial conferences in 2012 (Tokyo) and 2016 (Brussels) became major pledging conferences obtaining over $16 billion and $15 billion respectively for the years that followed. The next major pledging conference is in 2020.

The Tokyo conference (2012) also introduced the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework (TMAF) as a means to provide direction for the development of Afghanistan through mutual commitments between government and the international community. A system of high-level periodic reviews takes place via either the ministerial conference or the senior officials meeting every year.

The senior officials meetings are held in Kabul and the ministerial meetings are held outside Afghanistan in order to garner continued political support from capitals. The London Ministerial of 2014 strongly reaffirmed the continued support of the international community and continued monitoring of the implementation of commitments by the Afghan Government.

The Brussels Ministerial of 2016 was a pledging conference and included political and strategic elements.

The 2018 Geneva Ministerial will not be a pledging conference like those in Tokyo and Brussels, but more focused on policy and strategy. In line with the Security Council mandate for the UN to coordinate international donor assistance to Afghanistan, the UN has been co-chairing ministerial and senior officials meetings. Following the senior officials meeting held in Kabul on 5 October 2017 the Afghan Government (President Ghani and the Minister of Finance) asked the United Nations to hold the ministerial conference of 2018 at its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

In July, the international community and the Afghan government convened the 21st Joint Coordination Monitoring Board Meeting (JCMB) to discuss progress, challenges and the way forward in implementing the government’s reform agenda, and on the concrete work to be addressed in the run up to the Geneva Conference on Afghanistan, including holding inclusive and credible elections, moving forward on National Priority Programs, and implementing reforms.

The JCMB focused on seven priority reform areas:  security sector reforms, aid effectiveness, macro-economic reforms, private sector development, regional partners’ engagement, anti-corruption and justice, and implementation of National Priority Programs. Seven moderated panels featured government officials, international partners, and members of civil society and private sector and discussed progress and challenges in each sector in highly interactive manner.

The JCMB is a series of high-level meetings that take place annually. It is a platform for the Afghan government and international partners to discuss issues of mutual importance and provide each other with updates on the progress, challenges and further developments on their reform commitments as Afghanistan works toward self-reliance.

This was the 21st in its series, titled “Towards the Geneva Conference on Afghanistan.” The meeting was an opportunity to discuss developments following the Senior Officials Meeting of the National Unity Government and international community and determine the way forward leading to the Geneva Conference on Afghanistan to be held in Geneva later this month.

Govt Gives Heads Up On Geneva Conference

A senior official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs says the Afghan government will focus on creating a united definition of peace at the Geneva Conference.

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday said government will attend the Geneva Conference on Afghanistan and will try to create a single definition of “Afghanistan’s peace” for regional and world countries attending the summit.

The conference will be held on November 27 and 28.

Nasir Ahmad Andisha, Deputy Foreign Minister for Management and Resources, said they hoped to bring together foreign powers and regional stakeholders regarding peace in Afghanistan.

“Our definition of peace should be the same and depending on this, competition (among different nations) should move in one direction so we can stop the lack of coordination either on a regional level or inside Afghanistan,” said Andisha.

According to the United Nations, the aim of the Geneva Conference is for the international community to show their solidarity with the people of Afghanistan and government over their efforts to restore peace and stability; and for the Afghan government to renew its commitment to development and reform.

Meanwhile, Integrity Watch Afghanistan, a Kabul-based monitoring organization, said government has not done enough to fight corruption, improve governance and ensure transparency in Afghanistan’s mines ahead of the Geneva Conference.

“The issues that have happened in the past six months show a roll-back in fighting corruption and big corruption cases and also in establishing transparency in the mining sector,” said Nasir Temori, a researcher at Integrity Watch Afghanistan.

The women’s empowerment program until mid-2017 and the citizen charter program in 2,000 villages until December 2017 are other commitments made by the Afghan government to the international community – which an MP said will be raised at the conference.

“Afghanistan’s government has not achieved anything. Corruption is on the rise, insecurity and drug smuggling are other problems, unemployment is another problem. Considering all these issues, government is about to attend this summit with no achievements (having been made),” said Abdul Rahim, an MP.

“Government has not met the international community’s expectations in its activities but it may have been proven already to the international community that the Afghan government does have the will to fight corruption,” said Akbar Stanikzai, an MP.

Sources say that on the second day of the Geneva Conference, six countries involved in the Afghan peace process will meet behind closed doors to discuss the issue.

The Geneva Conference

The Afghan government and the United Nations are expected to host the conference in Geneva on November 27 and 28 where foreign countries are expected to renew their commitment and solidarity with the Afghan people and the Afghan government in its bid to bring about peace and security.

The conference provides a platform for the Afghan government and international community to demonstrate progress and commitment, and maintain the momentum for presidential elections and opportunities for peace and security.

The conference also aims to emphasize the importance and the implementation of mutual commitments made by the Afghan government and the international community towards reform and development and in measuring results against the $15.2 billion committed by the international community for Afghanistan in 2016.

Expected Outcomes of The Summit

•    A joint communiqué.

•    The Geneva Mutual Accountability Framework (GMAF).

•    For the Government of Afghanistan: Gain the continued confidence and support of the international community and of the Afghan people by: presenting progress and continued commitment to reform, democratic processes and development for the people of Afghanistan.

•    For the United Nations: Demonstrate unflinching support and commitment to the development of Afghanistan, as a key contribution for peace and security.

•    For the international partners: Showcase solidarity with Afghanistan and demonstrate to respective domestic audiences that support is leading to results in Afghanistan.

In August, the World Bank said that the Geneva conference on Afghanistan in November 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 at the time 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.

Earlier Tadamichi Yamamoto, the United Nations’ Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan called on the national unity government to take solid steps towards fighting corruption, ensure holding transparent elections and finalizing the investment law in the country before the conference.

According to UNAMA, 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.

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.

Background On Geneva Ministerial Conference On Afghanistan

In 2011 at the Bonn conference on Afghanistan, the international community agreed on a “Transformation Decade” for the country. During this period, Afghanistan was promised considerable amounts of international assistance so that the country could achieve self-reliance by 2024. At the Tokyo Conference in 2012 a system of high-level periodic reviews was put in place with ministerial meetings (invitation to Foreign Ministers because of the comprehensive and political nature of the meetings) every two years and senior officials meeting in the intervening years.

The ministerial conferences in 2012 (Tokyo) and 2016 (Brussels) became major pledging conferences obtaining over $16 billion and $15 billion respectively for the years that followed. The next major pledging conference is in 2020.

The Tokyo conference (2012) also introduced the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework (TMAF) as a means to provide direction for the development of Afghanistan through mutual commitments between government and the international community. A system of high-level periodic reviews takes place via either the ministerial conference or the senior officials meeting every year.

The senior officials meetings are held in Kabul and the ministerial meetings are held outside Afghanistan in order to garner continued political support from capitals. The London Ministerial of 2014 strongly reaffirmed the continued support of the international community and continued monitoring of the implementation of commitments by the Afghan Government.

The Brussels Ministerial of 2016 was a pledging conference and included political and strategic elements.

The 2018 Geneva Ministerial will not be a pledging conference like those in Tokyo and Brussels, but more focused on policy and strategy. In line with the Security Council mandate for the UN to coordinate international donor assistance to Afghanistan, the UN has been co-chairing ministerial and senior officials meetings. Following the senior officials meeting held in Kabul on 5 October 2017 the Afghan Government (President Ghani and the Minister of Finance) asked the United Nations to hold the ministerial conference of 2018 at its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

In July, the international community and the Afghan government convened the 21st Joint Coordination Monitoring Board Meeting (JCMB) to discuss progress, challenges and the way forward in implementing the government’s reform agenda, and on the concrete work to be addressed in the run up to the Geneva Conference on Afghanistan, including holding inclusive and credible elections, moving forward on National Priority Programs, and implementing reforms.

The JCMB focused on seven priority reform areas:  security sector reforms, aid effectiveness, macro-economic reforms, private sector development, regional partners’ engagement, anti-corruption and justice, and implementation of National Priority Programs. Seven moderated panels featured government officials, international partners, and members of civil society and private sector and discussed progress and challenges in each sector in highly interactive manner.

The JCMB is a series of high-level meetings that take place annually. It is a platform for the Afghan government and international partners to discuss issues of mutual importance and provide each other with updates on the progress, challenges and further developments on their reform commitments as Afghanistan works toward self-reliance.

This was the 21st in its series, titled “Towards the Geneva Conference on Afghanistan.” The meeting was an opportunity to discuss developments following the Senior Officials Meeting of the National Unity Government and international community and determine the way forward leading to the Geneva Conference on Afghanistan to be held in Geneva later this month.

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