UN envoy to Afghanistan Tadamichi Yamamoto said in an interview with UN news center ahead of the Brussels Summit that "one of the important things for the success of our effort is real commitment from the international community" over Afghanistan.
Speaking on the eve of the two-day summit, he said: "One of the important things for the success of our effort is real commitment from the international community. The international community has to understand that, and I think they do understand that the country - although they are trying to be more self-reliant - requires a lot of assistance for years to come."
"It is one of the poorest countries in the world and it is probably one of the more dependent upon international assistance in terms of their budget and in terms of their ability to deliver services to people," he said.
"They, of course, will become more independent and self-reliant but, for still some time to come, this support of the international community will be critical in ensuring that the path that they have started to take for bringing back normalcy and putting them on the right growth path will require the continuation of the commitment from the international community, not just in terms of the development assistance but at the political level," Yamamoto said.
He also calls on the leaders of Afghanistan to think about the future of the country.
"The important thing is for the leaders to try to really think about the country and its future, and how to better serve the people. Of course, since it is a political system, each of the political leaders has their own constituency, where they have to be able to deliver upon the expectations of their supporters – but Afghanistan is facing severe challenges; not only security, but also in terms of the economic situation, the human rights situation and corruption," he said.
"These are all things which will affect future stability, and also the prospects for the growth of the country. And if they really thought about how they should go about doing this, they have to think of how to exercise their statesmanship, and also try to look at the larger objectives together. It is a difficult thing to do, but they will have to try to understand the responsibility which they are charged with."
He said: "I believe that the development over the past 50 years, from when the international community first started working in Afghanistan, there has been much progress in many areas, of the situation, to try to provide the outlook for the country, as to where we should be going - I think that is something that we can provide.
He also said that President Ashraf Ghani and CEO Abdullah Abdullah have a rather strong vision as to how the country should cope with corruption, and recently in particular, the government, under the strong leadership of Ghani, has been able to come out with strong reforms in terms of creating what they call an Anti-Corruption Justice Centre.
Yamamoto said this is a new system which will be insulated, to the greatest extent possible, from outside influence.
He also expressed his concerns over civilian casualties in the country and said that "is a major issue in Afghanistan."
"UNAMA produces regular reports on the situation and, in its report covering between January and June this year, it documented 1,601 civilian deaths and 3,565 injured civilians - an increase of four per cent in the total number of casualties compared to the first six months of 2015 and the highest half-year total since 2009."
"Every single casualty documented in this report - people killed while praying, working, studying, fetching water, recovering in hospitals - every civilian casualty represents a failure of commitment and should be a call to action for parties to the conflict to take meaningful, concrete steps to reduce civilians' suffering and increase protection," he said.
He also said that security is a fundamental challenge in Afghanistan.
"I would say that the most fundamental challenge is security. Security actually affects all activities of life in Afghanistan. After the drawdown of the international forces in 2014, the Taliban had tested the ability of Afghan national forces to defend the country. This had created a rather difficult situation in 2015, when the Taliban insurgency was able to make headway in terms of expanding their areas of control, and also the Afghan national security and defence forces seemed to be on the defensive," he said.
This year, a similar kind of intensified attack continued but, for the time being, the Afghan national forces are able to hold the ground, having learned lessons from last year. But still, they are posing a rather huge challenge to security in terms of, for instance, surrounding the provincial capitals in the south, he added.