UN: Geneva Pledging Summit ‘Milestone’ For Peace, Development In Afghanistan

In the lead up to the Geneva pledging conference in November 2020, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) called for international support for Afghanistan during the “milestone event.”

The ministerial-level pledging conference is being jointly organised by the UN and the governments of Afghanistan and Finland, and is schedule for Nov. 23-24 in Geneva.

It aims to renew international and Afghan commitments to the development and stability of Afghanistan, to agree to joint development goals for the years 2021 through 2024 and to coordinate development cooperation regarding financial support for Afghanistan.

“Afghanistan is at a critical juncture. On peace, we have moved from desirability to feasibility and credibility due, largely, to the sacrifices made by the Afghan people and the unmatched confidence building measures taken by the Afghan government,” said acting Minister of Finance Abdul Hadi Arghandiwal.

“When we look into the future, we must remain united in our vision and ambition to realize a progressive, prosperous, democratic, free and stable Afghanistan in peace with itself, its neighbours and the world.”

On development, while maintaining emphasis on high-level planning, the focus must shift to delivery and implementation. The Afghan government and its international development partners must work together on a vision for demonstrable reduction in poverty that is realistic and well-targeted,” the minister said.

Arghandiwal said investments in peace and development must provide “sufficient guarantees for gender equity, protection of human rights, women’s rights and the rights of minorities as well as democratic principles.”

“The Republic is a true embodiment of Afghanistan’s diversity and must be strengthened. Corruption, which drains Afghanistan’s valuable resources and interrupts the process of realizing self-reliance, must be fought in all its forms.”

The 2020 Afghanistan Conference takes place at a historic moment when the Afghan government and the Taliban are sitting on the table for peace talks.

“For the first time in decades there is a real chance for peace. Finland stands firmly with other development partners in supporting Afghanistan and the Afghan people towards sustainable development, prosperity and a lasting peace,” Pekka Haavisto, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland.

Progress since 2001 has improved the political, social and economic outlook in Afghanistan. Yet decisive efforts are required for Afghanistan to reach its potential as a stable, peaceful and self-reliant society during the last years of its Transformation Decade (2015-2024).

Deborah Lyons, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of UNAMA, seconded this.
“This is a critical moment for Afghanistan, as it embarks upon Afghanistan Peace Negotiations to end the decades-long conflict. I hope the international community uses this occasion in Geneva to reaffirm its steadfast support to Afghanistan’s development, in parallel with the peace process,” she added.

The event will take place at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, in a format where participants may attend in-person or virtually depending on the COVID-19 restrictions at the time.

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