Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan
The Tokyo Declaration
Partnership for Self-Reliance in Afghanistan
From Transition to Transformation
July 8, 2012
- The Afghan Government and the International Community (hereafter “the Participants”) met on July 8, 2012 in Tokyo to reaffirm and further consolidate their partnership from Transition to the Transformation Decade. The Tokyo Conference, together with the Chicago Summit of Afghanistan and ISAF contributing countries of May 2012, established a renewed stronger foundation for partnership to support sustainable growth and development of Afghanistan throughout the Transformation Decade (2015-2024). These undertakings are built on the outcome of the Bonn Conference in December 2011, where the Afghan Government and the International Community mutually renewed their long-term commitments in the areas of governance, security, peace process, economic and social development, and regional cooperation, as well as on the outcomes of the previous international conferences such as the London Conference in January 2010 and the Kabul Conference in July 2010. Chaired by the Japanese and Afghan Governments with the participation of ministers and representatives from 55 countries and 25 international and other organizations from around the world, today’s conference also recognized the increasing roles of new partners and neighboring and regional countries for the sustainable development of Afghanistan.
- Since the landmark Tokyo Conference of January 2002, with the steadfast and strong support of the International Community, financial and otherwise, Afghanistan has achieved substantial development and made notable progress in many fields of development, including education, health, roads, electricity, and telecommunication, as illustrated at the symposium hosted by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on July 6, 2012 in Tokyo. Building on the long-held aspiration of the Afghan people, Afghanistan has laid down the foundations of the democratic system of government, including the promulgation of its new Constitution, enshrining a commitment to pluralism and human rights, in particular the equal rights of women; and the development of increasingly active civil society and vibrant and open media.
- However, much remains to be done to realize the aspirations of the Afghan people for a peaceful, stable and self-sustaining Afghanistan. With support from the International Community, Afghanistan will continue its progress on such issues as security, with a focus on terrorism and counter-narcotics, poverty reduction, humanitarian needs, provision of basic social services, food security, protection of human rights in particular the rights of women and children, respect for individual dignity, promotion of education and culture, improvement of governance, reducing corruption, lessening reliance on international assistance, and promotion of private investment, thereby contributing to human security.
- At the Bonn Conference, Afghanistan and the International Community shared a vision for long-term partnership to help Afghanistan attain sustainable economic growth and development and fiscal self-reliance from Transition through the Transformation Decade. Today in Tokyo, the Afghan Government and the International Community succeeded in transforming their mutual commitments made in Bonn to cooperate throughout the Transformation Decade into a solid and credible framework focused on the priorities of the Afghan Government as contained in its strategy paper Towards Self-Reliance. At today’s Conference, Afghanistan and the International Community established the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework (hereinafter the “Tokyo Framework”), which underpins our partnership for the Transformation Decade.
Security and Peace Process
- The Participants reaffirmed their respect for the sovereignty, unity, territorial integrity and independence of Afghanistan, which constitutes an integral component of the peace, well-being and prosperity of the region and beyond. The Participants reaffirmed that peace and security are the foundation on which a stable and prosperous society is built. The Participants recognized that the main threat to Afghanistan’s security and stability comes from terrorism and that this threat also endangers regional and international peace and security. In this regard, the Participants recognized the regional dimensions of terrorism and extremism, including terrorist safe havens, and emphasized the need for sincere and result-oriented regional and international cooperation towards a region free from terrorism in order to secure Afghanistan and safeguard the region and the world against the terrorist threat. The Participants renewed their firm determination to combat terrorism and extremism in all their forms and never to allow Afghanistan to become a sanctuary for international terrorism again.
- The Participants stressed the critical importance of reducing drug and precursor production and trafficking, which poses another challenge to Afghanistan’s security and its economic growth as well as to international peace and stability; and the responsibility of neighboring and consuming countries to address the demand aspect of counter narcotics. In this context, the Participants took note of the importance of outcomes of the 3rd Ministerial Conference of the Paris Pact Partners on Combating the Illicit Drugs and Opiates Originating in Afghanistan held on February 16, 2012 in Vienna. The Afghan Government and the International Community reiterated their determination to counter the menace of illicit narcotic drugs through such means as crop eradication, dismantling of drug production infrastructure and promotion of alternative agriculture and law enforcement, cooperation against illicit drugs and precursor chemicals, as well as money laundering and corruption linked to such trafficking. The Participants stressed that key to this is an end to conflict and the development of alternative livelihoods, as well as effective law enforcement, border control and anti-corruption measures; and the health sector must be able to provide care for those suffering from drug abuse.
- The Participants welcomed the progress of the Transition process so far. With the announcement of tranche 3 on May 13, 2012, 75 percent of the population will now come under the security protection provided by the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). By mid-2013, all parts of Afghanistan will have begun transition and the Afghan forces will be in the lead for security nation-wide, allowing the withdrawal from Afghanistan of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) by the end of 2014. The Participants stressed the importance of protecting civilian population in accordance with international humanitarian law and international human rights law. The Participants reaffirmed the importance for Afghanistan to attain a fully professional, capable and accountable ANSF that protects the civilian population, in particular women and children, respects the Constitution, and observes Afghan and international laws.
- The Participants welcomed the clear vision and appropriately funded plan for a sufficient and sustainable ANSF during the Transformation Decade as endorsed at the Chicago Summit of Afghanistan and ISAF contributing countries of May 2012. The International Community reaffirmed its intention to support the training, equipping, financing, and capability development of the Afghan National Army (ANA) and Afghan National Police (ANP) during the Transformation Decade, with the understanding that over the coming years, the International Community is to gradually reduce its financial contribution commensurate with the assumption by the Afghan Government of increasing financial responsibility. The pace and the size of a gradually managed force reduction to a sustainable level are to be conditions-based and decided by the Afghan Government in consultation with the International Community. Development of civilian policing and rule of law capabilities will be among the priorities. International assistance is to be delivered using appropriate, coherent and effective mechanisms guided by the principles of flexibility, transparency, accountability, anti-corruption and cost effectiveness.
- The Participants reaffirmed the importance of the peace and reconciliation process with a view to ending the ongoing violence in the country and restoring lasting peace and security as per the UN Security Council Resolutions and as stated in the London and Kabul Communiqués, and reconfirmed in the Bonn Conclusions. The process that will lead to reconciliation and peace must be inclusive, represent the legitimate interests of all Afghans and be Afghan-led and Afghan-owned. In this context, the Participants reiterated the importance of reconciliation principles such as the renunciation of violence, the breaking of ties to international terrorism and respect for the Afghan Constitution, including its human rights provisions, notably the rights of women, and emphasized the region’s respect and support for the peace process and its outcome. The Participants recognized the importance of reintegration as an integral part of the peace process, which will pave the way for community recovery and post-conflict rehabilitation of Afghan society through improving security, community development and local governance. In this regard, the International Community welcomed the progress made in reintegration efforts so far including the reintegration of over 4,700 ex-combatants. The International Community welcomed the appointment of the new Chairman of the High Peace Council, Mr. Salahuddin Rabbani, reaffirmed its strong support for the peace efforts of the Afghan Government through the High Peace Council and the Afghan Peace and Reintegration Program (APRP), and called upon the regional countries that can play a positive role to extend all possible cooperation to ensure the success of the peace process. The Participants also stressed the importance of the participation of civil society organizations and women’s groups in support of the peace process and the culture of peace and human rights in Afghan society in particular in the light of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325.
- The Participants underscored that sustainable return and reintegration of Afghan refugees and internally displaced persons is essential to security and stability. The International Community reaffirmed the commitment, including in the Solutions Strategy made at UNHCR Geneva Conference on May 2 and 3, 2012, to enhance the development and reintegration potential in Afghanistan to create communities that are viable in the long-term and support the increased return of refugees from neighboring countries. The Afghan Government and the International Community acknowledged the burden of Afghanistan’s neighbors, in particular Pakistan and Iran, in providing temporary refuge to millions of Afghan in difficult times and are committed to further work towards their voluntary, safe and orderly return.
Governance and Strategy for Economic Self-Reliance
- The Participants recognized that good governance at national and sub-national levels is essential for strong and sustainable economic development and improved livelihoods of the Afghan people. Through the Tokyo Framework, the Afghan Government and the International Community reaffirmed their partnership in the economic growth and development of Afghanistan through a process of mutual accountability, and the transformation of the relationship from recipient and donors to owner and partners.
- The Participants shared the view that the International Community’s ability to sustain support for Afghanistan depends upon the Afghan Government delivering on its commitments as part of this renewed partnership. In this context, the Afghan Government confirmed its resolve, as expressed at Bonn, that the future of its political system will continue to reflect its pluralistic society and remain firmly founded in the Afghan Constitution. The Afghan people will continue to build a stable, democratic society, based on the rule of law, effective and independent judiciary and good governance, including progress in the fight against corruption. The Afghan Government affirmed that the human rights and fundamental freedoms of its citizens, in particular the equality of men and women, are guaranteed under the Constitution and Afghanistan’s international human rights obligations. The Afghan Government committed to conducting free, fair, transparent, and inclusive elections in 2014 and 2015, in which all the people of Afghanistan participate freely without internal or external interference.
- The International Community also noted the Afghan Government’s progress on economic governance and ongoing partnership with the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the Islamic Development Bank. The International Community welcomed Afghanistan’s efforts to date and noted the importance of further actions, including the resolution of the Kabul Bank issue.
- The Participants reaffirmed their shared goal of achieving Afghanistan’s long-term economic growth and fiscal self-reliance. To achieve this objective, the Afghan Government has developed Towards Self-Reliance, a strategy for sustainable growth and development to be implemented through the National Priority Programs (NPPs), with a focus on economic growth, revenue generation, jobs, and human development. The Afghan Government is to continue with the planning and implementation of these NPPs in proper and needed sequencing well into the Transformation Decade with reviews at appropriate intervals. The International Community welcomed the Afghan strategy, and reaffirmed its commitment of aligning 80 percent of aid with the NPPs and channeling at least 50 percent of its development assistance through the national budget of the Afghan Government in accordance with the London and Kabul Communiqués. In this regard, donors welcomed the headline results from the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF) review which confirm that there are established and credible mechanisms donors can use to meet their 50 percent on budget commitment beyond 2014. The Participants encouraged other partners, such as the UN agencies, to support alignment and on-budget mechanisms both through their policy roles and their programmatic activities.
- The Participants reiterated that the Afghan Government will have special, significant, and continuing but declining fiscal requirements that cannot be met by domestic revenues in the years following Transition as has been estimated by the World Bank and the Afghan Government in preparation for the Tokyo Conference. To help address the budget shortfall, the International Community committed to directing financial support towards Afghanistan’s economic development through the Transformation Decade. In this context, in the initial stage of the Transformation Decade, the International Community committed to providing over 16 billion US dollars through 2015, and sustaining support, through 2017, at or near levels of the past decade to respond to the fiscal gap as estimated by the World Bank and the Afghan Government.
- Regional cooperation and integration contribute to the sustainability of development efforts, through increasing economic and trade opportunities as well as enhancing political dialogue. Keeping in mind that sustained engagement of Afghanistan’s regional partners remains key to addressing common challenges, such as terrorism, extremism, illicit drugs, refugees, disaster risk reduction, barriers to trade, investment and economic growth, the role of regional processes and fora that facilitate regular political dialogue and contribute to the building of confidence among countries is extremely important. In this context, the Participants recognized the importance of the Afghan-led and regionally owned Istanbul Process, launched on November 2, 2011, and welcomed the progress of the Istanbul Process as it moves forward incrementally towards practical implementation, by the relevant countries and organizations, of the prioritized confidence building measures (CBMs), as a crucial step towards deepening cooperation, interaction and confidence among Afghanistan’s near and extended neighbors. The Participants welcomed the outcome of the very successful ’Heart of Asia Ministerial Conference-Kabul’ on June 14, 2012, and looked forward to the next ministerial conference to be held in Kazakhstan in the first half of 2013 .
- The Participants encouraged further efforts for the promotion of regional economic cooperation through various other regional fora such as the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and the United Nations Special Program for the Economies of Central Asia (UNSPECA). The participants also welcomed the decision of the SCO to grant Observer status to Afghanistan.
- The Participants reaffirmed that, Afghanistan being a landlocked country, it is vital to realize the vision of regional connectivity and economic integration, where Afghanistan can serve as a hub and a land-bridge at the center of a stable and prospering region. The International Community is encouraged to support NPP projects which promote regional economic cooperation and to provide funding for the Afghanistan Infrastructure Trust Fund (AITF) managed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The Participants emphasized the importance of implementing projects at the regional level, including projects and programs identified in the Fifth Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA V), and those identified by the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) in 2011 in the areas of transport, trade, energy and other key sectors.
- The Participants reaffirmed the importance of enhancing trade connectivity along historical trade routes, and promoting trade, transit, investment, and border management toward regional and global integration and the creation of an enabling environment. The Participants welcomed the conclusion of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA), the transit agreement between Afghanistan and Tajikistan, and the Agreement on Cross-Border Transport of Persons, Vehicles, and Goods (CBTA) among Afghanistan, the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan within the framework of CAREC.
Private Sector and Civil Society
- The Participants shared the view that developing a vibrant private sector will be essential for sustainable development of Afghanistan particularly for the long term; and that it requires the firm commitment of the Afghan Government to taking all steps necessary to achieve an enabling business environment, including establishing regulatory frameworks and building necessary infrastructure. The Participants noted the importance of promoting domestic and foreign investment in Afghanistan. The Participants also encouraged the creation of models for cross-country partnerships in investment whereby international investors can engage in partnership arrangements with those from within the region as well as with local Afghan entrepreneurs. In this context, the importance of job creation and initiatives targeting youth and women employment should be emphasized.
- As far as investment priorities are concerned, the extractive industries, which already attract growing interest of private investors, as well as others of Afghanistan’s productive sectors, such as agriculture and energy, will be crucial in attracting private sector investment in the interest of sustainable, inclusive economic growth and job creation in Afghanistan. In this context, the Afghan Government’s Resource Corridor approach is noteworthy.
- The Participants welcomed the results of the Delhi Investors’ Summit on Afghanistan hosted by the Confederation of Indian Industries on June 28 in Delhi, which benefitted from many participants from neighboring countries, and underscored the importance of implementing the recommendations of the summit. The Participants reaffirmed the significance of risk mitigation and credit provision schemes by the International Community in promoting private sector investment in Afghanistan. The International Community committed to taking concrete steps to promote private investment and trade by mobilizing relevant development finance institutions, export credit authorities, and other governmental and nongovernmental tools to encourage human and financial capital investments in Afghanistan. The Participants also reaffirmed the importance of women’s participation in private sector conferences as reinforcing the need for inclusive development and recognition of women’s rights.
- The Participants emphasized the role of the Afghan civil society in advocating for and supporting human rights, good governance and sustainable social, economic and democratic development of Afghanistan through a sustained dialogue. The Participants reaffirmed that a thriving and free civil society based on respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, in particular the equality of men and women, enshrined in the Afghan Constitution, will be key to achieving a more pluralistic society in Afghanistan.
- The Participants took note of the statement by Afghan civil society organizations at the Tokyo Conference. The Participants also welcomed the results of the civil society event jointly organized by Japanese and Afghan NGOs on July 7 in Tokyo.
The Way Forward
- To ensure continuity and progress, the Afghan Government and the International Community decided to establish a follow-up mechanism to review their mutual long-term commitments laid out in this Declaration and the Tokyo Framework, and to verify the fulfillment of these commitments based on the notion of mutual accountability. For this purpose, the Participants decided, under the framework of the Kabul process, that follow-up meetings will take place at the ministerial level every two years, in between years at the senior officials level, and at more regular intervals under the Afghan-UN led Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board (JCMB) mechanism.
- The Afghan Government expressed its appreciation to the International Community for its steadfast support for the security and development of Afghanistan notably for renewing its commitment at today’s Conference to support Afghanistan during the Transformation Decade. The Afghan Government also recognized with appreciation the supporting role of the UN organizations, including United Nations Assistance Mission for Afghanistan (UNAMA) in Afghanistan’s development process.
- The Participants, and in particular the Afghan Government, expressed their deep appreciation to the Government and people of Japan for hosting the Tokyo Conference and for their steadfast support for Afghanistan’s stabilization and development. The Participants look forward to next ministerial meeting to be co-hosted by Afghanistan and the United Kingdom within the year 2014 after the presidential election in Afghanistan.
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