G8 FOREIGN MINISTERS' MEETING Whistler, British Columbia
12-13 June, 2002

Statement on Afghanistan

We, the G8 Foreign Ministers, reaffirm the commitment of our governments to the establishment of a sovereign, stable and prosperous Afghanistan with democratic institutions and a government representative of all Afghan people, respecting their internationally-enshrined human rights.

We reaffirm our commitment to the political process set out in the Bonn Agreement of 5 December 2001, and welcome the latest step in that process, the Emergency Loya Jirga currently underway in Afghanistan. We congratulate the Loya Jirga Commission on its preparation and organization of the Emergency Loya Jirga.

This Loya Jirga is the first opportunity in decades for the Afghan people to play a decisive role in choosing their government, and is an important step on the path towards democratic elections, due by June 2004 according to the provisions of the Bonn Agreement. It is an opportunity to progress beyond the divisions and internal conflict which have devastated Afghanistan. In order for the Bonn process to succeed, it is essential that this Loya Jirga yields an effective and representative Transitional Authority truly reflective of the ethnic composition of Afghanistan. We call on the Afghan people and their leaders across the country to work together within the framework of the Bonn Agreement to build democratic institutions and prepare for national elections. The constructive engagement and support of Afghanistan's neighbours, in the spirit of the Bonn process, will be important factors in Afghanistan's recovery, reconstruction, as well as regional stability.

We warmly congratulate Chairman Karzai and his ministers in the Interim Administration for the leadership and teamwork that has successfully brought Afghanistan to this point in the Bonn process. They have achieved a great deal in a short time, establishing foundations on which the successor Transitional Authority, endorsed by the Emergency Loya Jirga, will be able to build, to the benefit of the Afghan people.

We recognize that effective reconstruction in Afghanistan leading to poverty eradication and social, economic, and political development requires a stable and secure environment. For that reason, we are giving the security sector in Afghanistan a special focus in the G8 work on conflict prevention. The G8 has supported the efforts of the Afghan authorities and the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) in devising strategies for the recovery of the security sector, and has marshalled international assistance for the task. The G8 is committed to supporting the Afghan authorities in their work to honourably demobilize former combatants and to reintegrate them into local communities, to build national armed forces, to create a national police force, to restore the justice sector, to eliminate the threat of landmines, and to help the Afghan authorities in their action against opium production and trafficking, which we strongly endorse.

We acknowledge the importance of the extended engagement of the international community, including the International Financial Institutions, in maintaining support to Afghanistan at this critical juncture, delivering on the commitments pledged at the Tokyo Conference of 21-22 January 2002, and coordinating that support through the central Afghan authorities and UNAMA. We recognize the urgent need to translate pledges of support into actual programming in Afghanistan and, in that regard, acknowledge and commend the central coordinating role of the UN and its agencies, and commend UNAMA for its work to date. We continue to provide support to meet the urgent humanitarian needs of the Afghan people.

We recognize that there are many challenges ahead, and pledge our support to the Transitional Authority as it develops the capacity to provide security throughout Afghanistan, and prosperity for the Afghan people.

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