G8 Foreign Ministers' Statement on Afghanistan
June 26, 2008
- Afghanistan, being on the path to long-term stability, has yet to overcome serious challenges such as terrorism, insecurity, poverty, corruption, illicit drug production, lack of legitimate economic opportunities and weak institutions. We, the Foreign Ministers of the G8, renew our firm and long-term commitment to support Afghanistan through a holistic approach to its stability and reconstruction. We welcome the Afghanistan National Development Strategy (ANDS) and, at the same time, strongly encourage the Afghan Government to assume greater responsibility for security, governance and reconstruction in implementing ANDS.
- We support the key role of the United Nations (UN) to lead the international civilian efforts in Afghanistan. In this regard, we welcome UN Security Council Resolution 1806, which has strengthened UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) mandate, and commit to supporting UNAMA and Special Representative of UN Secretary-General Kai Eide in their role as overall coordinator of efforts by the international community.
- We appreciate the role being played by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Operation Enduring Freedom, including its maritime component, in support of this effort. We also recognize the important role played by Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs). We will accelerate our assistance to build the Afghan National Army and Police so that they may increasingly take the lead and become self-sufficient. We will also strengthen our support for Afghanistan in other elements of security sector reform, including Disbandment of the Illegal Armed Groups (DIAG) and justice reform throughout the country.
- We will step up our counter-narcotics efforts, including support for the elimination of illicit crops and sustainable economic alternatives. We encourage the neighboring states to deny narco-traffickers and those financing terrorism operating in and around Afghanistan.
- We welcome and support Afghanistan's commitment to strengthening its governance at both national and local levels in such a manner that will establish the rule of law, respect and protect human rights and prevent corruption.
- We welcome the outcome of the International Conference in Support of Afghanistan in Paris on June 12, in particular the pledges made there, which will help the implementation of ANDS. We will work closely with the UN and other relevant international organizations, private sector and non-governmental organizations in tackling development challenges so that all Afghans can enjoy the benefit of reconstruction and development. We are committed to focusing on the areas of priority provided by the Afghanistan Compact and working toward increasing aid effectiveness based on Afghan ownership and priorities through improved accountability and coordination of activities. We further welcomed the commitment by the Afghan Government at Paris to pursue political and economic reform, including by taking concrete steps to combat corruption.
- We underscore our commitment to support the Afghan Government as it prepares for presidential and parliamentary elections. We offer our continued assistance as Afghanistan works to establish an inclusive, representative and responsive political framework in compliance with the Afghan Constitution and UN Security Council Resolution 1267 with a goal of defeating extremism and terrorism and enabling democracy to take root in Afghanistan.
- We call on Afghanistan's neighbors to play a constructive role for the stability of Afghanistan. We particularly encourage Afghanistan and Pakistan to continue their cooperation in a constructive and mutually beneficial manner through dialogue. In line with the G8 Afghanistan-Pakistan Initiative, we will strengthen our assistance to the border region, including the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), and utilize the good offices of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for better coordination, as appropriate. In this regard, we endorsed more than 150 projects currently planned or implemented by the G8 members. These critical efforts constitute an integral part of our strategy to combat terrorism by promoting legitimate economic opportunities and alternatives in isolated communities where narco-trafficking and extremism are endemic. For the purpose of pursuing these goals, we have agreed to establish a G8 coordination arrangement with the support of the Afghan and Pakistani Governments and in support of UNAMA.
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