The Second Tokyo Conference on Consolidation of Peace in Afghanistan (DDR/DIAG)

5 July 2006

The Conference was held on 5 July 2006 under the co-chairmanship of Japan, Afghanistan and the United Nations. The Conference reviewed the DDR program and the implementation of the DIAG program through an exchange of views on overall strategy for addressing security sector reform to consolidate peace in Afghanistan.

The Conference was inaugurated by H.E. Mr. Taro Aso, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, with the opening statement given by H.E. Mr. Hamid Karzai, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Representatives from 53 states and 15 international organizations attended.

The Conference, the latest in a series of international conferences on Afghanistan, including gatherings in Bonn (December 2001), Tokyo (January 2002 and February 2003), Berlin (March 2004) and London (January 2006) highly appreciated the substantial progress achieved in Afghanistan over the past four-and-a-half years in nation-building in all its aspects, including the political process, economic reconstruction and security sector reform. The Conference took note with appreciation the democratic choice of President Karzai and the parliamentary elections along with the establishment of the upper and lower houses. The Conference also noted with satisfaction that both Afghan and international participants reaffirmed their commitment to the Afghanistan Compact, which was adopted at the London conference this year and provides the basic framework for the international engagement on the nation-building of Afghanistan.

The Conference recognized, at the same time, that the achievements made in Afghanistan have not yet been consolidated sufficiently for the nation-building process to be considered self-sustaining. In fact, the situation remains fragile, especially in view of the tense security situation in the country.

The Conference therefore reaffirmed the need for continued self-help efforts by Afghanistan and long-term partnership and support by the international community. It was also pointed out that all parts of the Government of Afghanistan, including the Office of the President, the Upper House, the Lower House and all security sector institutions as well as the international community should work together and harder towards a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan. It was agreed that full implementation of the DIAG process is essential for the establishment of the rule of law and good governance.

The Conference congratulated all stakeholders on the completion of DDR in June 2006. The DDR program disarmed 63,380 ex-combatants, demobilized 62,044 and provided reintegration programs for 55,804, that also contributed to the creation of a new, unified and professional national army for Afghanistan. The Conference paid special tribute to those Afghan and international stakeholders who had made great efforts for the success of the DDR program. Among others, ANBP was particularly commended for the excellent service it had rendered in this regard.

The Conference also noted with satisfaction that UNDP will continue to provide for the needs of the ex-combatants who have undergone DDR for another 18 months, so that they will not fall back on their previous way of life, with weapons as their source of livelihood. The Conference also recognized that Afghan civil society has a critical role to play in creating Afghanistan where power resides with accountable and democratically elected representatives and in ensuring the rule of law.

Recognizing that security remains the essential pre-condition for achieving peace and prosperity in Afghanistan, the Conference reiterated the words of the Afghanistan Compact stating, "Security cannot be provided by military means alone. It requires good governance, justice and the rule of law, reinforced by reconstruction and development. With the support of the international community, the Afghan Government will consolidate peace by disbanding all illegal armed groups." The Conference noted that, to achieve security on the basis of the rule of law and good governance, both Afghan and international stakeholders would have to cooperate and coordinate more fully, in order to advance all security sector reforms together, that is, to pursue simultaneously the enhancement of the Afghan National Army and reform of the Afghan National Police, judicial reform, DIAG and counter-narcotics activities.

The Conference appreciated that the Government of Afghanistan in the statement of President Karzai, reiterated its strong commitment to stand firm on DIAG and accomplish it at any cost despite the difficulties and challenges lying ahead. The Government of Afghanistan recognized that DIAG and other security sector reforms were critical undertakings to restore security on the basis of rule of law and good governance. In this respect, the Conference was reminded of the importance of enforcing Presidential Decree No. 50 outlawing armed forces with the exception of the National Army and the Law on Fire Arms, Equipment and Explosive Materials, prohibiting the possession of weapons without an official license. It also noted the strong desire of the Afghan people to eliminate illegal armed groups and achieve genuine security and lasting stability.

The Conference examined the current status of the implementation of the DIAG program. The Conference was not entirely satisfied with the progress made thus far and requested that Afghan and international stakeholders further enhance their efforts so that DIAG may be completed by the end of 2007. In particular, the Conference stressed the need for robust engagement in the DIAG process by the Afghan security organizations, namely, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Defense and the National Directorate for Security.

The Conference expressed its deep appreciation for financial and other support provided by international stakeholders to date for DIAG and other security sector reforms, and its wish that such support would be further strengthened.

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