High-Level Ad Hoc Meeting on Afghanistan (Summary)

On September 13, at the initiative of United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, a high-level ad hoc meeting on Afghanistan was convened. Representatives of 21 countries attended. Representing Afghanistan were President Hamid Karzai, Minister of Finance Ashraf Ghani, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdullah Abdullah. U.N. representatives included Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Kenzo Oshima, and the heads of international organizations, including the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). Participants from other nations included President Pervez Musharraf of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi of Italy. Most of the participants from other countries were of the foreign-minister level. Representing Japan was Minister for Foreign Affairs Yoriko Kawaguchi.

1. Statement of President Karzai

(1)    Afghanistan is making efforts in such areas as fight against terrorism, secure of human rights and freedom within the country, anti-narcotics, and training of the National Army and establishment of police force. For national security, it is expected that the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) will expand its operations to the various regions in Afghanistan.

(2)    Afghanistan occupies an important position, as it connects the Middle East with Central Asia and East Asia. Afghanistan intends to make use of its location, and the construction of pipelines etc. are under consideration. The construction of a network of roads is also important. Afghanistan is also working toward the introduction of a common currency and the establishment of a system for handling investment.

2. Main statements made by representatives of other countries

(1)    All of the nations involved expressed entire support for President Karzai's transitional administration.

(2)    Representatives of a number of countries mentioned the assassination attempt against President Karzai and the importance of security and especially of rebuilding the National Army and police forces. Representatives of some countries said that the ISAF should expand its operations to the various regions in Afghanistan.

(3)    There was a statement on the importance of anti-narcotics, assistance for administrative costs, and building the capacity of the administrative organizations. It was also stated that the pledges made at the International Conference on Reconstruction Assistance to Afghanistan, which was held in Tokyo, should be implemented quickly.

3. Statement by Minister for Foreign Affairs Kawaguchi

(1)    Political support for the Karzai administration is important. International community should support President Karzai and maintain pressure on warlords to demobilize their combatants and to work together for national unity.

(2)    On the matter of security, Japan will contribute to the disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) of former combatants as a leading country.

(3)    Japan views the comprehensive rural development as important. As a first step, Japan has already embarked on a project for reinteguration of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in provinces such as Kandahar. In addition, Japan has decided to provide $50 million for the construction of the road between Kabul and Kandahar, with making effort to start the construction work before the onset of winter. While it is important for international community to accelerate the pace of implementation of the pledge, substantial assistance has already been provided. Japan asks the leaders of Afghanistan to explain the efforts to the Afghan people. In order to accelerate the provision of assistance, Japan is considering dispatch of Ambassador Nishimura, the coordinator of the assistance of Japan, to the relevant countries.

4. President Karzai's closing remarks

President Karzai closed by making three remarks. First, he expressed appreciation for the commitment of Japan, Saudi Arabia, and the United States for highway construction. Second, he expressed gratitude for Japan's cooperation with Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General Lakhdar Brahimi with regard to demobilization. Finally, he expressed gratefulness to Ms. Sadako Ogata, Special Representative of the Prime Minister of Japan on Reconstruction Assistance to Afghanistan.

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