Connect with us

Afghanistan

2020 Afghanistan Conference: Sustainable peace, anti-corruption and aid effectiveness on the agenda

Published

on

The 2020 Afghanistan Conference kicks begins today (23 November) with the EU co-organizing and participating in number of events taking place ahead of tomorrow's (24 November) plenary session. Crisis Management Commissioner  Janez Lenarčič will co-chair, together with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan Mohammad Haneef Atmar an event on sustainable peace (livestream available), with a focus on promoting human rights and empowering women, and also on refugees and returnees.

International Partnerships Commissioner Jutta Urpilainen will deliver a speech at an event on anti-corruption and good governance, and in doing so will emphasize the EU's expectation that the Afghan government delivers on its reform agenda. EU officials will also participate in a third side event taking place ahead of the conference, on aid effectiveness.

Tomorrow, EU High Representative/Vice President Josep Borrell will deliver a speech at the opening session of the conference, when he will outline the EU's position on the ongoing intra-Afghan peace negotiations, as well as the conditions for the EU's support, which were presented in a recent paper co-authored with key international donors.

Later, Commissioner Urpilainen will deliver the EU's financial assistance pledge at the conference. Both interventions will be available on EbS. More information on EU-Afghanistan relations is available in a dedicated factsheet and on the website of the EU Delegation in Kabul.

Afghanistan

EU reconfirms support for Afghanistan at 2020 Geneva Conference

Published

on

The European Union today (24 November) reconfirmed its long-standing solidarity and partnership with the people of Afghanistan, pledging support of €1.2 billion over the period 2021–2025 in both long-term and emergency assistance at the 2020 Afghanistan Conference 'Peace, Prosperity and Self-Reliance'.

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President Josep Borrell, speaking at the opening session of the conference, said: “With intra-Afghan peace negotiations having started, but terrible violence still causing great suffering for the Afghan people, Afghanistan is at a crossroads. The Afghan people can count on the European Union's support for a prosperous and peaceful future for their country, but our support relies on democracy, human rights, and social progress being protected.”

International Partnerships Commissioner Jutta Urpilainen, who announced the EU's pledge at the conference and participated in a side event on anti-corruption, said: “A pledge of €1.2 billion for the next four years illustrates our commitment to the Afghan people. Our assistance will support the Afghan authorities' agenda for democratic, sustainable development and modernization, helping to lift people out of poverty, improve governance, reduce corruption and enhance the daily lives of the Afghan people.”

Crisis Management Commissioner Janez Lenarčič, who co-hosted a side event on sustainable peace building, as well as a high-level meeting on international humanitarian law and the protection of civilians in Afghanistan ahead of the conference, said: “We are boosting our humanitarian aid to help those most in need. While it must never become a political instrument, humanitarian assistance, International Humanitarian Law and protection of civilians must be central in the ongoing Afghan Peace Process negotiations. The protection of civilian lives and respect of International Humanitarian Law in conflict cannot wait for the end of the peace negotiations. It must begin now.”

Significant but conditional support

The significant financial commitment demonstrates that the EU is unwavering in its determination to promote a peaceful, democratic, sovereign and prosperous Afghanistan, deserved and long awaited by its people, and makes clear that EU development assistance is based on clear conditions and principles.

These conditions are laid out in a paper co-authored by the EU and other key international partners of the country, which combined provide 80% of international assistance to Afghanistan. As reiterated by High Representative/Vice-President Borrell and Commissioner Urpilainen at the Conference, the EU's support to Afghanistan is conditional upon an inclusive, Afghan-owned, Afghan-led peace process that builds on the political and social achievements of the last 19 years. Preserving democratic pluralism, the constitutional order, institutional transparency and accountability, and the rule of law, further promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms, especially for women, children and minorities and including freedom of media, and pursuing sustainable peace, development and prosperity, are essential for Afghanistan's future.

Many of the principles for EU and international support are reflected in thJoint Political Communiqué and the Afghanistan Partnership Framework, which were adopted at the Conference.

The EU's development assistance is subject to adoption of the next EU Multiannual Financial Framework along the lines proposed by the European Commission on 2 June. This assistance will support implementation of the second Afghanistan National Peace and Development Framework covering the period of 2021-2025. The EU's support will also help to address growing poverty levels in Afghanistan in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Alongside development support, the EU will also continue to provide impartial, life-saving humanitarian assistance, boosting the coronavirus response as well as assisting victims of conflict and forced displacement, including with emergency food provision, protection services to address gender-based violence, the education of children, as well as advocacy for respect of International Humanitarian Law by all parties to the conflict.

Background

In 2016, the EU similarly pledged Afghanistan €1.2bn over a four-year period. Actual payments in 2016–2020 exceeded €1.75bn. In 2002–2020, the European Union has committed in total more than €5.1bn to Afghanistan. Afghanistan is the largest beneficiary of EU development assistance in the world. EU support aims to preserve the political and development achievements of the last 19 years and is guided by strong democratic and human rights principles.

The EU has been among the most generous humanitarian donors to Afghanistan. Total EU humanitarian assistance in the country since 1994 amounts to almost €1bn.

More information

Website of the Afghanistan Conference 2020

Speech of High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell at the Opening Session of the 2020 Afghanistan Conference

Intervention of Commissioner Jutta Urpilainen at the 2020 Afghanistan Conference

Joint Political Communiqué of the 2020 Afghanistan Conference

Afghanistan Partnership Framework 2020

Paper: Key elements for sustained international support to Peace and Development in Afghanistan

Side meeting: “Support to Peace and Prosperity through Public–Private Partnerships in Key Infrastructure Investments”

Webcast of high-level side meeting on International Humanitarian Law and Protection of Civilians in Afghanistan

Factsheet on EU – Afghanistan relations

Website of the European Union Delegation to Afghanistan

 

Continue Reading

Afghanistan

#Coronavirus global response: EU Humanitarian Air Bridge to #Afghanistan and further support

Published

on

As part of the EU's global coronavirus response, an EU Humanitarian Air Bridge flight will depart on 15June from Maastricht, Netherlands, to Kabul, Afghanistan. The flight will deliver 100 tonnes of life-saving materials to supply EU-funded humanitarian partners. The flight is fully EU funded and is part of ongoing Air Bridge flights to critical areas of the world.

The EU is also providing a new aid package of €39 million to boost coronavirus response as well as to help victims of war, forced displacement and natural disasters in Afghanistan.

Crisis Management Commissioner Janez Lenarčič said: "At this difficult time, the EU continues to stand by the most vulnerable in Afghanistan. The coronavirus pandemic poses huge logistical challenges for the humanitarian community, while the needs remain high in critical areas. With this air bridge, the EU is delivering vital assistance such as food, nutrition, water, shelter to ensure aid reaches as many people as possible and to help support the people of Afghanistan.”

EU humanitarian projects in Afghanistan focus on providing emergency health care, shelter, food assistance, access to clean water and sanitation facilities, as well as various protection services supporting women and children. The full press release is available online.

Continue Reading

Afghanistan

#Afghanistan - 'There are few words that can do justice to the horrors'

Published

on

In a statement on the terrorist attacks in Afghanistan today, the EU said that words could not do justice to the horrors inflicted. The high representative described the attacks as clear violations of International Humanitarian Law, for which the perpetrators will have to bear the consequences: "There are few words that can do justice to the horrors we have witnessed today in Afghanistan. At the same moment an attack was targeting a maternity ward in Kabul, a terrorist detonated his bomb in the middle of a funeral in Nangarhar. Dozens of innocent civilians were killed or injured in these most reprehensible acts of terror.

"To target and kill mothers, newly born babies and nurses, as well as bereaved and mourning families, are acts of evil and show an appalling degree of inhumanity. The attack on the Dasht-e-Barchi hospital maternity ward, run by Médecins Sans Frontières, also seems to have targeted international aid workers. The European Union stands in solidarity with them. These acts constitute clear violations of International Humanitarian Law, for which the perpetrators will have to bear the consequences. Our hearts go out to those who lost loved ones and we wish those who were injured a quick recovery.

"The Afghan people deserve peace. For too long has their country been ripped apart by terrorism and violence that no political objective can ever justify. A permanent ceasefire is absolutely vital, and the European Union calls on all stakeholders in Afghanistan and the region to make it a reality."

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Twitter

Facebook

Trending