September 26, 2015
The United States of America, the People’s Republic of China, and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan convened a high-level meeting on Afghanistan’s peaceful development and regional cooperation on the margins of the 70th UN General Assembly. Chief Executive of Afghanistan Abdullah Abdullah, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, and Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani were joined by representatives of Afghanistan’s regional and international friends and partners.
During the event, Afghan Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah updated the assembled nations on the progress that has been made by the National Unity Government of Afghanistan during its first year in place. The international community expressed its continuing strong support for the Government, and recognized the progress it has made in strengthening government institutions, enhancing economic governance, improving ties with Afghanistan’s neighbors, and continuing to ensure that all Afghans enjoy rule of law and access to justice. Participants welcomed recent steps taken as part of the reform agenda to combat corruption and strengthen credibility of the country’s electoral process.
The participants reiterated support for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned inclusive peace process and for the Government’s efforts to further advance reconciliation with the Taliban and other armed groups, and called on those groups to enter into direct talks with the Afghan government. Afghanistan’s Chief Executive provided an update on the security situation and on efforts to further the peace process in Afghanistan and expressed appreciation for the international community’s continuing support for such a process. The international community recognized the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces’(ANDSF) dedicated performance and honored the sacrifices of the Afghan people. China, the United States, and Afghanistan reiterated their conviction that Afghanistan never again be used as a safe-haven for international terrorists and called on regional countries and the international community to make joint efforts toward preventing the spread of terrorist and extremist groups in the region.
During the meeting, regional and international states affirmed that the entire international community has a stake in continuing to support Afghanistan’s security, stability, unity, peace, and prosperity. They expressed the desire to use upcoming international conferences to demonstrate the international community’s enduring political and practical support for the goals of the government as it continues to make progress on its governance and reform agenda. The representatives welcomed the decision on the part of the European Union to host the next Afghanistan international donor conference in Brussels.
The assembled high-level representatives also looked ahead to the upcoming Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process Ministerial Conference in Islamabad as an important opportunity to reinforce the region’s support for Afghanistan. The representatives welcomed an update from Pakistani National Security Advisor Sartaj Aziz on preparations for the Islamabad conference. Reiterating their support for the principles of good neighborly relations, the high-level representatives expressed a desire for the Islamabad conference to be an opportunity for all regional and international states to renew their commitments to support and respect Afghanistan’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, and to reaffirm the Heart of Asia’s commitment to the principle of non-interference in Afghanistan’s internal affairs.
The participants welcomed the successful Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA VI) and emphasized that regional economic connectivity is vital to this broader international agenda. An Afghanistan firmly embedded in the economic life of the region and connected to international markets will enjoy greater opportunities for peace and stability as well as the entire region. In this regard, the representatives reiterated support for Afghanistan’s ambition to use its geographic location to enhance and accelerate connectivity with neighboring countries and become an integrated trade, transportation, and energy hub within the region.
The co-chairs expressed support and respect for the continuing leadership role played by the United Nations in coordinating international support for Afghanistan.