Statement by Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Laurel Miller at the Senior Officials Meeting

September 5, 2015

The United States is committed to helping Afghanistan achieve enduring stability.  We are pleased that so many of our partners have gathered here in Kabul to engage in this constructive conversation and show our collective support for Afghanistan’s stability, security and prosperity.

Together with others in the international community, the United States will continue to be a strong partner of the Afghan government, especially as it works to address daunting security and economic challenges.  In recognition of the significance that Afghanistan continues to have on the international stage, the United States, in furtherance of our partnership with Afghanistan, will co-host with China and Afghanistan a high-level event on the margins of the UN General Assembly later this month.  As one example of our continued extraordinary practical support for promoting Afghan prosperity, and following Afghan achievement of agreed-upon development results, we recently authorized the disbursement of the first $100 million in funding under the New Development Partnership announced by the White House during President Ghani’s visit to Washington.

The agreement we’ve reached today on a refreshed mutual accountability framework is a significant milestone in all of our relationships with Afghanistan.  We are optimistic that this agreement will enable other donors to move ahead with incentive programs grounded in Afghan priorities.  We congratulate the Afghan government for the progress it has made since the political transition last September and welcome the government’s report on its progress.

Afghanistan’s government of national unity, led by President Ghani with the support of Chief Executive Abdullah, has made progress in key areas over the past year: from government appointments and anti-corruption initiatives, to the establishment of the Special Electoral Reform Commission.  We urge all stakeholders—domestic and international—to work together to ensure implementation of crucial reforms.  The next round of polls should follow a meaningful and transparent reform process.

The road ahead will not be easy for Afghanistan, and the Afghan people and the unity government will continue to require robust international and regional support.  The international community must not waiver in its commitment to and support for Afghanistan.  The Government of Afghanistan, as well, has an obligation to its people—to deliver on its promises of reform, stability, economic growth, and the continued protection of human rights.  These are obligations and commitments that we undertake together to the people of Afghanistan in friendship and partnership.

I want to thank you all very much for your continued commitment to and support for the government and people of Afghanistan as they take bold steps to move their country forward.  The United States intends to continue to support the Afghan security forces and provide extraordinary levels of development assistance, and I urge your governments to do the same.

It is critical that we demonstrate our collective commitment to Afghanistan by renewing our national financial pledges to the Afghan security forces for the years 2018 to 2020, leading up to the July 2016 NATO Summit in Warsaw, Poland, and by extending our pledges of development aid ahead of the Afghanistan development conference later in 2016.

It is in all our interests to help preserve Afghanistan’s enormous achievements of the last 14 years and to help cement the conditions for durable peace and prosperity.