KABUL-- Afghanistan and international partners in Kabul today officially launched preparations for the 2020 Afghanistan Conference, scheduled to take place 23-24 November at the Palais des Nations in Geneva and be co-hosted by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GoIRA), Finland and the United Nations.
The launch event was attended by representatives of more than 70 countries and international organizations, as well as civil society representatives either virtually or physically at the Presidential Char Chinar Palace in the Afghan capital.
The 2020 Afghanistan Conference is the last pledging conference of the Transformation Decade (2015-24), which aims to take the country towards self-reliance, and is expected to renew international community and Afghan commitments to the development and stability of Afghanistan up to 2024.
The main conference will take place on 24 November, with side events to discuss key challenges and accomplishments for Afghanistan occurring the day before.
The Afghan Minister of Finance, Abdul Hadi Arghandiwal, in his opening remarks said: "The 2020 Afghanistan Conference presents a unique opportunity to work together with a strong commitment to the principles of aid effectiveness and mutual accountability for improved transparency, legitimacy, as well as effectiveness. Progress on mutual accountability is all the more important and both the government as well as our international partners must hold themselves and each other accountable for use of development resources and for development results."
Afghanistan has achieved real progress since 2001 in economic and social fields, as well as with democratic institutions, governance and human rights -- especially that of women, children and minorities. Afghanistan and its global partners need to protect these gains.
President Ashraf Ghani in a recorded message said, "The process of preparing for the conference has provided us, as partners, an opportunity to have a comprehensive and detailed discussion on Afghanistan's past, present, and future development trajectory. More specifically, the conference will be an opportunity to signal to the Afghan people the international community's continued partnership with Afghanistan. The constructive conversation will be continuous, focusing on policy and implementation until and after the Conference."
The Conference will devise a second version of the Afghanistan National Peace and Development Framework (ANPDF-II) which provides vision, strategy and plans for development for the 2021-25 period and is organized around the three pillars of market-, state-, and peace-building. It will form the foundation of a new aid framework.
"Preparations for the 2020 Afghanistan Conference are well underway, in good cooperation with our co-hosts the Government of Afghanistan and UNAMA. At this extraordinary time, it is more important than ever that the development partners continue their strong support to the Afghan people and ensure the long-term development of the country on its path to peace, prosperity and self-reliance," said Janne Taalas, Finland's Special Envoy to the 2020 Afghanistan Conference.
With the recent start of peace talks between the GoIRA and the Taliban in Doha, Qatar, there are new opportunities and hope for Afghanistan and the Afghan people.
"As critical peace talks progress in Doha, the international community recommits its stand with the Afghan people to ending the war and building a better future with stability, sound governance and greater economic opportunities," said Deborah Lyons, the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Afghanistan.
More than 70 countries, international organizations and Afghan Government officials, as well as civil society representatives are expected to take part in the conference.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the Conference will be organized in a hybrid format. The option for online participation will be provided to Conference delegates and an open live webcast will be available.
In view of evolving travel and gathering restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, more detailed information about the conference will be made available closer to the date of the event.
Conference media accreditation will begin in the first half of October and more information on media events will be announced in due course.
More information on Conference arrangements is available at:
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@mediaoffice_mof\ @UNAMAnews\ @FinlandinAFG
Shamroz Khan, Director of Communications & Spokesperson, Ministry of Finance of Afghanistan, email@example.com, tel. +93 (0) 797 332 334
Liam McDowall, Director of Strategic Communications, United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), firstname.lastname@example.org, tel. +93 (0) 728 426 195
Johanna Kaprio, Communications Coordinator, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, email@example.com, tel. +358 50 522 8916