Intervention at the Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan

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8 July 2012

President, Prime Minister, Ministers, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Allow me to start by thanking Japan for hosting the Tokyo conference as an important mile stone for Afghanistan's future development.

As set out in the Mutual Accountability Framework, commitments will transform and make Afghanistan economically, financially and politically stronger.

You may count on the EU to deliver our part of the commitments. Ongoing negotiations on the EU -Afghanistan Co-operation Agreement show the nature of our engagement. This underpins existing cooperation and gives broader political dimension – cementing our commitment and belief to Afghanistan - in its people and future.

We will align our development assistance with the Government's National Priority Programs and support this process with appropriate financial recourses.

Today the EU and its Member States are spending more than one billion Euros for development assistance a year and our commitment to Afghanistan is long-term – for transition and beyond. For the period from 2014 till 2020 the EU will continue to prioritise and enhance support to Afghanistan.

I would like to stress that fulfilment of commitments by both sides is critical for maintaining popular support for the exceptional levels of assistance Afghanistan receives from donors.

Therefore, I do believe that Afghans share the vision that democratic politics and governance can change their country. That requires the Afghan Government to make real advances in implementing agreed commitments:

electoral reform to bring about inclusive and credible presidential and parliamentary elections in 2014 and 2015 respectively; implementation of the IMF's recommendations and, in particular, strengthened leadership to address corruption;

better fiscal systems to increase domestic revenue collection; respect for human rights, especially for women; and reform of the justice sector to promote the rule of law.

I would like to stress that tangible progress in these areas will be necessary for the EU and the Member States to maintain the support to the Government of Afghanistan over the Transformation Decade.

Thank you.