Saturday, October 10, 2015

Keynote Remarks By H.E. Dr. Abdullah Abdullah The Chief Executive of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan The High Level Trilateral Meeting of Afghanistan-US-China on Afghanistan’s Peaceful Development & Regional Cooperation

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بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ


Secretary of State John Kerry,

Foreign Minister Wang Yi,

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,


I extend my sincere appreciation to the United States Government and to the People’s Republic China for co-chairing alongside Afghanistan this essential meeting. I commend both leaders, Secretary Kerry and Minister Wang Yi, for their result-oriented diplomacy and constructive leadership in regards to issues surrounding Afghanistan and our neighborhood.


I am also thankful to all other friends and partners of Afghanistan represented here, as I look forward to hear your views on what is an optimal, yet realizable wish of the Afghan people: Peaceful development and regional cooperation.


Ladies and Gentlemen,


Earlier this month in Kabul, we hosted a Senior Officials’ Meeting, to assess Afghan progress and remaining challenges aimed at promoting self-reliance since the London Conference in 2014, which was preceded by the RECCA-VI gathering of our regional partners to enhance Afghan and regional economic integration.


The Self-Reliance through Mutual Accountability Framework (SMAF), an expanded version of our agreement signed in Tokyo in 2012, guides our partnership with the international community over the next four years. This framework will help all sides deal more effectively with prioritized sectors such as security and stability, social and economic development, regional economic integration, political and institutional reform, good governance, rule of law, human rights and gender empowerment.


However, for peaceful reconstruction and regional cooperation to actually work and produce tangible results, we – in the region – need to experience an actual paradigm shift in how we resolve contentious issues, whether in the context of countering terror and radicalism or other lingering disputes.


I remember a time, prior to the tragedies of September 11, 2001, when Afghan warnings about terrorism trying to conquer my country and use it as a launching pad, fell on deaf ears. Today, after the loss of many more lives across the world, we are at a very different place, as we see the demise of some threats, but the emergence of newer forms of dangers aiming to undermine nation-state stability.


The lesson from Afghanistan is that we cannot allow radicals and terrorists to violently impose false brands that deny human rights, a legitimate order and popular aspirations, in the same manner that no state should tolerate or facilitate the use of terror in the pursuit of foreign and military policy objectives. If we fail to do so, nation-state will have a lot to lose.


Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,


Ours is a twin strategy aimed at reaching a real and durable peace with the armed opposition, and through development and economic activity, help unleash the untapped economic potential that exists in our region, enabling Afghanistan and the whole neighborhood to experience more prosperity and growth, and less violence and destruction.


To that end, with the generous help of the international community, we have built a resilient national security force that can now proudly claim to have withstood major attempts by spoilers at trying to destabilize Afghanistan and be a threat to others.


The National Unity Government of Afghanistan opened a new chapter in our relationship with our neighbors and allies to demonstrate our firm commitment to global and regional security cooperation. H.E. President Ghani and I took all necessary measures to ensure that our relationship with one country would not overshadow our relationship with others.


We took a concrete set of actions against anti-Pakistan insurgents posing a threat to both nations. However, in return, we do not see clear evidence thus far pointing to a decrease in the terrorist footprint threatening our people, nor do we yet see cross-border sanctuaries and support systems being seriously denied to those who want to jeopardize the stability of both our societies.


At some point – hopefully fast – we would need to reconsider our options as well as the opportunities before us, which brings us back to the paradigm shift that is required to assure peace and progress in the South and Central Asian region.


We see a very important role for several of our international friends, among them the U.S. and China, who can facilitate, encourage and verify the engagement of the main parties to stay focused, true to their words and accountable.


Meanwhile, we welcome the holding of the next Ministerial Meeting of the Heart of Asia in Islamabad by the end of this year, and look forward to the adoption of a roadmap with clear benchmarks for collective action against terrorism, radicalization and organized crime.


Our message today is clear. We will continue to lead a genuine and inclusive Afghan peace process, closely monitor developments on the ground, will expect to see the dismantlement of terrorist outfits wherever they may exist, seize upon trust-building and peace-building opportunities – small and large – and work toward a more comprehensive denouement. But we will also do everything in our capacity to protect our people and defend our national sovereignty and territorial integrity.


I thank you all for your support to Afghanistan, and hope that the co-chairs of this high-level meeting and other concerned stakeholders will continue to stand by our common objectives, and support our endeavors to guarantee regional stability and prosperity, which in turn, help in the solidification of security across oceans and continents.


Thank you!

United Nations Summit to adopt the post-2015 development agenda

Statement by H.E. Dr. Abdullah Abdullah Chief Executive of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan At the United Nations Summit to adopt the post-2015 development agenda

Statement by H.E. Dr. Abdullah Abdullah Chief Executive of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan At the United Nations Summit to adopt the post-2015 development agenda

Statement by H.E. Dr. Abdullah Abdullah Chief Executive of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan At the United Nations Summit to adopt the post-2015 development agenda

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Excellencies Co-Chairs,

His Excellency, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon,

Honorable Heads of States and Governments, Ladies and Gentlemen,


It is a great honor for me to represent my country at this historic summit. At the outset, allow me to congratulate you for convening this gathering and to express my sincere appreciation to both distinguished Co-Chairs of Intergovernmental negotiation of the Post-2015 development agenda for their skillful leadership, hard work, and tireless efforts.


The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development offers a compelling vision, promising peace and prosperity to the peoples of the world through global partnerships to ensure that we live and manage the resources of our planet in a sustainable manner.


H.E. President Ghani asked me to convey to you that the agenda is a synthesis of the past efforts, as articulated in key UN conferences, and an inspired leap of aspiration into the future.  We, therefore, pay tribute to the work of several generations of thinkers and practitioners who devoted their lives to the understanding and changing of the economic, social and environmental dimensions of development.


The MDGs, sadly yet to be met by some countries, focused our attention on result-oriented development, forcing governments and their developmental partners to think through the linkages between policy, delivery, measurement, monitoring, and accountability and voice in public resource mobilization and management.


Yet, as President Ghani reminds us: the unfinished MDG agenda in the poorest countries, and the unintended consequences of focusing on some goals requires that we pay careful attention to learning and acting on the lessons drawn. Among those lessons is that while the UN system does an excellent job in setting global agendas, its development machinery, requires major transformation if it is to be a catalyst for the 2030 Agenda.


In the case of nations such as Afghanistan, securing agreement on peace before reorienting resources from political and physical security to human security is essential.


The call to action in the 2030 Agenda requires attention to the missing Ps of price and power.  To deliver on the Agenda, we need to understand the costs and the trade-offs necessary to ensure sustainable development.


The five Ps of the 2030 Agenda, however, require systematic attention to regional cooperation and coordination.  Were regional barriers to trade and transit between Central and South Asia – to take just one example – to open up, tens of millions of people will be lifted from poverty to living with dignity.  Even more significantly, the specter cast by terrorism over our lives will be lifted were there to be true and meaningful cooperation in the arena of peace and security.


Distinguished Co-chairs,


Afghanistan, as a land-locked, least developed, and conflict affected country, will benefit profoundly from the new Agenda 2030. In the past 14 years, some of our gains have suffered from a lack of consolidation, continuity and sustainability.


Afghanistan began to pursue its MDGs almost half a decade later than other member states. Based on our 2005-2015 MDG report we have had a mix achievements and setbacks. While poverty rate has remained constant (around 36%) for several years we have made considerable progress in primary education, gender equality and women empowerment, child and maternal mortality rates have been reduced.


However, despite these achievements, security and instability, as well as equal access to basic health services for all citizens remain as key challenges to our sustained economic growth.


A big part of Afghanistan’s Transformation Decade (2015-2025) coincides with the 2030 development agenda. Afghanistan will remain committed to developing strategies and policies to integrate our national development agenda with the 2030 development agenda.


My Government’s effort to provide villages across the country with a minimum level of basic services for health, education, clean water, and improved agriculture through a Citizens’ Charter – proposed by the President – tops the national development agenda.


Afghanistan has been making strides to become an economic hub in the region and to establish corridors that connect people, goods and resources, and create opportunities for investment, development and economic growth.


I am grateful to see in the agenda the importance of implementing special and differential treatment for the LDCs in accordance with World Trade Organization agreements.


The adoption of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda was a milestone. We also support interconnectivity with other relevant programmes, including the Istanbul Programme of Action for Least Developed Countries, the Vienna Programme of Action for Landlocked Developing Countries


And we agree with the notion that the responsibility of follow-up and review of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda lies primarily with states.




In conclusion, allow me to conclude by expressing Afghanistan’s firm belief that in order to achieve the ambitious goals of the new agenda, strong political commitment and revitalized global partnership, and cooperation are essential. I would like to reaffirm our strong commitment and dedication to implementing this agenda, and our unwavering efforts in fulfilling all its goals and targets by 2030.


Thank you.