On December 4, 2014 the United Kingdom and Afghanistan co-hosted the London Conference on Afghanistan. Representatives of 59 countries participated in the conference where they reaffirmed and consolidated their commitment and partnership with Afghanistan after 2014. Nongovernmental organizations, representatives of Afghan civil society, and multilateral organizations were also in attendance. The conference was preceded by three associated events on 3 December on civil society engagement, private sector development and regional economic cooperation.
The conference was co-chaired by H.E. President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Rt Hon David Cameron MP, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Afghanistan’s Chief Executive, Dr. Abullah Abdullah, and the United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond, opened the conference. It followed a visit by President Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah to Brussels to meet with Foreign Ministers from NATO and partner countries where they discussed final preparations for NATO’s engagement in Afghanistan from 2015.
At the conference, President Ghani delivered a statement outlining his reform agenda and his plans bring economic stability, enhanced security, and the advancement of women’s rights to the country. “Dr. Abdullah and I are determined to deliver to [Afghan citizens] as their chief servants and I hope that this transformation would mark the beginning of a virtuous circle that would enable us to overcome the past thirty five years,” he said. The President also presented a paper on the government of Afghanistan’s reform programme entitled “Realizing Self Reliance: Commitments to Reforms and Renewed Partnership”.
United States Secretary of State John Kerry highlighted the United States’ support for the new government in Afghanistan. “We have a government in Kabul that merits our confidence,” he said, “And never before has the prospect of a more fully independent and sustainable Afghanistan been more clear than it is at this moment as we assemble here in London.” In a similar vein, British Prime Minister David Cameron assured Afghans that “we are with you every step of the way.”
At the conference’s close, participants signed a Communique that underscored Afghanistan and the International Community’s commitments to reforms and renewed partnerships. The Communique solidified a strong foundation of support to Afghanistan throughout the coming decade.