A day after UN meeting on Afghanistan, some legal and economic experts said they are skeptical over the implementation of the commitments made by the Afghan government at the Geneva Conference on Afghanistan.
At the summit, the Afghan leaders announced that Afghanistan will be in no need of international aid within the next five years through its self-reliance strategy, but analysts argue that the promises made to the international community in Geneva are similar to the commitments by government over the past four years.
They said the prospect for the government leaders to deliver on the promises is “very weak”.
“This looks impossible if we do not bring systematic reforms in place in our infrastructures, if we do not fight corruption and if we do not remove security issues from the way of private sector’s investment,” said Khan Jan Alokozai, deputy head of Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries.
“The main issue in Afghanistan is not lack of laws, but the issue is implementation of law. Law enforcement institutions are not implementing the law,” legal expert Ainuddin Bahaduri said.
The office of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has reaffirmed that the international community will continue its support to Afghanistan even if the Taliban joins the peace process.
“Perhaps this was the first ministerial meeting when the issue of peace has been taken up with so much weight in addition to the regular issues which development, growth, social issues and reforms. This also sends a message to various actors, of course to the Afghan people, but also to the insurgent Taliban that even they join or when they are part of the government, the international community will continue to assist Afghanistan” said UNAMA chief Tadamichi Yamamoto.
“We have put our step forward. Now, it is the time for the Taliban to come forward to see what if they are serious about ending the conflict and want to play a constructive role in the Afghan society,” said President Ashraf Ghani’s National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib.
In Geneva, the Afghan government also announced that half of anti-corruption objectives have been completed after government unveiled its anti-corruption strategy in 2017.
“I think in the past four years, we have passed more than 390 legislations which in some ways, I don’t think we have done that much in the past 100 years. So I think these are some of the achievements that we have had. As we look towards the next five years, our hope is that how we can move from a donor-based economy to an environment where we would be self-reliant and the focus will be on private sector investment, because no country has been able to move from poverty to prosperity through grant and aid,” said Mohammad Humayun Qayumi, acting minister of finance.
The Afghan officials in Geneva also talked about the reforms in the military sector and said that over the past three years, 1,052 high-ranking officers were sent to retirement and also the age for the retirement was reduced.
Geneva Conference On Afghanistan
The Geneva Conference on Afghanistan, co-hosted by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the United Nations, was attended by delegations from 61 countries and 35 international organizations, and representatives of civil society, the private sector and the media.
President Ashraf Ghani and Rosemary A. DiCarlo, Under Secretary-General of the United Nations, delivered keynote addresses.
The conference was co-chaired by Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Salahuddin Rabbani, Acting Minister of Finance Mohammad Humayon Qayoumi, and Special Representative of the Secretary-General Tadamichi Yamamoto. Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah concluded the conference.
Some Key Points Of The Conference
• Participants in Geneva welcomed the report of progress achieved by the government since the Brussels Conference of 2016, including on enhanced public financial management and streamlined national budgeting; reviewed remaining challenges; called for increased efforts to fight corruption and illicit narcotics, and promote peace, stability and the rule of law; and, adopted the Geneva Mutual Accountability Framework.
• Participants agreed to support policies strengthening national and subnational governance, regional economic cooperation and connectivity. Efficient and transparent monitoring and review of reform will further strengthen mutual accountability.
• Holding parliamentary elections in October 2018 was an important step in the consolidation of democracy, much awaited by the population of Afghanistan. Presidential elections scheduled for April 2019 and future elections need to draw on the lessons learned in order to continually enhance the transparent, credible and participatory process to the benefit of all citizens.
• One of the major challenges is the absence of peace, on which the government has taken bold and important steps this year. Participants call on all concerned to seize this opportunity for an Afghan-owned and led peace process as the only viable path to satisfy the citizens’ desire for an end to conflict, sustained and broad-based economic growth, and a more prosperous tomorrow.
• Government and the international community express their appreciation to the United Nations for hosting the Geneva Conference. Participants look forward to the senior officials meeting in 2019, and to the next ministerial conference in 2020 at which future commitments to Afghanistan’s long-term development will be discussed in light of the government’s achievements and growth agenda and the Geneva Mutual Accountability Framework.