Tokyo Conference gives hope and courage to Afghans

  • 08 Jul. 2012
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  • Last updated: 08 Jul. 2012 13:14

NATO has highlighted today's Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan as the third in a series of major meetings which give substance to the international community's continuing commitment to Afghanistan.

President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan at the joint press conference with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen

President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan at the joint press conference with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen on 12 April 2012

Speaking on 8 July 2012 at the Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan, NATO's Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan, Simon Gass, noted that the NATO Summit in Chicago in May confirmed "that our nations would support the funding of the Afghan National Security Forces until Afghanistan can do so."

At last month's Heart of Asia Conference in Kabul, "Afghanistan's regional partners acknowledged the need to cooperate more closely to secure Afghanistan's stability and prosperity within a stable and prosperous region," said Ambassador Gass.

Ambassador Gass, who is representing the NATO Secretary General at Tokyo, said that Tokyo sets out "a vision for international economic support for Afghanistan and a process for mutual accountability designed to ensure the effective delivery of assistance."

Some 70 donors, countries and international organisations are represented at the Tokyo Conference today which is hosted by the Government of Japan and the Government of Afghanistan, and attended by President Hamid Karzai and foreign and development ministers.

The Tokyo Conference paves the way for the sustainable development of Afghanistan, taking into account the situation after 2014.

Ambassador Gass further noted that as he travels across Afghanistan he meets "Afghan officials and citizens who are working hard to improve the lives of their countrymen and women - often at considerable risk to their own safety. Today's conference will give courage and hope to these brave people."

The Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan has also noted the steps Afghanistan must continue to make progress on, and the commitments in governance reform and in reinforcing values which are enshrined in Afghanistan's Constitution.

Ambassador Gass said: "These commitments draw together the three key elements which are necessary for Afghanistan's future success. If there is no security then economic development will not last.  But equally, if there is no prosperity security will not be sustainable. And both security and economic development will be difficult if not impossible without good governance."