Declaration

by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

  • 06 Sep. 2006
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  • Last updated: 25 Feb. 2009 11:02

I. Introduction: Framework for enduring co-operation in partnership

  1. Building on the success of the National Assembly elections in 2005, the completion of the Bonn process and the results of the London Conference, in particular the Afghanistan Compact, NATO remains committed to working together with the Government of Afghanistan and other international organisations to help build a peaceful, stable and democratic Afghanistan. NATO acknowledges the importance of stability and security in Afghanistan to Central and South Asia and the wider international community, and the challenging nature of the security threats facing the Afghan Government. The Afghan Government’s ultimate aim is to take full responsibility for its own security. To achieve this goal, strong and visible international commitment continues to be important to promote stability in Afghanistan, both through the deployment of international military forces and through support for the development of effective Afghan national security and defence institutions. Reaffirming NATO’s determination in this regard, and in response to President Karzai’s request for a broad and long-term relationship with NATO, Allied Foreign Ministers agreed in December 2005 to develop a programme of cooperation with Afghanistan. This programme builds on NATO’s unique relationship with Afghanistan and reflects the Alliance’s support for Afghanistan’s national sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.  The relationship between NATO and Afghanistan is not limited to the provisions of this programme.
  2. The Government of Afghanistan and Allies recognise that security cannot be provided by military means alone. Security requires good governance, justice and the rule of law, reinforced by reconstruction and development, as well as international, and particularly regional co-operation. In this context, the Declaration on Good-neighbourly Relations signed in Kabul on 22 December 2002 between Afghanistan and its neighbours plays an important role. Afghanistan also considers terrorism, extremism and drug trafficking as major challenges to security, and is committed to taking full advantage of international support and assistance, and to cooperating with the international community to build capacity to eliminate these threats.
  3. Afghanistan recognises that at present it is unable to fully meet its own security needs and highly appreciates NATO’s contribution to providing security and stability in Afghanistan, Afghanistan is determined to develop rapidly the capabilities of its national security and defence institutions to meet national requirements, operate more effectively alongside ISAF and international military forces, and improve their capacity for independent action. Afghanistan stands ready to further broaden cooperation with the Alliance aimed at promoting interoperability with NATO member states’ forces, as well as activities supporting defence reform, defence institution building and military aspects of security sector reform as well as other areas mutually agreed.  Longer term, Afghanistan aspires to contribute to security and stability by taking part in NATO-led peacekeeping operations. 

II. Main Principles of Cooperation

  1. The programme will:
    1. Be realistic, both in terms of substance and available resources, and in those areas where NATO can substantially contribute and add value, within means and capabilities, if necessary through re-prioritisation under current budget ceilings;
    2. Be built on the principle of ownership by the Afghan authorities and reflect their capacities. To achieve this objective, such a programme should be tailored to the needs identified by, and implemented in close consultation with Afghan authorities, who will designate appropriate interlocutors;
    3. Complement ISAF’s operational role and help consolidate the gains achieved through ISAF presence, in particular at the level of Afghanistan’s central security and defence institutions in Kabul;
    4. Take into account the activities and cooperation programmes conducted by other actors, promoting possible collaboration and avoiding unnecessary duplication of efforts; it should also take into account the results of the London Conference, in particular the Afghan Compact between Afghanistan and the International Community, co-ordinated by the Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board

III. Cooperative activities

  1. The programme will:
    1. draw upon selected PfP instruments, and carefully selected PfP activities to meet identified needs of Afghan authorities. This could include Afghan participation at activities organised by NATO authorities or individual nations, including some of those planned in/for Central Asia;
    2. include NATO and Allies’ teams to provide expert advice on specific issues related to defence reform, defence institution building and the military aspects of security sector reform, as well as discussions with Afghan expert teams visiting NATO HQ;
    3. include specially tailored NATO-led activities for Afghan participants only, such as courses and seminars to be conducted at NATO School Oberammergau, NATO Defence College and by NATO nations, and similar activities in Afghanistan; and
    4. take advantage of national experience and capabilities already on the ground, including the Operational Mentoring and Liaison Teams.

IV. Support for Implementation and Assessment

  1. NATO and Afghanistan will consult closely at various levels, to ensure an ongoing dialogue and consultations to oversee the development and thorough implementation, and regular assessment of the agreed programme of activities. 
  2. These consultations also will make full use of the NATO Senior Civil Representative, in accordance with his mandate, as well as the Afghan Mission in Brussels. 
  3. Given Afghanistan’s current economic capabilities and taking into account NATO’s operational engagement in Afghanistan, Allies will consider the possibility of making additional bi-lateral resources available to support the full implementation of this programme and coordination of their relevant bi-lateral assistance programmes, through appropriate clearing house mechanisms, including in the area of enhancing the equipment, materiel support and financial sustainability of the Afghan national security and defence institutions. Subject to routine review, the PfP Funding policy will also be used to support implementation of this programme.  Review of the programme would include review of its funding mechanisms. Nations may also consider using the PfP Trust Fund mechanism.
  4. Implementation of this programme may require development of NATO-Afghanistan arrangements for exchange and protection of information/documentation.

V. Forces and Assets

  1. The Afghan authorities, NATO and Allies will consult together, using established Partnership tools, to identify the appropriate Afghan institutions, forces, assets and training facilities to take part in this cooperation. This will include identifying those to take part in a systematic planning and assessment process aimed at promoting the required level of interoperability and developing the capabilities of the Afghan National Army. The desired end state is a credible, professional military force able to support Afghan authorities to maintain security and stability in the country, consistent with international norms and without external support.

VI. Main areas of cooperation

  1. Subject to the principles outlined in paragraph 4, the programme will concentrate on defence reform, defence institution building and the military aspects of security sector reform, as well as on other areas mutually identified by both NATO and Afghanistan including promoting interoperability between the forces of the ANA and NATO members. Drawing on NATO’s extensive experience in defence planning and reform, this programme may include support of the Afghan Government’s efforts in the following areas:
    • Development of transparent, effective and democratically controlled Afghan national defence and appropriate security institutions, consistent with best practices and international norms, complementing lead nations’ bilateral efforts in this area;
    • Creation of conceptual foundation of security and defence, including national security strategy and national military strategy, and related strategic planning systems and processes;
    • Development of effective national defence planning and budgeting processes under democratic control, including a transparent and effective personnel management and training system, as well as establishing plans for equipment acquisition/modernisation;
    • Promoting interoperability between NATO and the ANA, to allow them to take increasing responsibility for Afghanistan’s national security; this will include designation of  forces, assets and training facilities to take part in a systematic planning and assessment process, this will include the identification of equipment, logistic, training and education needs, including participation in selected NATO/PfP exercises, to meet interoperability objectives to be agreed;
    • Through bilateral programmes, assistance to enhance the capacity of the Afghan national defence forces to deploy in a timely manner across the country.  Such assistance may include the provision of aircrew and technical training as well as the coordination by NATO members of bilateral assistance to address military equipment, infrastructure, technical support and sustainability requirements;
    • Creating adequate stockpile management of SALW, munitions, APLs and MANPADS including assessing requirements for safe destruction of surplus stocks and examining the possibility of establishing Trust Funds to decrease the threat from these stockpiles;
    • Facilitating contacts, co-operation and exchange of experience with Allies' national institutions to support monitoring and implementation of arms control agreements and treaties and adherence to multi-lateral export control régime guidelines on military and dual-use goods and technology;
    • In conformity with the OPLAN, support the Afghan Government's counter-narcotic efforts;
    • Drawing on the NATO Policy on Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, relative to the conduct of the military, NATO will support and sustain development of practical cooperation and provide support to responsible authorities in their efforts to combat trafficking in human beings;
    • Complementing and facilitating lead nations’ efforts in the area of border security, promote civilian control and relevant mechanisms, such as effective and transparent legislative and judicial oversight of law enforcement organisations in charge of border security and control, identifying training needs;
    • Develop cooperation in the area of civil emergency planning, in accordance with NATO procedures and drawing on Allies national institutions;
    • Language training of defence and security institutions’ personnel to support interoperability objectives to be agreed;
    • Development of effective civil/military co-ordination of air traffic management;
    • Enhancing public understanding, including by developing key messages for the public opinion, about defence and security issues, including defence reform, defence institution building and the military aspects of security sector reform, the role of the appropriate Afghan national security forces and NATO forces, taking into account Afghanistan’s regional dimension; and
    • Using the Virtual Silk Highway project in Afghanistan, to support access to information and contribute to successful implementation of this programme.

Jaap de Hoop Scheffer

Hamid Karzai

Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation

President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan