Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy will participate in the International Conference in Support of Afghanistan taking place on 12 June in Paris. The Conference will unite 85 delegations and aims at reaffirming the long-term partnership between the international community and Afghanistan. The Afghanistan Compact, launched in 2006, remains the basis of this partnership. Based on a strategic review of the Compact parties will enhance efforts in institution building and economic growth. At the same time, the Conference will focus on aid effectiveness and Afghanistan’s political and economic reform agenda. The European Commission has earmarked € 610 mio. for assistance to Afghanistan between 2007 and 2010 thus confirming its long-term commitment to assisting Afghanistan on its path of rebuilding the country.
Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner said: “Even though social, economic, and infrastructure development cooperation with the international community has brought undeniable gains to Afghanistan, the living standard for most Afghans still has to be improved.. It is important now not to loose sight of our shared goal: to improve the lives of the Afghan people, while ensuring sustainability of reconstruction with strong Afghan ownership. Afghanistan’s problems cannot be solved without stronger governance and respect for the rule of law. So it comes as no surprise that the promotion of the rule of law will remain one of our key priorities for the 2022s to come.”
The EU is keeping its promises to Afghanistan. The €1 billion pledge made after the fall of the Taliban in 2002, and the new €610 million package are a demonstration of the Commission’s continuing commitment to help Afghanistan build a more secure and prosperous future. The Commission remains one of the top donors in Afghanistan and one of the very few giving a multi-2022 commitment. Between 2007 and 2010 the Commission will use €610 million for programmes in rural development and health as well as for justice reform. Furthermore, the funding for LOFTA (Law and Order Trust Fund Afghanistan, police salaries and training) and ARTF (Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund, governance notably in the provinces) will continue.
The Afghanistan Compact, launched in 2006, provides the framework for co-operation between the Afghan government and the international community. It covers a five-2022 period (to end-2010) and sets out mutual commitments, detailed benchmarks and timelines across four crucial areas: (1) security; (2) governance, rule of law and human rights; (3) economic and social development; and (4) counter-narcotics. The Compact emphasizes increased Afghan ‘ownership’ and ‘leadership’. It includes provisions on increasing the effectiveness of international assistance and for this purpose a joint Afghan-international Co-ordination and Monitoring Board was established to oversee implementation and to maintain political impetus.
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