Wednesday, 8 June 2016

On October 2016 the European Union and the Afghan Government will co-host the 'Brussels Conference on Afghanistan'

On 4-5 October 2016, the European Union and the Government of Afghanistan will co-host the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan (BCA). This conference will gather up to 70 countries and 30 international organizations and agencies. It will provide a platform for the government of Afghanistan to set out its vision and track record on reform. For the international community, it will be the opportunity to signal sustained political and financial support to Afghan peace, state-building and development.

Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, High Representative Federica Mogherini and Neven Mimica, European Commissioner for Development Cooperation, will represent the European Union. President Dr Ashraf Ghani and CEO Dr Abdullah Abdullah will represent Afghanistan.

The conference is expected to focus on three levels:
  • joint international and Afghan efforts to increase the effectiveness of sustained international support and funding, on the basis of a new Afghan national development framework
  • Afghan reform efforts, including on economic reform, rule of law, improved public finance management and anti-corruption so as to ensure the provision of the most important services and public goods
  • regional efforts to support a political process towards peace and cross-border economic cooperation
Side events on women's empowerment and regional connectivity will take place on 4 October 2016. In addition, an EU-Afghanistan high level dialogue meeting on migration will be organised in the margins of the conference.

Background
Working in close partnership with the international community, the Afghan people have achieved significant progress in a wide range of areas over the past 14 years. However, important challenges still lie ahead. Enabling the Afghan people to shape their own future requires progress in several fields, including:
  • building the nascent democratic institutions and reaching out for peace
  • fostering the rule of law and human rights
  • returning to robust economic growth, creating jobs and reducing poverty
Strong Afghan leadership combined with continued international solidarity and support are needed to continue moving towards the objective of Afghan self-reliance.

In July 2012, at the Tokyo Conference, it was agreed that a series of ministerial-level meetings on Afghanistan would take place to support progress in the country. The Brussels Conference will be the second of these meetings, following the London Conference on Afghanistan which took place on 4 December 2014.
At the Tokyo Conference, in July 2012, the international community agreed on the Tokyo mutual accountability framework, to provide ongoing support for the development of Afghanistan against concrete progress in implementing Afghan reforms. The framework was updated in 2015 at a senior officials meeting, as the self-reliance through mutual accountability framework. The Brussels Conference will reconfirm this framework up until 2020, based on evidence of progress delivered on mutual commitments.

> Declaration from the Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan, 8 July 2012
> Communique from the London Conference on Afghanistan, 4 October 2014
> Self-reliance through mutual accountability framework, 5 September 2015

EU-Afghanistan relations
The EU has a long-term commitment to Afghanistan and the Afghan people. In June 2014, the Foreign Affairs Council agreed on a new strategy for Afghanistan until the end of 2016.

> EU-Afghanistan strategy

The Council last adopted conclusions on Afghanistan in October 2015 and May 2016.
> Council Conclusions on Afghanistan
> Council conclusions on Afghanistan, 26 October 2015

See also:

> EU relations with Afghanistan (EEAS)
> Multi-annual indicative programme 2014-2020