Reforms to attract foreign assistance: Zakhilwal
KABUL CITY (PAN): There is no guarantee of the Tokyo Conference benefitting Afghans in the absence of effective steps to tackle corruption and reform government institutions, a Cabinet minister acknowledged on Tuesday.
Finance Minister Omar Zakhilwal told participants of a workshop, arranged by the Afghan Women’s Network (AWN), they were optimistic that next month’s meeting would result in more international assistance to Afghanistan.
The Tokyo conference is to seek decade-long international assistance for Afghanistan’s infrastructure development projects.
The workshop "From Bonn to Tokyo – Afghan Women beyond 2014" was focused on good governance, accountability, peace and reintegration, long-term international commitment and equal job opportunities for men and women.
Zakhilwal said the government was required to take tough decisions on reforms in its departments to enable them to offer good services to the people.
Calling the next ten years as crucial for Afghanistan’s development, the minister said they had worked out a comprehensive plan on how to implement development policies and would seek support for the plan at the Tokyo meeting.
Zakhilwal said Afghanistan was about 90 percent dependent on foreign aid and national development policies needed continued international assistance.
United Nations Special Representative to Afghanistan Jan Kubis on occasion said the main issue to be conferred on at the Tokyo summit was the situation of Afghan women.
He added the Tokyo conference was very important because Afghanistan needed humanitarian assistance at a time when it was entering a new era.
He expressed his deep concerns over the situation of Afghan refugees in neighbouring countries, saying they needed to be provided education facilities on a priority basis.
Also present on the occasion was Japan’s deputy ambassador, Seiji Okada, who said his country would continue to support Afghanistan in diverse fields. He hoped Afghanistan would be listed among developed and democratic nations after a decade.
On the last day of the workshop, the AWN asked the international community for long-term assistance towards development projects to help improve the capacity of Afghan women.
Members of the civil society group said they would present 49 proposals to the Tokyo conference through its 30 representatives.
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