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21st JCMB reviews progress, Geneva summit

21st JCMB reviews progress, Geneva summit

Jul 19, 2018 - 19:36

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The high-level 21st Joint Coordination Monitoring Board (JCMB) meeting in Kabul reviewed progress on reforms and preparation for the Geneva Conference on Afghanistaninfo-icon

The international community and the national unity government convened the 21st JCMB meeting at the Presidential Palace on Wednesday to discuss progress, challenges and the way forward in implementing the government’s reform agenda.

The meeting also discussed concrete work to be addressed in the run up to the Geneva Conference on Afghanistan, including holding inclusive and credible elections, moving forward on National Priority Programs, and implementing reforms.

The meeting was co-chaired by Acting Finance Minister and Chief Advisor to the President, Mohammad Humayon Qayoumi, and UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan Tadamichi Yamamoto.  

President Ashraf Ghani delivered the key note address and his Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah made closing remarks.

President Ghani focused on the peace process and next steps for building on the national, regional and international consensus for peace.

Ghani recognized the immense sacrifices of the Afghanistan National Defense and Security Forces and Afghan people, and thanked the international community and the United States in particular for their support in the journey for peace.

To achieve peace, the President said: “We are all united on a common vision, committed to a productive dialogue where direct discussion, clear analysis and agreement on action provides the basis on building mutual trust.”

President Ghani also reinforced the government’s commitment to holding the parliamentary elections on time and in a transparent manner.

Opening the conference, Minister Qayoumi focused on the achievements on the reforms agenda that the National Unity Government committed to at the London (2014) and Brussels (2016) Conferences:

“There is a thread of connectivity throughout the reforms agenda, as articulated in the Afghanistan National Peace and Development Framework and National Priority Programs,” the minister said.

He said what was more important than sectoral achievements was the collective impact of progress made in the reforms agenda across government.

“Indeed, what we are doing is nothing short of changing the way we govern, and in turn, changing what Afghans expect from their government."

Tadamichi Yamamoto, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and co-chair of the JCMB, spoke on behalf of the international community.

 “As we gathered today for the JCMB, Afghanistan faces special security, political, economic and social circumstances, including new opportunities for peace; elections; economic growth; invigorated efforts to combat corruption; and yet, increased poverty and continued insecurity.”

He said the Geneva Conference on Afghanistan on 28 November was taking place at a critical juncture as it comes five weeks after the scheduled parliamentary elections and five months before the expected presidential elections, providing them a unique opportunity to review and assess progress, accept challenges, and plan for the rest of the ‘Transformation Decade.’

CEO Abdullah in his closing remarks reinforced the importance of national unity and timely elections, thanking the international community and Afghan National Defense and Security Forces.

“There have been gaps and inconsistencies in our efforts, but it has not been a waste. Lives have been changed,” said Abdullah. "We see impacts in the areas of access to educationinfo-icon, healthinfo-icon and the democratic process.”

Minister Qayoumi and SRSG Yamamoto ended the meeting by charting a path toward the Geneva Conference on Afghanistan.

The conference was preceded by a working dinner on Tuesday night focused on elections updates.

In the meeting, co-chaired by Minister Qayoumi and SRSG Yamamoto, the Afghan government provided updates on elections preparation and reinforced its commitment to making sure elections take place on time.

The JCMB focused on seven priority reform areas:  security sector reforms, aid effectiveness, macro-economic reforms, private sector development, regional partners’ engagement, anti-corruption and justice, and implementation of National Priority Programs.

Seven moderated panels featured government officials, international partners, and members of civil societyinfo-icon and private sector and discussed progress and challenges in each sector in highly interactive manner.

The JCMB -- a series of high-level annual meetings is a platform for the Afghan government and international partners to discuss issues of mutual importance.

pr/ma

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