"We must not abandon the Afghan People" - Joint Letter
On the 23th and the 24th of November, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the international community will meet for a High-Level conference on Afghanistan in Geneva. The aim of the conference is to renew international and Afghan commitments to the development and stability of Afghanistan, to agree to joint development goals for 2021-24 and to coordinate development cooperation regarding financial support for Afghanistan.
Ahead of this conference, a group of NGO's (including the Civil Society Platform for Statebuilding and Peacebuilding), coordinated by the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan, came together and shared this joint letter: "We must not abandon the Afghan People".
The letter notes that, although Afghanistan has come a long way in the past 20 years, there is still a long way to go. The country remains largely dependent on international aid to provide basic services to its people, and as the government and donors consider their priorities for the coming years during this critical conference, the letter urges all international partners to commit towards putting the Afghan people at the centre of the discussions.
The letter states that in order to adhere to that commitment, future cooperation should prioritise: the protection of human rights, including women’s, girls’, minorities’, and other vulnerable groups’ enjoyment of those rights. This includes access to education and health care, as well as creating meaningful spaces for the Afghan people to make their voices heard. The letter calls for increased support to Afghan civil society groups and individuals in a way that strengthens their long-term development and independence, it calls for protection of free speech and the freedom of association, and for support of the voices of local communities, civil society, women and youth in the peace process.
Human rights, including the rights of women, girls and minorities must be non-negotiable in the peace process; and, ensuring of accountability and improving transparency as preconditions for further support.
Read the letter here.
Image credits: © Mariam Alimi / Cordaid