Saturday, April 03, 2004

THE BERLIN DECLARATION: What follows is the so-called Berlin Declaration adopted by the participants of this week's conference in Berlin.

We, the participants in the 2004 Berlin Conference on Afghanistan,

Committed to the vision of a secure, stable, free, prosperous and democratic Afghanistan as laid out in the Afghan Constitution and as reaffirmed in the speech of President Hamid Karzai held at this Conference, in particular welcoming the announcement to hold direct presidential and parliamentary elections in September 2004.

Noting with satisfaction the substantial progress achieved under the Bonn Agreement of December 2001 in fostering peace, stability, national unity, democratization, and economic development in Afghanistan, culminating in the adoption of a new Afghan Constitution in January 2004, which lays the groundwork for an elected Government and Parliament, and an independent Judiciary, which guarantees the constitutional rights of all its citizens – men and women – and adheres to the principle of human rights and the establishment of a self-sustaining, market-orientated economy.

Welcoming the achievements in the state and institution building process, in particular the peaceful holding of two Loya Jirgas which elected a President and adopted a Constitution, the progress in creating and strengthening the national security institutions, the adoption of key legislation, the re-establishment of a Central Bank and the successful launch of a new currency, the adoption of a National Development Framework and a National Budget, as well as the establishment of Commissions on Human Rights, Elections, Judiciary and Civil Service Reform,

Noting with satisfaction the progress made by Afghans and the international community in the fight against remnants of international terrorism, and the common resolve to defeat terrorists who undermine security and reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan,

Welcoming the contributions and pledges towards Afghanistan’s reconstruction and reform programs made by countries at the Tokyo Conference of January 2002, that have helped avert a humanitarian crisis and resettle more than three million refugees and internally displaced people so far, and laid the foundation for economic development and growth in the future,

Determined to complete the Bonn Process by creating the conditions under which the people of Afghanistan can freely determine their own political future by establishing a fully representative government through free and fair elections in a secure and peaceful environment,

Determined to continue, in the spirit of the Bonn Agreement, as a common endeavor of the Afghan people and the international community, the tasks of rebuilding and reforming the political, social and economic structures of Afghanistan, with the aim of creating lasting peace, stability and economic development, and with a view to offering all Afghans in an equitable manner tangible prospects for a brighter future,

Agree

1. that while the responsibility for providing security and enforcing law and order throughout the country resides with the Afghans themselves, the engagement of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), mandated by the UN-Security Council and now under the command of NATO, and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) - at the request and welcomed by the Afghan Government - will be continued until such time as the new Afghan security and armed forces are sufficiently constituted and operational,

2. that the international community is determined to assist further in the stabilization of the security situation throughout the country, in particular with the deployment of Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRT), which also contribute to reconstruction and development efforts,

3. that it is necessary to implement vigorously the first phase of the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration program to be completed by the end of June 2004 as decided by the President of Afghanistan, thereafter to intensify the program ahead of the 2004 elections, and to continue the formation of the Afghan National Army and the National Police,

4. that further efforts will be necessary for the full establishment of the rule of law and a functioning judicial system as enshrined in the Constitution,

5. that opium poppy cultivation, drug production and trafficking pose a serious threat to the rule of law and development in Afghanistan as well as to international security, and that therefore Afghanistan and the international community shall do everything - including the development of economic alternatives - to reduce and eventually eliminate this threat,

6. that the investment program presented in the report “Securing Afghanistan’s Future” outlines the substantial further assistance required to address Afghanistan’s long term reconstruction needs, and that the implementation of this program depends as much on the continued commitment of donors as on the Afghan Government’s success in achieving the ambitious targets it has set for itself.

7. that better predictability makes it desirable for the assistance to Afghanistan to be, if possible, in multi-year commitments and, with increasing absorption capacity for a growing share of this assistance to be channeled through the Afghan budget as direct budget support or as contributions to the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF) and to the Law and Order Trust Fund (LOTFA), and that the Government of Afghanistan will continue to make every effort to enhance domestic revenue mobilization,

8. Strongly to endorse the Workplan put forward by the Government of Afghanistan and annexed herewith, to stress the importance of the reform steps and actions outlined therein, and to note Afghanistan’s determination to pursue this agenda,

9. that the international community’s assistance to Afghanistan will have a particular focus on
supporting the implementation of this Workplan,

10. That all efforts to build a new Afghanistan shall also reflect the aspirations of the Civil Society that is taking root in the country and promote the participation of women according to their rights under the Constitution,

Welcome

1. the multiyear commitments made at the Conference for the reconstruction and development of Afghanistan totalling US$ 8.2 bn for the fiscal years 1383 – 1385 (March 2004 – March 2007), which includes a pledge of US$ 4.4 bn for 1383 (March 2004 – March 2005),

2. the commitment by NATO to expand ISAF's mission by establishing five additional Provincial Reconstruction Teams by summer 2004 and further PRTs thereafter, as well as the readiness of ISAF and OEF to assist in securing the conduct of elections,

3. the further steps made by Afghanistan and its neighbors to foster regional cooperation under the auspices of the Kabul Declaration on Good Neighbourly Relations from December 22, 2002, in particular, the Declaration on Counter-Narcotics annexed herewith as well as the planned Conference on Regional Police Cooperation to be held in Doha on May 18 and 19,

Reaffirm on this basis that

Afghanistan and the international community shall continue to sustain a lasting partnership for the future, which will allow Afghanistan to complete the transition process begun with the Bonn Agreement, to reflect the will of its people, rebuild Afghanistan and create a secure, peaceful and stable country fully restored to its rightful place in the international community of free nations.
The big news here is the establishment of five new provincial reconstruction teams (PRTs) outside Kabul. The IHT reports that there will be a German PRT in Faizabad and a British-Norwegian-Finish PRT in Maimana, which lies between Herat and Mazer-e-Sharif.

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