GENEVA, November 28, 2018 – On 27-28 November, the Kazakh delegation headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Roman Vassilenko took part in the International Conference on Afghanistan held in Geneva, where the main approaches of Astana towards the establishment of peace and the promotion of sustainable development were presented.
The main purpose of the Ministerial Forum, organised by the Government of Afghanistan and the UN, was to consider issues of the long-term political and economic development of Afghanistan, which is going through an important stage. Parliamentary elections were held in October, and presidential elections are planned for April 2019.
In his speech to the conference participants, representing 60 countries and ten international organisations, Mr. Vassilenko noted that Kazakhstan is interested in stability, economic development and security in Afghanistan and supports all multilateral formats for achieving peace in Afghanistan. The efforts to stabilise the situation in this country is one of the priorities of Kazakhstan as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council: it was for this purpose that Kazakhstan, during its chairmanship of this global body, in January of this year initiated ministerial debates on the topic of regional partnership in Afghanistan and Central Asia.
Kazakhstan has also been involved in the implementation of a joint project with Japan and the UN to improve the situation of Afghan women, as well as the holding of a regional conference on 5 September on this topic, which resulted in the announcement that Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and the EU are initiating a project to educate girls. The project involves enrolling students from Afghanistan at universities across Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. The head of the Kazakh delegation emphasised Kazakhstan's readiness to promote the integration of Afghanistan into regional economic and transport structures and noted the importance of Kazakhstan's initiative to create the UN Hub in Almaty, aimed at coordinating the efforts of Central Asian countries and Afghanistan to implement the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
“Kazakhstan stands for the formation of a regional model of peace, security and cooperation in Central Asia, including Afghanistan," the Deputy Foreign Minister said.
The Kazakh delegation also took the floor during the working breakfast chaired by the President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani, dedicated to the peace process, the “Regional Communications and Infrastructure" side event chaired by the European Commission and the Asian Development Bank, as well as the event “Afghanistan and regional partners: Development of partnership and regional cooperation", organised by the Afghan Foreign Ministry. Representatives of international organisations such as the JICA, the Islamic Development Bank and the UNDP took part in the meetings.
Following the talks and efforts during the conference, a joint communiqué was adopted by the participants, which reflects the obligations of the international community to ensure peace in Afghanistan, assistance in conducting reforms and promoting economic development.
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