News / Asia

    Karzai: Afghanistan on 'Long Journey to Self-Reliance'

    Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks during an opening session at the Tokyo Conference on the Reconstruction of Afghanistan, in Tokyo, Japan, July 8, 2012. Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks during an opening session at the Tokyo Conference on the Reconstruction of Afghanistan, in Tokyo, Japan, July 8, 2012.
    x
    Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks during an opening session at the Tokyo Conference on the Reconstruction of Afghanistan, in Tokyo, Japan, July 8, 2012.
    Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks during an opening session at the Tokyo Conference on the Reconstruction of Afghanistan, in Tokyo, Japan, July 8, 2012.
    VOA News
    Afghan President Hamid Karzai says his country is embarking on a "long journey to self-reliance."

    Speaking Sunday at a donors conference in Tokyo, Karzai said Afghanistan is facing "years of hard work" as international troops stationed in the South Asian nation initiate their exit.  

    Senior world officials are in attendance at the conference, including U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who has offered assurance the United States will not abandon the Afghan people after U.S. combat troops leave the country in 2014.

    She told the conference, "We must ensure that the transition is irreversible and that Afghanistan can never again be a safe haven for international terrorism."

    Afghan Security Still Threatened

    President Karzai said while Afghanistan has taken an important stride towards democratization with a new constitution, the country still faces a major threat to its security.

    Karzai said, “Afghanistan continues to face grave risks from common threats, notably terrorism and extremism.  These threats do not affect Afghanistan’s security alone.  Indeed, the region as a whole, and the world beyond, will not be secure for as long as the menaces of terrorism and extremism persist, enjoying sanctuaries and support in some corners of the region beyond Afghanistan’s borders.”

    Karzai said corruption in Afghanistan has undermined previous aid efforts and he promised to do more to bring it under control.

     “Corruption in particular is a menace that has undermined the effectiveness, cohesion and legitimacy of our institutions.  We will fight corruption with strong resolve wherever it occurs, and ask the same of our international partners.  Together we must stop the practices that feed corruption or undermine the legitimacy and effectiveness of national institutions,” said Karzai.

    U.N. Chief Urges International Support

    U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Afghanistan stands at a critical point in its history as it prepares for a transition to a more stable future.  He said Afghanistan need strong support through its transition.

    “But let us be clear.  Transition must not translate into short-term measures only.  We should give the people of Afghanistan a long-term perspective and prospect of a better future, and ease their worries that Afghanistan may be abandoned,” said the U.N. chief.

    Ban told the conference international donors should make their assistance reliable and predictable, without unreasonable conditions.

    He said, “At the same time, it is of course Afghanistan itself that bears the primary responsibility to live up to its obligations to better serve its people in line with the commitments made in Bonn, Kabul and London.”

    Before the conference started, Clinton announced that Washington has declared Afghanistan a major non-NATO ally, a step that will allow Afghanistan to receive more and faster help on security matters.  

    Donors at the Tokyo conference pledged $4 billion a year in long-term civilian support, totaling $16 billion through 2015.

    You May Like

    Can EU Survive a Brexit?

    Across Europe politicians are asking if the British vote to leave the European Union will set in motion dynamics that will see other member states leave too

    Video Entrepreneurs Tackle Sexual Harassment, Rural Health Care at Global Summit

    VOA talks to enterprising business people from India, Nigeria, Myanmar about their programs to help their respective countries overcome obstacles

    Key African Anti-Venom About to Permanently Run Out

    The tale of Fav-Afrique’s demise is a complicated one that reflects a deeper crisis brewing in global public health

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Britain’s Vote to Leave EU Sends Shockwaves Through Global Marketsi
    X
    June 24, 2016 10:43 AM
    Britain’s historic decision to leave the European Union is sending shockwaves through global markets. Markets from Tokyo to Europe tumbled Friday under the uncertainty the ballot brings, while regional leaders in Asia took steps to limit the possible fallout. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Britain’s Vote to Leave EU Sends Shockwaves Through Global Markets

    Britain’s historic decision to leave the European Union is sending shockwaves through global markets. Markets from Tokyo to Europe tumbled Friday under the uncertainty the ballot brings, while regional leaders in Asia took steps to limit the possible fallout. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.
    Video

    Video During Ramadan, Faith and Football Converge in Lebanon’s Megadome

    In Beirut, a group of young entrepreneurs has combined its Muslim faith and love of football to create the city's newest landmark: a large, Ramadan-ready dome primed for one of the biggest football (soccer) tournaments in the world. But as the faithful embrace the communal spirit of Islam’s holy month, it is not just those breaking their fasts that are welcome.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora