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

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid