News / Asia

    Kabul Conference Endorses 2014 Afghan Security Takeover

    Multimedia

    Representatives from countries around the world and international organizations have met in Kabul at a major donor conference for Afghanistan and endorsed the Afghan government's plan to take charge of security by 2014.

    Afghan President Hamid Karzai told donors at the international conference in Kabul Tuesday that his government is moving in the right direction to take control of Afghanistan's destiny.

    Representatives from more than 60 countries and organizations also backed President Karzai's call for the international community to channel at least 50 percent of development aid through the Afghan government.  More than $40 billion has been spent on Afghanistan since 2001.

    "I remain determined that our Afghan National Security Forces will be responsible for all military and law enforcement operations throughout our country by 2014,"  Karzai said.

    Record violence

    Violence in Afghanistan has reached record levels in recent months.  There are around 140,000 troops from the US and NATO in Afghanistan, and NATO officials predict more to arrive soon.

    President Karzai told the delegates he has a plan to legitimize his country's forces in the Afghan people's eyes in order to more effectively take control.

    "I am therefore assigning priority to reforming and reorganizing our prison system, reviewing procedures for investigating alleged crimes by the state for special appeals and for the cases of detention without trial for citizens," he said.

    Accomplishments

    The donor conference in Kabul was the largest international meeting in Afghanistan since the 1970s.  Security was tight in the capital.  Coalition forces battled insurgents near Kabul the night before, but the conference proceeded peacefully.

    U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon co-chaired the event with President Karzai.  Mr. Ban credited the Afghan government for making advancements since the last major donor conference six months ago in London.

    "We recognize that the journey from London to Kabul is measured in more than miles, it is measured in the progress that you have made in delivering on the London commitment," he said.

    At the previous conference, President Karzai pledged a commitment to improve security, governance and economic opportunities for Afghans.  Donor countries pledged to channel more resources through the Afghan government's budget.  

    Since then, President Karzai pursued a national consensus through a traditional gathering called a jirga in June.  He also has requested the international community set up a joint commission with his government to investigate corruption.

    Impact

    Analysts say while there is still work to be done, the Kabul conference was President Karzai's chance to show the international community his government is ready.

    Recently, many coalition partners have voiced their desire to begin transferring security control to the Afghan forces.  U.S. officials say they hope to start withdrawing forces next July.

    But U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told delegates at the conference that this transition is not an ending, but rather, a new beginning.

    "We have no intention of abandoning our long-term mission of achieving the kind of Afghanistan that President Karzai set forth in his speech," Clinton siad.

    She added the United States intends to continue its economic assistance and training of Afghan security forces for a long time to come.

    Support

    Regional experts say the Afghan Taliban was able to rise to power in the 1990s after the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan and the United States largely pulled out of the region.

    During the conference, international donors also voiced their support for President Karzai's offer to reconcile and reintegrate elements of the Taliban who lay down their weapons, support the constitution and cut ties with terrorist organizations.

    Related video report by Robert Raffaele:

    You May Like

    New EU Asylum Rules Could Boost Rightists

    New regulations will seek to correct EU failures in dealing with migrant crisis, most notably inability to get member states to absorb a total of 160,000 refugees

    More Political Turmoil Likely in Iraq as Iran Waits in the Wings

    Analysts warn that Tehran, even though it may not be engineering the Sadrist protests in Baghdad, is seeking to leverage its influence on its neighbor

    Forced Anal Testing Case to Appear Before Kenya Court

    Men challenge use of anal examinations to ‘prove homosexuality’; practice accomplishes nothing except to humiliate those subjected to them, according to Human Rights Watch

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Rulingi
    X
    May 03, 2016 5:16 PM
    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora