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

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid