Remarks by the High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini upon arrival at the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan
Brussels, 5 October 2016
Around 100 delegations, more than 70 countries and 20 international organisations, Secretary General of the United Nations [Ban Ki-Moon], all gathered here in Brussels to express continued support to Afghan people, first of all, and Afghan women. We started this two days of meetings yesterday by a conference on empowering women in Afghanistan with the First Lady [Rula Ghani] and the President [Ashraf Ghani], to express full support of international community not only with words but also with our financial support.
I expect today to collect pledges from around the world at the same level, similar level that the international community has mobilised so far. When it comes to the European Union and the Member States, we will pledge €1.2 billion. I would expect similar levels of engagement from our partners.
But this is not only about money, this is also about political support. The financial support I am sure will be there. There will not be any donors' fatigue on Afghanistan, provided that we will work and we will continue to work with our Afghan partners for the Afghan leadership to deliver for their people. But it will be also a matter of political support.
I have organised yesterday night a meeting, a regional dinner with key international players – the Secretary General of the United Nations, US Secretary Kerry - and also key regional players, such as China, India, Pakistan at a ministerial level, to work on a common basis for a regional political support to the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan. Yesterday night we found common ground to support this process also with the regional perspective; and the European Union will try to facilitate this as much as possible in the coming months.
Because we see very clearly that security and development go hand-in-hand in Afghanistan. And security and development in Afghanistan is key to the region and also to the international community, including European Union. So today I would expect that we will have a full day of work, a clear commitment, not only international community but also from the regional actors and also from our Afghan friends, showing unity and determination for the benefit of their people. - Read More