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Remarks by Mnister Petricek to the Geneva Ministerial Conference on Afghanistan
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Remarks by Mnister Petricek to the Geneva Ministerial Conference on Afghanistan


November 28, 2018, Geneva

First, let me thank the Afghan Government, the UNAMA and EEAS for organizing this high-level Conference.

Let me begin by confirming the continued support of the Czech Republic for the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.  The Czech Republic is fully aware of its responsibility and is determined to stay in Afghanistan together with our coalition partners and to be part of the efforts of international community in achieving stability of the country and prosperity for Afghan people.  To contribute to this process the Czech Government decided to maintain its annual on-budget contributions in the period 2018-2020. We also maintain our troops contribution to the Resolute Support Mission.

Reviewing the progress in reforms implemented so far we can see that significant achievements have been made but serious challenges still remain. To secure sustainability of the partnership between Afghanistan and international community, the reform efforts need to be vigorously continued. Therefore, the Czech Republic welcomes the adoption of the new accountability framework for the period 2019-2020 – The Geneva Mutual Accountability Framework, with new reform objectives and commitments.

We understand that challenges the Afghan Government is facing are formidable. However, the main part of the work still lies ahead. We support inclusive, Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process and we are fully aware of the fact that only after successful peace negotiations the most important task, which is implementation of the peace agreement, will begin. We expect all regional partners and stakeholders to candidly take part in the process.

The most serious challenges standing in front of the Afghan Government are the reform in the security sector, reform of agriculture, which should improve food security and reduce level of the poverty in the country hit by serious climate changes and draughts. It is necessary to develop the transport and energy infrastructure. Enhancing employment and reform of the educational system is not less important. For the success of all reforms decisive anti-corruption measures are crucial.

Allow me to stress the key importance of the October parliamentary elections – first elections that were fully Afghan-owned. The keen interest across the society to actively take part in the democratic process gives a strong hope for the future. Despite the terrorist attacks and serious problems, which occurred during the elections, the most important is the maintaining the integrity of the results of the elections. Lessons learned from these elections must be swiftly implemented for the preparation of the presidential elections next year.

Solution of the migration issues is closely interconnected with the success of the peace process and reforms. The safe return of refugees from neighbouring countries and their sustainable reintegration into the Afghan society through the reintegration programmes is crucial. We welcome the Joint Way Forward on Migration Issues between Afghanistan and the EU as an important step in this direction. Czech Republic is ready to continue its assistance to the returnees through cooperation with the Afghan Government and UN agencies.

To conclude, let me repeat that the Czech Republic stays focused on Afghanistan. We believe that this Conference will give a new momentum to implement necessary reforms and bring about a reinforced regional cooperation with active participation of all Afghanistan’s neighbours and international community.  

Thank you for your attention.