International Conference on Afghanistan
Kabul, 20 July 2010
Photo courtesy of Eric Kanalstein/ UNAMA
Extracts from Kabul Conference communique referring to the UNODC mandate:
Undertake all necessary measures to increase transparency and accountability and tackle corruption. The Afghan Government pledged to:
- Establish, within twelve months, the statutory basis for the Major Crimes Task Force (MCTF) and the Anti-Corruption Tribunal (Special Courts);
- Finalize by October 2010 the Framework of the Afghan Government's National Priority Programs, including guidelines for clear goals, benchmarks and timelines;
- Submit an Audit Law within six months, meeting international standards, for external audits to ensure the strengthening and the independence of the Control and Audit Office, and to authorize the Ministry of Finance to carry out internal audits across government;
- Establish a legal review committee within six months to review Afghan laws for compliance with the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) which the Government of Afghanistan has already signed into law and ratified. Laws found to be inconsistent are to be prioritized for revision;
- Adopt policies governing bulk cash transfer, including regulations or laws that are needed, and begin their implementation over the next twelve months;
- Establish the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Committee with a permanent secretariat, to be fully operational in three months;
- Verify and publish the asset declarations of all senior officials required by the law, and update and publish these declarations on an annual basis, starting in 2010.
Participants welcomed the efforts of the Government of Afghanistan to update and improve the National Drug Control Strategy in 2010, with a particular emphasis on a partnership approach to ensure joint, effective implementation and coordination, capacity-building of law enforcement bodies across the government, and support the Government of Afghanistan's plan to establish a functioning system to monitor measurable, time-bound targets. In addition, participants:
- Stated their intention to strengthen international and regional cooperation to counter illegal production, trafficking and consumption of drugs from Afghanistan. They resolved to fight the illicit drugs trade by supporting the Afghan Government's initiatives and policies and to increase, with the cooperation of regional and other international partner countries, the number of poppy-free provinces;
- Welcomed the intent to strengthen the cooperation with relevant UN agencies, NATO, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), and the SCO in the field of border control;
- Acknowledged that narcotics are a global challenge and combating them requires international will and cooperation; and therefore stressed the need for Afghan Government-led counter-narcotics efforts, including agriculture development, interdiction, demand reduction and eradication, as well as corresponding public information;
- Called for the effective implementation of UNSCR 1817(2008) on combating deliveries of precursors for drug production in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and a decrease in the export of the pre-cursor chemicals to Afghanistan within twelve months;
- Welcomed the cooperation of the Government of Afghanistan with the Security Council Committee established pursuant to UNSCR 1267(1999) in the sphere of implementation of UNSCR 1822 (2008), including the identification of individuals and entities involved in financing or supporting activities of Al Qaeda and the Taliban, relating to the use of the proceeds of illicit cultivation production and trafficking of narcotics and their precursors, and recommended to continue such coordination.
Extracts from Karzai speech referring to the UNODC mandate:
Given the proven successes of national programs, my government has put forward a series of such programs that we believe can deliver effective services to the Afghan people, and that can be the primary vehicle of support by the international community. The governance of each of these programs will be designed with our national stakeholders and international partners, to ensure the highest standards of accountability and transparency.
On anti-corruption, we are taking the following measures. Our appointed and elected officials are now required by law to disclose their assets. I have instructed the amendment of the criminal law to increase the penalties for failure to disclose assets. We will simplify those processes of government where our people are
enduring corruption and abuse. The High Office of Oversight for Government Accountability will be strengthened. All obstacles within the government to the speedy prosecution of offenders will be removed. With your support, we will ensure that our other anti-crime and anti-corruption institutions, such as the Major Crimes Task Force and anti-corruption prosecutors and judges have the legal basis and resources required to act swiftly and decisively.
I therefore request the international community to deepen engagement around the following principles:
Second, given that contracting has been identified as a source of corruption, I am requesting that all contracts awarded by our international partners- whether civilian or military- be disclosed to ensure that neither high government officials themselves nor their relatives are unlawfully privileged. We must work together to agree on common norms, standards, rules and codes of conduct on contracting. This is especially important in the domain of private security companies whose very existence undermines and threatens our combined efforts to strengthen the Afghan government .
Fourth, narcotics have been a blight that has mainly profited international criminal networks and have contributed to ongoing instability. Our international partners could help immensely by supporting the creation of agricultural value chains that can economically outperform poppy production. I am therefore requesting our partners to provide us with market access and help us create the financial instruments, supply chains and value chains to make our farmers stakeholders in the legal economy, in addition to the necessary law enforcement assistance.