Background - Brussels Conference on Afghanistan

Working in close partnership with the international community, the Afghan people have achieved significant progress in a wide range of areas over the past 14 years. However, important challenges still lie ahead. Enabling the Afghan people to shape their own future requires progress in several fields, including:

  • building the nascent democratic institutions and reaching out for peace
  • fostering the rule of law and human rights
  • returning to robust economic growth, creating jobs and reducing poverty

Strong Afghan leadership combined with continued international solidarity and support are needed to continue moving towards the objective of Afghan self-reliance.

In July 2012, at the Tokyo Conference, it was agreed that a series of ministerial-level meetings on Afghanistan would take place to support progress in the country. The Brussels Conference will be the second of these meetings, following the London Conference on Afghanistan which took place on 4 December 2014.

At the Tokyo Conference, in July 2012, the international community agreed on the Tokyo mutual accountability framework, to provide ongoing support for the development of Afghanistan against concrete progress in implementing Afghan reforms. The framework was updated in 2015 at a senior officials meeting, as the self-reliance through mutual accountability framework. The Brussels Conference will reconfirm this framework up until 2020, based on evidence of progress delivered on mutual commitments.

2016

22 September

UN General Assembly

In the margins of the UN General Assembly High Representative Federica Mogherini met with Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani. They discussed the state of preparations for the conference  and expressed their belief that it will confirm continued international support and engagement in Afghanistan's stability and development.

The International Contact Group on Afghanistan held a special session in New York, with participants from over 50 countries, in preparation of the upcoming conference. The session was co-chaired by Afghanistan's Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai and Germany's Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Mrs. Sabine Sparwasser, with the presence of  EU senior officials.

14 September

Security Council debate on UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA)

Security Council adopted a presidential statement that called on the international community to continue its assistance to Afghanistan. It also reiterated its support to the government and security forces in their task of securing the country and combatting terrorism. 

In its address, the deputy head of EU delegation stressed that the upcoming Brussels conference would aim "send the signal of a renewed and stronger partnership".     

4 September

Session of the Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board (JCMB)

This session of the JCMB focused on the preparations for the upcoming Brussels conference. The EU expressed its commitment to a long-term partnership with Afghanistan and its determination to support the reforms and state-building efforts.

The JCMB is co-chaired by representatives of the Afghan government and the UN. The JCMB was established by the Afghan government and the international community after the London conference (2014) to ensure overall strategic coordination of the implementation of the Afghanistan compact. 

20 July

IMF approves a USD 44.9 million extended credit facility arrangement with Afghanistan

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded a USD 44.9 million extended credit facility arrangement with the Afghan government. The EU welcomed this decision, which rewards the encouraging reform progress already made by the Afghan Government and will support further reforms geared towards growth by consolidating progress on the macroeconomic and structural fronts. The EU shared the IMF's hope that this important decision will be instrumental in 'catalyzing continued support from donors' at the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan.

18 July

Council adopts conclusions on Afghanistan

The Council adopted conclusions endorsing the second annual implementation report of the "European Union Afghanistan Strategy: 2014-16".  The Council affirmed that the EU and member states' overarching strategic goal should remain the development of Afghan institutions to safeguard progress to date and to make further progress in the development of a more effective and ultimately sustainable Afghan state. It highlighted the forthcoming Brussels Conference.

9 July

NATO summit

At the NATO summit, taking place in Warsaw, European Council President Donald Tusk, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and High Representative Federica Mogherini attended a meeting on the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan. NATO members adopted a declaration, in which they stated the NATO-led efforts contribute to the wider international efforts and expressed that they look forward to the upcoming Brussels conference.

In the margins of the Summit, EU High Representative Federica Mogherini met Afghanistan President Ghani. They discussed the regional situation, common challenges such as migration and the preparation of the upcoming Brussels conference.

21 June

UN Security Council meeting on the UN assistance mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) before NATO and Brussels conferences

The UN Special Representative to Afghanistan briefed the Security Council on the current situation and the challenges ahead. He highlighted the importance for the country of securing medium-term financial and military assistance at the upcoming Brussels conference and at the NATO summit in July.

The European Union also made a statement, highlighting the need for the Afghan government to continue implementing the reform agenda and recalling the collective responsibility to support Afghanistan in this effort.

19 May

Meeting between the EU High Representative, Federica Mogherini, and Afghan Foreign Minister, Salahuddin Rabbani

The High Representative and the Afghan Foreign Minister me in the margins of the NATO ministers meeting. They reiterated that the conference will focus on three key elements:

  • mobilising joint efforts to increase the effectiveness of international support
  • ensuring further progress in implementing much-needed reforms in the country
  • securing regional support for a political process towards peace and cross-border economic cooperation

12 May

Meeting of EU foreign ministers with Afghan Minister of Finance Eklil Hakimi

EU ministers met the Afghan Minister of finance in the context of the Foreign Affairs Council (Development). He presented the new Afghan national development framework, outlining the governments reform agenda in the run up to the Conference.

EU ministers also adopted conclusions on Afghanistan.

2 April

Phone call between the EU High Representative, Federica Mogherini, and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

The High Representative and the President agreed on the next steps in preparing for the conference, including the outreach to donors and economic cooperation.

21 January

Meeting between the EU High Representative, Federica Mogherini, and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

The High Representative and the Afghan President discussed preparations for the Conference. They stressed the need to mobilise the necessary resources for the security, state-building and development of Afghanistan in the coming years as well as to provide further momentum for the country's crucial reform agenda.

2015

9 December

Trilateral meeting between the European Union, Afghanistan and the United States

Discussions focused on the preparations for the 2016 Warsaw and Brussels Conferences on Afghanistan and the latest regional security and economic developments.

2 December

Meeting between the EU High Representative, Federica Mogherini, and Afghan Foreign Minister, Salahuddin Rabbani

The High Representative and the Afghan Foreign Minister met in the margins of the NATO foreign ministers meeting to confirm the holding of the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan.

26 October

Council conclusions on Afghanistan

The Council welcomed the decision to co-host the ministerial Conference on Afghanistan in Brussels in 2016. It invited the EU High Representative and the Commission to pursue the preparations of the conference, jointly with the Afghan government.