Officials from eighteen countries met at the United Nations and renewed their support for security and development in Afghanistan. “Afghanistan is going through a crucially important transition,” said U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who co-chaired the meeting of the Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board with Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai. The board oversees a five-year development plan begun in January 2006.
Under the plan, Afghanistan is committed to work towards conditions where the Afghan people can live in peace under the rule of law, with good governance and human rights protection for all, and enjoy sustainable economic and social development. Earlier this month, the U.N. Security Council voted to extend for another year the mandate of the NATO-led international security force for Afghanistan.
In a letter published in Foreign Affairs magazine, Afghanistan’s Ambassador to the U.S. Said Jawad said, “Although the cost of rebuilding Afghanistan will not be cheap, the cost of doing too little and failing to deliver on our promises will be exorbitant.” President George W. Bush told the U.N. General Assembly that Afghanistan and other nations struggling to establish democracy deserve international support:
“Brave citizens in Lebanon and Afghanistan and Iraq have made the choice for democracy – yet the extremists have responded by targeting them for murder. This is not a show of strength. It is evidence of fear. And the extremists are doing everything in their power to bring down these young democracies.”
“The people of Lebanon and Afghanistan and Iraq have asked for our help,” said President Bush, “and every civilized nation has a responsibility to stand with them.”