On September 26, in a high level event on the margins of the 70th UN General Assembly, the international community left no doubt that it remains firmly committed to the shared goal of a united, peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan.
In an historic show of solidarity, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and senior officials from more than 20 nations stood shoulder to shoulder with Afghan Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani to voice their continued support for Afghanistan’s peaceful development and greater regional cooperation.
While Afghanistan’s Government of National Unity continues to face immense challenges, as witnessed by the heinous September 28 assault on Kunduz City by the Afghan Taliban, the Afghan people can draw a measure of comfort from the international consensus behind the Government of National Unity and the progress the government has made in advancing economic reform, combating corruption, strengthening the credibility of the country’s electoral process, and opening the door to a peace process with the Taliban and other armed groups.
Nations reserved their highest praise for the dedication and sacrifice of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces and for those of the Afghan people. Secretary Kerry, Foreign Minister Yi, CEO Abdullah and Foreign Minister Rabbani were unequivocal in their conviction that Afghanistan never again be used as a safe-haven for international terrorists and that all armed Afghan opposition groups, including the Taliban, must stop destabilizing Afghanistan and join a reconciliation process, a conviction met with a chorus of support from the assembled nations who reaffirmed their continuing support to Afghanistan’s security, stability, unity, peace, and prosperity.
Sunday’s historic meeting sent a clear message that the international community remains unwavering in its goal to support a united, peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan. It will not be deterred. It will not be waited out.
Secretary Kerry summed it best when he declared, “Make no mistake, the future of Afghanistan matters to every single one of us here.”