Sunday, October 2, 2016

Brussels Conference: 4-5 October 2016

The European Union (EU) and Afghanistan are going to be co-hosting the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan during 4-5 October 2016. More than 70 countries and 20 international organizations and agencies are expected to participate. The aim of the conference is to endorse a program of comprehensive reforms within the Afghan government and society that will ensure the continued support of the international community (funding, military assistance, etc.). The results of the conference will likely provide additional assurance to the Afghan government and people of the support of the international community over the next several years. Whether the conference results are instrumental in the attainment of reforms by the Afghan government is very much in question.

President Ghani and CEO Abdullah will be attending as well as other Afghan governmental officials. Afghanistan will attempt to present in a positive light the achievements it has made since 2014 and also highlight its vision of peace, stability, and prosperity for Afghanistan for the next several years.

It will be interesting to see if the European nations (and others) accept Afghanistan's attempts to convince them that progress is being made in the oversight and accountability of funding, on women's issues, and on important reforms that will provide good governance and reduce the rampart corruption.

Also, an interesting aspect will be what concessions Afghanistan will make in regards to the thousands of Afghans who illegally found their way to Europe and who the European nations would like to repatriate. A news report in The Guardian (Sep 28, 2016) states that there is a secret European Union memorandum that Afghanistan will need to agree to accepting 80,000 deportees or lose aid.

Read more about the conference:
EU Statement, European Union, September 27, 2016.
EU Memo on Afghan Refugees, European Union, 3 March 2016.
"Will the World Keep Funding Afghanistan?", The Diplomat, Sep 29, 2016.

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