UNRCCA CO-ORGANIZES THE MEETING OF FOREIGN MINISTERS OF THE CENTRAL ASIAN STATES AND AFGHANISTAN
On 7 July 2021, the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA), in partnership with the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan and Turkmenistan, convened the Ministerial meeting “The Afghan Peace Process and impact of withdrawal of International Forces. Regional Security and Economic Development”. It was the first such meeting at the level of Foreign Ministers with the focus on Central Asia and Afghanistan co-organized by UNRCCA.
Conducting the Ministerial meeting, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Central Asia, Head of UNRCCA, Ms. Natalia Gherman stated “We are holding this Ministerial meeting in a decisive time for Afghanistan and the entire region. The Central Asian states reflect the approach of solidarity and commitment to peace and prosperity of Afghanistan ”.
The Foreign Ministers of the Central Asian states and Afghanistan as well as a senior UNAMA representative shared their views on security, political and economic development in Afghanistan and its impact on interaction and cooperation between Central Asia and Afghanistan. They expressed concerns about the growing violence in Afghanistan, particularly in the North of the country, following the withdrawal of the international forces. In this context they reiterated support to the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned Peace Process stipulating settlement through peaceful means.
H.E. Mr. Mohammad Haneef Atmar, the Foreign Minister of Afghanistan, reconfirmed the commitment of his country to the Peace Process and thanked his Central Asian counterparts and the UN for mobilizing support towards this goal.
The Foreign Ministers emphasized that achievements reached by Afghanistan with the support of the international community during the last two decades, including education for girls as well as women and minority rights, have to be safeguarded.
The Ministers underlined the importance of the regional cooperation and support to the people of Afghanistan in these challenging times. A number of existing and planned infrastructural projects and the continuous humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan were highlighted by Central Asian representatives. It was a common understanding that a coherent regional engagement with Afghanistan had to be further developed.
The participants also stressed the important role of the UN in the Peace Process and in coordination of the regional and international response towards Afghanistan.