Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, December 10th, 2018

Geneva Conference: A Golden Opportunity for Afghanistan

The Afghan Government and United Nations co-host the Geneva Conference that was kicked off on 27 November and will end on November 28, 2018. This is the 13th high-level international conference since 2001 held on Afghanistan. This conference aims at peace efforts and development, but it is also focused on an opportunity to assess the Afghan government’s reform efforts and reconfirm commitments made by donors to Afghanistan at the Brussels conference in 2016. 
President Ghani left Kabul on Monday for Switzerland to attend Geneva Conference on Afghanistan and deliver a speech. About 62 countries and representatives of more than 35 international organizations have attended the summit.
This conference shows the solidarity of the international community with the Afghan people and the government in their efforts for peace and prosperity; and for the Afghan government to renew its commitment to development and reform. As a result, it is a key moment for the government and international community to demonstrate progress and commitment, and maintain the momentum for elections and opportunities for peace in Afghanistan.
The conference also is an opportunity for emphasizing on the importance of the development and reform agenda and the need to advance it as a constructive contribution to peace and security. This particular conference is also crucial in measuring results against the $15.2 billion committed by the international community for Afghanistan in 2016.
This Conference on Afghanistan is held between two pledging conferences: the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan (2016) and the next pledging conference expected to be held in 2020.
Key Messages of Afghanistan to the Conference
Afghanistan will transform from an aid dependent country to a reliable international partner. Afghanistan has developed and implemented crucial programs in public administration capacity building and revenue reform and this trend needs to continue. Based on these programs, Afghanistan has initiated reforms in customs, revenue generation, improving trade and transit systems, opening new trade air and land corridors that they would enable the country to increase its revenue to b billions by 2024. Afghanistan enjoys good capacity in trade and transit. The international community shall support Afghanistan in business development, investment schemes and regional connectivity. Afghanistan requires to be supported in marketing for its high quality goods and products abroad.  In addition to this, Afghanistan enjoys a relatively high skilled and qualified human resource that enables it to implement its plans according to the domestic conditions.
This summit will give a chance to the Afghan government to call on the international community to support an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace process. However, the conference comes at a time when the US administration is holding direct talks with the Taliban, Afghanistan’s largest armed group which was toppled following a US-led invasion in 2001. As a result it is the best opportunity for Afghanistan to lay down a comprehensive road map for Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace process to be backed by both the international community and Afghan citizens.
Geneva conference is a strategic opportunity for Afghanistan. It can serve to lay a base for sustainable peace and development in the country. In other words, the Geneva Conference will change the fate of the Afghan people and will enable the Afghan government to have breakthrough progress in peace, security and other fields in the near future.