Communiqué 2020 Afghanistan Conference, 23-24 November Geneva Peace, Prosperity and Self-Reliance

November 24, 2020



The 2020 Afghanistan Conference took place at the Palais des Nations in Geneva with participants from 66 countries and 32 international organisations. The Conference was held in a virtual format and it was cohosted by the Government of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the Government of Finland and the United Nations. The event took place under extraordinary circumstances, at the beginning of the final four-year cycle of the Transformation Decade, shortly after the start of the Afghanistan Peace Negotiations and during the COVID-19 pandemic. At the Conference, the participants renewed their long-term commitment to support Afghanistan in seizing this historic opportunity on its path towards peace, prosperity and self-reliance and to continue efforts for the benefit of all Afghans. The participants committed to reconvene to review progress and pledges at a Senior Officials Meeting in 2021 and in a Ministerial Meeting in 2022.

 1. We, the Government of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (hereafter called the Afghan Government) and the international community along with other partners underline our commitment to establish a renewed partnership to strengthen a sovereign, unified, democratic and peaceful Afghanistan that is on a path towards prosperity and self-reliance for the benefit of all Afghans. Under this partnership, we welcome the Afghanistan National Peace and Development Framework II and the Afghanistan Partnership Framework and undertake to be mutually accountable in supporting the efforts of the Afghan people to achieve tangible results in the field of peace-building, state-building and market-building.

2. We acknowledge the widespread and sincere demand of the Afghan people for lasting peace and an end to the war, and recognize that a sustainable peace can be achieved only through an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned peace process that is internationally supported. We call for earnest efforts by all to realize lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan.

3. In keeping with the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2513, we welcome the start of the Afghanistan Peace Negotiations on September 12, 2020, aiming for an inclusive political settlement and a permanent and comprehensive peace. We further welcome the efforts of all regional and international partners of Afghanistan in this regard and recognize the efforts of the Government of Afghanistan and of all other Afghan actors, including the two negotiating teams in facilitating the Afghanistan Peace Negotiations. We acknowledge that significant progress in the peace negotiations in the spirit of the United Nations Security Council resolution 2513 is a key factor for the delisting within the United Nations Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1988(2011).

4. We call for an inclusive and meaningful peace process with the participation of women, youth and ethnic, religious and other minorities. We affirm that any political settlement must protect the rights of all Afghans, including women, youth and minorities. It should respect the strong desire of Afghans to achieve durable peace and prosperity, and must respond to the strong desire of Afghans to sustain and build on the economic, social, political and development gains achieved since 2001, including adherence to the rule of law, respect for Afghanistan’s international obligations, and improving inclusive and accountable governance.

5. We underscore the importance of the Afghan Government’s efforts, which the international community is committed to support, to fulfil its commitment to a unified, sovereign, peaceful and democratic Afghanistan. We emphasize the need for a meaningful role for civil society, including the independent media, in this process. While respecting the sovereign right of the Afghan people to decide on the nature of the future political settlement, we underscore that the outcome, as outlined in paragraph four, above, will shape the future of international support and assistance.

6. We highlight that international development assistance and South-South cooperation bear great importance to Afghanistan’s economic and social development. We call on the international community to continue their financial support to Afghanistan, with the aim of helping Afghan people to achieve peace, reconstruction and development at an early date.

7. We acknowledge that security and stability are vital to sustainable development. We express deep concern about the continuing high level of violence and the security situation in Afghanistan, especially the number of civilian casualties and call for an immediate permanent and comprehensive ceasefire, and full respect of International Humanitarian Law.

8. We further express deep concern about the threat posed by terrorism to Afghanistan and the region, express serious concern over the continuing presence of ISIL, Al-Qaida as well as other international terrorist organizations and their affiliated groups in Afghanistan. We condemn in the strongest terms all terrorist activity and all terrorist attacks and reaffirm the importance of ensuring that the territory of Afghanistan should not be used by ISIL, Al-Qaida or other international terrorist groups to threaten or attack any other country, and that neither the Taliban nor any other Afghan entity, group or individual should support terrorists operating on the territory of any country.

9. We emphasize the importance of supporting the Afghan Government in capacity building, in particular of the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF) including the Afghan National Police (ANP) in securing their country and in their fight against terrorism.

10. We stress the important role and long-term commitment of the United Nations in promoting peace and stability in Afghanistan and welcome UNAMA’s ongoing efforts in the implementation of mandated tasks.

11. In the spirit of mutual accountability, we underscore the importance of the Afghan Government’s actions and the commitment from the international community to support the efforts of the Government in fulfilling its commitments to improve governance and the rule of law, including transitional justice as an essential component of the ongoing peace process, budget execution and the fight against corruption throughout the country.

12. We highlight the importance of regional cooperation, with a view to promoting stability and peace, as well as assisting Afghanistan in utilizing its unique geopolitical and geographical position as a land bridge to promote regional cooperation and connectivity, based on transparency, openness and inclusiveness with the aim of enhancing dialogue and collaboration to advance shared goals of economic development across the region.

13. We express concern over the cultivation, production, trade and trafficking of illicit drugs in Afghanistan which continue to pose a threat to peace and stability in the region and beyond, and call upon the Afghan Government and the international community to strengthen efforts to counter this threat through international, regional and sub-regional cooperation.

14. We acknowledge the economic development achieved by Afghanistan with the support of the international community in the past years, notably through the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF) and recall the critical role the private sector, revenue generation and a conducive business climate, that includes the participation of women, will continue to play in this regard. We highlight the need for renewed vigour in implementing economic reforms and undertake to renew our long-term support and assistance to the Afghan people in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

15. We call for all relevant parties to work closely to facilitate the voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable return, rehabilitation and reintegration of the Afghan refugees and express appreciation to those regional countries, in particular Pakistan and the Islamic Republic of Iran, that continue to host them.

16. We further call for continued cooperation between the Afghan Government, international partners, and neighbouring countries to stem irregular migration through enhanced collaborative efforts to fight migrants smuggling and human trafficking networks.

17. We note that humanitarian aid will continue to be needed for the foreseeable future and access of humanitarian actors must be ensured throughout the country in full abidance to humanitarian principles.

18. We recognize the profound challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, and their impact on Afghanistan and the well-being of its citizens, notably women, and express continued readiness to support the Afghan people towards a socially, economically and ecologically sustainable recovery.

19. We look forward to a Senior Officials Meeting in 2021 and a biennial ministerial meeting in 2022 to review progress as Afghanistan is approaching the end of its Transformation Decade.


Briefing by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan during the Press Conference at the conclusion of Afghanistan Conference 2020 

Foreign Minister Meets with the President of the ICRC

November 23, 2020

GENEVA – Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Haneef Atmar met with the President of the ICRC Mr. Peter Maurer, at the sidelines of the Geneva Conference 2020, today morning.

At the outset, the Foreign Minister expressed his appreciation to the President of the ICRC for the work that the agency has carried out providing humanitarian services to the Afghan people throughout their presence in Afghanistan. While emphasizing the success of the Afghanistan peace talks, Mr. Maurer reaffirmed ICRC’s commitment to continue its work in Afghanistan, despite challenges that an active war zone presents. Mr. Maurer praised the efforts of the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces for maintaining a positive momentum of respecting international humanitarian law in combat. He suggested a closer working relationship on issues within his agency’s remit, such as the follow-up on the prisoners released as part of the Afghan Government’s goodwill gesture towards the start of the peace talks.

Minister Atmar welcomed the idea of working together, suggesting pooling of resources to ensure better services for the war victims in Afghanistan. In closing, Mr. Maurer assured Minister Atmar of ICRC’s continued commitment and cooperation with Afghanistan.

The Foreign Ministers of Afghanistan and Finland Met at the Sideline of the Afghanistan Conference in Geneva

November 24, 2020

GENEVA – Mohammad Haneef Atmar, the Minister of Foreign Affairs met with his Finnish counterpart, H.E Pekka Haavisto, at the sidelines of the Afghanistan Conference 2020, today morning.

At the outset, the Foreign Minister expressed his gratitude to the Government of Finland for co-chairing the Afghanistan Conference, particularly the leadership of Ambassador Janne Taalas, Finland’s Special Representative for the Conference. Both sides discussed the significance of the Afghanistan Conference and its impact on current peace negotiations. They said that that sustainable peace in Afghanistan depends on the preservation of the gains achieved in the past two decades, and the Conference is a crucial step towards the building of a dignified and sustainable peace. Minister Atmar welcomed the participation and contribution of the donor countries, international organizations, and their financial commitments to Afghanistan.  

In closing, Minister Haavisto assured Minister Atmar of his country’s continued commitment and cooperation with Afghanistan.

Foreign Ministers of Afghanistan and Switzerland meet at the Sidelines of Afghanistan Conference in Geneva

November 24, 2020

GENEVA – Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Haneef Atmar met with H.E. Ignazio Cassis, Foreign Minister of Switzerland at the sidelines of the Afghanistan Conference 2020, earlier today.

At the outset, Minister Atmar expressed his gratitude and appreciation to the people and government of Switzerland for hosting the Afghanistan Conference and for their warm hospitality of the delegations.

Minister Cassis expressed his appreciation for the remarks of H.E. President Ghani and his vision expressed at the Afghanistan Conference for the future of Afghanistan in the context of development, economic growth, peace, stability, and protecting the gains of the two decades. Most importantly his vision for the development of regional connectivity and cooperation.

Subsequently, Minister Atmar talked about the path that the Afghan people have traveled towards development in the past two decades and their successful struggles against challenges they have faced, i.e. conflict, poverty, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

He also stressed the importance of the partnership framework that sets forth mutual accountability conditions for Afghanistan’s partnership with its international allies.

In closing, Minister Atmar while thanking the Swiss Foreign Minister for his government’s continued support and pledge in the conference, emphasized the expansion of bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

Foreign Minister Meets with Prince Rahim Aga Khan


November 26,2020

GENEVA - The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Mohammad Haneef Atmar, who is in Geneva to attend the Afghanistan 2020 Conference, met with Prince Rahim Aga Khan, son and special envoy of Prince Karim Aga Khan, the Ismaili religious leader of the world, in Geneva.

In this meeting, Minister Atmar expressed his gratitude and appreciation for the valuable cooperation of Aga Khan Development Network to Afghanistan in various fields during the last 19 years. Minister Atmar called the activities of the Aga Khan Development Network, including the implementation of development projects, the restoration of historic monuments and the granting of small loans to Afghanistan's poor families, useful and valuable. He called for the expansion of the AKDN and Afghanistan cooperation in economic, cultural and social sectors. 

On behalf of His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan, Prince Rahim Aga Khan assured Minister Atmar of the continuation of their support to Afghanistan.

Foreign Minister Meets with WHO Director General

November 26, 2020

GENEVA - Mohammad Haneef Atmar Minister of Foreign Affairs met with H.E Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus Director General of the World Health Organization at the sidelines of the Geneva Conference 2020, today.

At the outset, Minister Atmar, while thanking the WHO Director General for his warm welcome and hospitality, expressed the appreciation for the support and assistance that WHO has extended to the Afghan public. He added that Afghanistan requires a lot of support particularly due to the challenges that the pandemic has created.

Mr. Ghebreyesus congratulated Minister Atmar on the successful completion of the Afghanistan Conference 2020 in Geneva and expressed his optimism for a stable and prosperous Afghanistan. He highlighted that the conference marks an important step for Afghanistan and requires follow up from all sides.

WHO Director General assured the Foreign Minister of WHO’s commitment to Afghanistan and added that situation COVID-19 pandemic requires attention to prevent serious public health consequences. He said the WHO strengthening the public health sector is one of WHO priorities in Afghanistan.

Minister Atmar stated that Afghanistan is interested and looking forward to enhancing its partnership with WHO. He added that President Ghani has a clear vision of developing our health sector, with local resources and the expertise from WHO.

In closing, H.E Ghebreyesus assured Minister Atmar of WHO’s continued commitment to and cooperation with Afghanistan.

Foreign Minister Meets with the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan

November 23, 2020


GENEVA – Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Haneef Atmar met with UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan Ambassador Deborah Lyons at the sidelines of the Geneva Afghanistan Conference 2020, today morning.

At the outset, the Acting Foreign Minister thanked the United Nations for its assistance and cooperation over the past 19 years, particularly its continued support to the Afghanistan peace process.

Minister Atmar referred to the Geneva Conference as a landmark event in Afghanistan’s continued partnership with international community and thanked UNAMA for the key role it has played in making it possible.

The two sides then discussed building a sustainable peace in Afghanistan through the peace talks, expressing concern on the unprecedented high level of violence perpetuated by the Taliban and the need to reduce it, the need for the establishment of a comprehensive ceasefire. They talked about the need for the preservation and expansion of political, democratic and socio-economic achievements of the past two decades in the post peace Afghanistan.

In closing, Ambassador Lyons assured Minister Atmar of UN’s continued commitment and cooperation with Afghanistan.

Amb. Andisha spoke about the devastating and complex issue of internal displacement as the SG Antonio Guterres opened the inaugural meeting of a new High-Level Panel on Internal Displacement, (HLP). The Panel is co-chaired by Ms. Federica Mogherini, former High-Representative of the EU Foreign Affairs and Dr. Donald Kaberuka, Chair of Global Fund. Dr. Sima Samar is a member too.
41 million internally displaced persons globally. Many stranded for years in limbo after their without secure housing, jobs, education or other needs and opportunities.
Afghanistan, Epthopia and Norway are the co-conver of the GF of the HLP.

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