EU Ambassador Addresses European Parliament (23/04/2012)
Vyguadas Usackas, EU Special Representative and Head of Delegation, addressed the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament in Brussels.
Ambassador Usackas outlined the progress made in Afghanistan in recent years. Access to healthcare and education had increased. The Afghan National Security Forces had become more capable, however, the sustainability of improved security in many towns and districts depended on good governance and service delivery.
Looking ahead, Ambassador Usackas said the Tokyo conference in July would focus on governance and development to underline the importance the international community, including the EU, attached to a sustained partnership based on credible mutual commitments. At Tokyo, donors would recognize their unique commitment to Afghanistan and lend their support to an Afghan development strategy.
Ambassador Usackas said 'the Afghan Government should take action before and after Tokyo to demonstrate its determination to improve governance and said that progress on governance would influence decisions by the European Union on funding for Afghanistan'.
He also said that it was essential that the 2014 election was free and fair, and welcomed the start of consultations on reform of the electoral law. 'The EU fully supports an inclusive and transparent consultation process, leading to more credible elections and the peaceful transfer of power', he added.
In response to questions from European MPs on the future for Afghanistan post-2014, Ambassador Usackas said that the EU was committed to a long-term partnership with Afghanistan. In March, the EU had opened negotiations with Afghanistan on a Cooperation Agreement on Partnership and Development which would provide a legal-basis for sustained cooperation in a range of areas including development, trade and human rights.
Ambassador Usackas also said EUPOL would remain in Afghanistan to the end of 2014 and that the EU would continue to support Afghanistan in strengthening the police and the rule of law after that date.
|For further information please contact:
Communication and Information Section
EU Delegation to Afghanistan