News story

Afghanistan: A year on from Tokyo Conference

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

DFID Permanent Secretary Mark Lowcock speaks about the next 12 months for Afghanistan.

Mark Lowcock, DFID’s Permanent Secretary, represented the UK government at the senior officials’ meeting in Afghanistan. The meeting was an opportunity to take stock on the commitments made in Tokyo last year – under the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework. Both the Afghan government and international community undertook a joint assessment of progress against the Tokyo framework in areas such as elections, women’s rights and the economy.

It comes at an important time for Afghanistan – as the country prepares to complete two significant transitions - security and political.

Mark Lowcock said:

The next 12 months will be critical for the future of this country. Working together, the Afghan government and its international partners have a unique chance to set the conditions for political, security and economic transition.

But we must be honest in our assessment of progress and focus on areas where continued reform is needed. Failure to deliver these reforms could jeopardise the long term stability of the country.

He concluded:

In the UK, we remain deeply committed to Afghanistan for the long term. We will not let the people of Afghanistan down. The UK looks forward co-chairing with Afghan Government the 2014 Ministerial meeting; we expect this will take place three to six months after the formation of the next government.

Mutual accountability is at the centre of the UK’s partnership with the government – and our ability to sustain long-term support will depend on the government delivering a strong reform agenda as defined at Tokyo.

Read Mark Lowcock’s full speech.