Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan – benchmarking development to key human rights indicators

Press release
en fa fr

On the occasion of the Tokyo Conference, FIDH and Armanshahr Foundation/OPEN ASIA urge the international community to take immediate steps in safeguarding and consolidating democratic achievements accomplished since 2001, as well as ensuring that Afghanistan does not revert back to a situation of widespread and systematic human rights violations and repression. The prospect of the forthcoming NATO military disengagement from Afghanistan by the end of 2014, combined with the Taliban’s increasing presence in key positions and institutions, demonstrate more than ever the fragility of rule of law in Afghanistan, as highlighted by FIDH and Armanshahr Foundation/OPEN ASIA in their joint report, “Human rights at a crossroads: The need for a rights-centred approach to peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan”.

The Tokyo Conference will take place on 8 July, and bring together approximately 70 countries and international organisations with the objective of securing financial, development and security assistance from international donors to Afghanistan beyond 2014. The conference is a direct follow-up to the Bonn Conference of 5 December 2011, with the aim of translating into action the commitments made last year.

More than ten years since the fall of the Taliban regime, there are clear signs today that the Afghan government established in December 2001 has been unable, hand in hand with the international community, to effectively strengthen the democratic institutions, ensure separation of powers, establish the rule of law, eradicate widespread corruption, put an end to impunity, and place human rights at the core of reconciliation, peace-making and development in Afghanistan.

For economic development to be sustainable in Afghanistan, it must be fair and lead to adequate wealth redistribution, in line with fulfilment of the social, economic and cultural rights of all citizens in their diversity. The international community’s commitment to support Afghanistan’s development and to provide humanitarian assistance, as indispensable as it is, must be strictly based on internationally recognised human rights principles.

We have taken note of the long-term commitments concerning the capacity-building of Afghan security forces, announced at the NATO Chicago Summit last May; however, this is only one piece of the puzzle for the stability of Afghanistan’s future, said Souhayr Belhassen, FIDH president. We therefore urge NATO member States and other donor countries to ensure that the progressive withdrawal of international troops is accompanied by an ambitious plan aiming at safeguarding Afghanistan’s democratic institutions presently at risk, and based on transparency and sound accountability mechanisms, she added.

Donor countries must strongly support the still fragile civil society and NGO community in Afghanistan, including human rights and victims’ organisations, and ensure that development assistance fully addresses the needs defined in consultation with Afghan civil society actors, including women. They need to hear the call for justice and protection of democratic processes expressed by the Afghan people, especially the youth, concluded Guissou Jahangiri, executive director of Armanshahr Foundation/OPEN ASIA.

FIDH and Armanshahr Foundation/OPEN ASIA submitted their recommendations in an open letter to the government of Afghanistan and the international community.

The Press Release is available in Japanese

- Report’s executive summary in English
- Report’s executive summary in Farsi
- Report’s executive summary in French
- Report’s executive summary in arabic

Read more