Afghanistan Conference 2020 – Programme
The 2020 Afghanistan Conference was a pledging conference co-hosted by the Governments of Afghanistan and Finland with the United Nations. Due to the serious Covid-19 situation in Europe, the ministerial level Conference took place virtually, with only the co-hosts gathered at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. The two-day event began with side events on Monday 23 November and continued on Tuesday with the main event: the pledging conference.
Official side events
Monday 23 November 2020
1) Sustainable peace building
The ‘Sustainable Peace Building’ side event, co-hosted by the Government of Afghanistan, European Union and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, brought together key decision-makers from the Afghan government, the international community and civil society to discuss and promote inclusive and participatory approaches to peace building. The event was divided into two segments, the first on safeguarding and strengthening human rights and women’s participation and the second on reintegrating refugees and returnees. Both segments addressed key prerequisites for a successful peace process.
The event was co-chaired by H.E. Mohammad Haneef Atmar, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and H.E. Janez Lenarčič, European Commissioner for Crisis Management. Keynote addresses were given by H.E. Rula Ghani, First Lady of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, H.E. Seyed Sadat Mansoor Naderi, State Minister of Peace of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and Ms Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Opening remarks for the two segments were given by Mr Mohammad Masoom Stanekzai, Chief Negotiator, Afghanistan Peace Negotiation Team (Segment A) and Mr Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees (Segment B). In addition a panel discussed the themes of both segments, more about event and full list of speakers below.
2) Institutional and societal methods for fighting corruption
State-building and good governance rely on the rule of law as well as transparent, efficient and accountable institutions. Integrity must be built by the government and by all segments of society: from the grassroots up, and from the national level down. The anti-corruption Side Event co-hosted by the Government of Afghanistan, the UK and UNAMA looked at lessons learned from fighting corruption in different contexts and how they may be applied more efficiently to Afghanistan, particularly in light of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), such as peace, justice and strong institutions. In addition to institutional measures, civil society, religious leaders, community elders and free media also have an important role in fostering accountability and enabling the growth of broad confidence in public institutions.
Introduction and opening remarks were given by H.E. Ms Alison Blake CMG, Ambassador of the UK to Afghanistan, H.E. Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State, UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, H.E. Jutta Urpilainen, EU Commissioner for International Partnerships, Ms Deborah Lyons, Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for Afghanistan. Keynote address was given by H.E. First Vice-President Amrullah Saleh. Keynote speeches were followed by a panel, more about event and full list of speakers below.
- More about event and schedule (pdf, 231 KB)
- Speakers and bios (pdf, 236 KB)
- Watch Side Event 2 on Institutional and Societal Methods for Fighting Corruption
- Watch the readout on Side Events
- Read the readout of Side Event 2 (pdf, 480 KB)
3) Economic priorities and aid effectiveness
What are Afghanistan’s economic priorities and how can effective aid planning and partnership move Afghanistan away from donor dependence and towards greater self-reliance through the incorporation of private sector-led economic growth, trade, and regional connectivity into development plans for 2020-24?
The side event, co-hosted by the Ministry of Finance of Afghanistan, the US and the UNDP, was intended to broaden the discussion beyond donor/partner funding flows to a more inclusive discussion of economic development investment that integrates all stakeholders in economic development, for growth through investment.
Keynote speakers included John Barsa, Acting Deputy Administrator, USAID, H.E. Abdul Hadi Arghandehwal, Minister of Finance of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and Kanni Wignaraja, Assistant Secretary General & Regional Director, UNDP. The event was moderated by Nazir Kabiri, Biruni Institute. Keynote speeches were followed by a panel, more about event and full list of speakers below.
- Watch Side Event 3 on Economic Priorities and Aid Effectiveness
Speakers and bios (pdf, 416 KB)
2020 AFGHANISTAN CONFERENCE
Tuesday 24 November 2020
Interprefy & UN Web TV / Room XVII – Palais des Nations
See the full 2020 Afghanistan Conference Programme (pdf, 552 KB)
Watch all statements made at the ministerial pledging Conference:
MORNING SESSION OF THE PLENARY (1/2) (UN Web TV), including:
- UN welcome by H.E. Tatiana Valovaya, Director-General of the United Nations at Geneva
- Opening remarks:
- H.E. Pekka Haavisto, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland (Opening remarks by Minister Haavisto, pdf, 316 KB)
- H.E. Mohammad Haneef Atmar, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (Opening remarks by Minister Atmar, UN Web TV)
- H.E. Abdul Hadi Arghandehwal, Minister of Finance of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan ( Opening remarks by Minister Arghandiwal, UN Web TV)
- H.E. Deborah Lyons, Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations (Opening remarks by SRSG Lyons, pdf.)
- H.E. Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
- H.E. Ignazio Cassis, Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of the Swiss Confederation
- Keynote addresses
- H.E. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
- H.E. António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations
- Bilateral Statements by representatives and states and organizations
SECOND PART OF THE MORNING SESSION OF THE PLENARY (2/2), including:
- Readout from the three side events held on Monday 23 November
- Afghan Civil Society Joint Statement https://youtu.be/EhERAUrjUfQ
- Bilateral Statements
AFTERNOON AND CLOSING SESSION OF THE PLENARY, including:
- Bilateral statements
- Closing remarks and Joint Communiqué
- H.E. Ville Skinnari, Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade of Finland
- H.E. Abdul Hadi Arghandehwal, Minister of Finance of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
- H.E. Mohammad Haneef Atmar, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
- H.E. Deborah Lyons, Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for Afghanista
PRESS CONFERENCE (online / Room XVII)
The Conference was co-chaired by H.E. Pekka Haavisto, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland, H.E. Mohammad Haneef Atmar, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Ms Deborah Lyons, Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for Afghanistan, H.E. Ville Skinnari, Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade of Finland and H.E. Abdul Hadi Arghandehwal, Minister of Finance of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
- See the full 2020 Afghanistan Conference Programme (pdf, 552 KB)
- More photos from the conference in Flickr
Information about other events related to the 2020 Afghanistan Conference:
- High Level events (unama.unmissions.org)
- Events ahead of the 2020 Afghanistan Conference (pdf, 202 KB)