The largest international conference ever convened in Kabul is set to get underway on July 20 amid greatly diminished expectations.
During its planning stages, the Kabul Conference was expected to establish “a new social contract” between the Afghan government and people, as well as advance the process of the “Afghanization” of the stabilization process, with the international community handing increasing control of reconstruction initiatives over to the Karzai administration. Now, according to recent comments by UN Special Representative Staffan de Mistura, success should be measured simply “by the fact that it is taking place.”
Afghan officials had been calling for international donors to funnel at least 50 percent of aid through the Kabul government within a period of two years. Currently, the Afghan government is responsible for administering only about 20 percent of international assistance. According to diplomatic sources, donors flatly rejected the Afghan government proposal long before the opening of the Kabul conference. Officially, however, the proposal will remain on the table.
To read the full story
Aunohita Mojumdar is an Indian freelance journalist based in Kabul. She has reported on the South Asian region for the past 19 years.