NATO Parliamentary Assembly


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Presented by the Economics and Security Committee and adopted by the Plenary Assembly on Tuesday 18 November 2008, Valencia, Spain.

The Assembly,

1.       Welcoming  the international community’s commitment to improve the legitimacy and effectiveness of the Afghan state and to help that country build the foundations of a functioning and sustainable national economy;

2.      Admitting that NATO’s own stakes in this conflict are very high because of the objective security challenges the Euro-Atlantic community faces there and because Allied credibility has been put on the line;

3.      Acknowledging   the gains that Afghanistan has made in recent years including free elections, increased health care accessibility, falling infant mortality rates, improved educational opportunities for boys and girls and accelerating economic growth;

4.         Yet, lamenting the worsening security situation in the country and the conditions which have allowed the insurgency to spread from the southern and eastern regions to parts of the centre, to the capital city of Kabul and now to neighbouring Pakistan;

5.      Acknowledging   that improving security in Afghanistan demands a comprehensive approach that does not rely exclusively on military measures but also includes a regional diplomatic/security policy; an unswerving commitment to stamp out corruption; a well-coordinated and financed aid and development strategy that, among other things, empowers government both at the central and the regional levels; and a broad social and political dialogue that will include those insurgent elements that might be reconciled to a democratic Afghan order;

6.       Recognizing that inadequate and poorly coordinated aid reduces the impact of international funds on development, weakens the Afghan state and poisons the country’s security environment;

7.      Conceding that international development funding is too often repatriated to donor countries through corporate profits and consultant fees;

8.       Noting that rural development represents the best long-term means both to counter opium production and to fight poverty;

9.     But acknowledging that implementing such a policy will require that farmers have access to domestic and international markets and a means to transport their produce to those markets in security and without paying protection money, bribes or exorbitant and arbitrary levies;

10.     URGES member governments and parliaments of the North Atlantic Alliance:

a.          to ensure that the financial, deployment and risk burdens associated with the Afghanistan mission are shared more equitably among member countries, and to recognize the importance to Euro-Atlantic security of stabilizing that country;

b.      to appropriate and spend the resources needed to complete this mission successfully;

c.      to develop a coherent and viable regional strategy that deepens engagement with the new government of Pakistan in a serious effort to deny sanctuary to the Taliban and al-Qaeda in the Tribal Areas of the North West Frontier;

d.       to reaffirm their commitment to continue the mission until there is a stable and secure environment for peaceful, democratic development in Afghanistan under the effective rule of law;

e.       to coordinate civilian, developmental and military operations in Afghanistan in close cooperation with the Afghan government and, when possible, to channel aid monies through the Afghan budget and to engage as many Afghan personnel and contractors as possible in these efforts;

f.      to coordinate development assistance and to ensure that the Afghan state is directly engaged in setting priorities as it has in the Afghanistan National Development Strategy (ANDS), and that it is positioned to draw legitimacy from the success of these efforts;

11.    URGES the Government of Afghanistan :

a.       to make every effort to implement the newly developed Afghanistan National Development Strategy;

b.          to provide transparent mechanisms for the distribution and coordination of aid funds according to national priorities;

c.      to make the fight against corruption and the opium trade critical national priorities and to make a particular effort to improve the justice and police systems which are essential if the state is to gain legitimacy in the eyes of the Afghan people;

12.     URGES the international donor community:

a.     to ensure that reconstruction efforts are coordinated and complement the efforts and priorities of the Afghan state, and local and regional councils and governments;

b.     to focus its efforts on poverty reduction, capacity building and rural development, all of which is vital to national economic health and key to combating the opium trade;

c.    to support effective and transparent governance by the Afghan state.