30 June 2011 - NATO PARLIAMENTARIANS STRESS SHARED RESPONSIBILITY TO GET TRANSITION RIGHT IN AFGHANISTAN
The NATO Parliamentary Assembly (NATO PA) today released the findings of a recent visit by a 5-member delegation to Afghanistan, led by Hugh Bayley (United Kingdom), Vice-President of the NATO PA and Chairman of the Assembly’s Economics and Security Committee.
Commenting on the visit’s findings, Mr Bayley stated: “with the transition to Afghan lead responsibility for security by the end of 2014, ISAF and our Afghan partners have a clear strategy and roadmap for the next three and a half years. This gives renewed clarity and focus to the efforts that we and our Afghan partners are conducting jointly to expand security throughout Afghanistan, support the establishment of good governance and provide the conditions for sustainable economic development. At the same time, as our visit showed, getting transition right, getting the right conditions in place to lead this process to a successful conclusion, is of the utmost importance.”
The visit’s findings warn of the growing impatience in national capitals and rising pressure to demonstrate concrete achievements, at a time when international engagement in
One of the key potential risks mentioned in the findings of the delegation’s visit to
The delegation’s findings also highlight two long-term risks connected with the ANSF’s future. First is the cost of sustaining the force. This cost, currently estimated at some 8 billion dollars, or 50% of the estimated Afghan GDP, will need to be borne jointly by Afghanistan and the international community for years to come, the delegation’s report warns. Accountability and democratic control of the ANSF are also essential to counter the risk of
In this regard, continued support for the development of institutions of governance remained essential. In meetings with their counterparts from the Afghan Parliament, members of the delegation stressed the NATO PA’s willingness to strengthen the existing partnership between the Afghan Parliament and the NATO PA, and seek ways to assist with capacity-building efforts for the Parliament. “Afghan parliamentarians also need a direct communication channel to NATO authorities, which they can use to share their concerns”, Mr Bayley stressed; “existing links between the Afghan Parliament and the office of the NATO Senior Civilian Representative can serve this function, and could be developed”.
The report also discusses a number of other challenges, including the long-term financial sustainability of
“The road ahead might not be entirely smooth, and we need to take these risks very seriously, but the transition to Afghan lead is our shared goal and responsibility“, Mr Bayley said. “I would like to pay tribute to the commitment and dedication of our military and civilian personnel engaged in this vital effort.”