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The high-profile participation in this conference underlines the international community’s strong and shared aspiration to see a peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan. Today’s conference should help us define a sustainable path from Transition to Transformation, based on the principle of “credible mutual commitment” and building upon the progress achieved in 10 years of partnership.
Transition towards full security responsibility is on track and our civilian cooperation is developing within the Kabul process. The international community must now commit to supporting Afghanistan beyond 2014. To this end, mutual engagement is essential. We therefore appeal to the Afghan government to make further progress in implementing the principles of governance, transparency, justice and the rule of law. We encourage the Afghan government to continue to protect and promote universal rights, especially those of the most vulnerable members of society, women and children above all. It is crucial to fully integrate women into political and social life. We also rely on the Afghan government to uphold the fundamental value of democracy, based on an effective institutional system of checks and balances. And we look forward to a more balanced and effective relationship between national and sub-national governance.
Our efforts must focus on developing Afghanistan’s great potential, in terms of human and natural resources, with a view to consolidating a sustainable economy as well as accountable institutions and security forces.
Italy will continue to work within the EU and NATO to achieve these crucial goals. In parallel, we are developing a number of cooperation tools and finalising a new long-term partnership framework with Afghanistan.
Italy will also continue to play its part in the diplomatic efforts aimed at enhancing regional cooperation, such as the follow-up to the Istanbul process launched on 2 November. At the same time, we appeal to all the countries in the region to fully engage in the stabilisation of Afghanistan, bearing in mind that regional cooperation should be based on trust and equal partnership.
Today, we had the unique opportunity to listen to the voice of Afghan civil society, which expressed its aspirations for the future of Afghanistan. Italy stands and will continue to stand by Afghanistan, well aware that it is up to the Afghan people to take on the responsibility of moulding their own future.