Information
  • Lead-organizer: Afghanistan
  • 11:00 - 12:30
  • Date: 22 Jun 2012
  • Room: T-6

Transistion, Regional Cooperation and Sustainable Development

Organizing partners

Government of Afghanistan, United Nations Development Programme, UNESCAP, United Nations Volunteers, UN Women, UNICEF, Afghan Civil Society, Afghan Parliament, Academia,

Introduction

NEW TITLE: PARTNERSHIP FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF AFGHANISTAN



As the Government of Afghanistan is preparing to present its plans for self-reliance at an upcoming international conference in Tokyo, you are cordially invited to participate in an exchange of perspectives and lessons learnt for the reconstruction of a post-conflict country. The following themes will be discussed: (1) The link between poverty and environment in Afghanistan where many households depend on and exploit natural resources for food, energy and livelihood creation; (2) Presentation of the government’s economic growth and poverty reduction plan; (3) Agriculture and enhanced food security in a land-locked country and (4) A local governance initiative- the National Solidarity Program- for empowering of rural communities

Detailed programme

Afghanistan has emerged as a new democracy after almost three decades of conflict. Since 2001, major achievements for improving the human development conditions of Afghans have happened in partnership with the international community. Some of the key historic achievements are: the establishment of a new system of governance based on the foundation of democratic principles and the institutions required to safeguard those principles; i.e. an elected legislature, a free and independent media, political parties, civil society, etc; significant economic growth despite difficulties imposed by the security situation; better connectivity of cities and villages through the development of critical road infrastructure and telecommunication services; considerable improvement in access to basic healthcare and major health indicators such as life expectancy at birth and under-five mortality rates, considerable expansion of primary and secondary education enrolment rates allowing more children than ever to attend schools – more than 8 million in 2012 compared to fewer than 1 million in 2001.

Despite these remarkable achievements, there are still many challenges ahead for bringing stability and reducing poverty. A large population of the country is still confronted with poverty, with environmental degradation a key contributing factor. A high rate of food insecurity of the population is caused by low performance of the agriculture sector coupled with low efficiency of irrigation systems and lack of access to markets. Likewise, rural communities are confronted with immense risks and vulnerability caused by lack of access to safe drinking water, hygienic sanitation, rural electricity and sustainable livelihood opportunities.

To overcome these challenges, the government of Afghanistan is currently devising a single development framework to stimulate economic growth; improve governance and service delivery and to reduce poverty and bring stability. As part of the framework, twenty-two National Priority Programs have been developed and will be presented at a high-level international conference for Afghanistan in Tokyo, Japan in July 2012, to garner donor support and to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of development aid

In this side event, the government of Afghanistan will showcase its plans for 'self-reliance’ and provide an opportunity for exchange of perspectives and lessons learnt for the reconstruction of a post-conflict country. The following themes will be discussed:

The link between poverty and environment in Afghanistan where many households depend on and exploit natural resources for food, energy and livelihood creation;
Presentation of the government’s economic growth and poverty reduction plan;
Agriculture and enhanced food security in a land-locked country
A local governance initiative- the National Solidarity Program- for empowering of rural communities.

Agenda

11:00-11:05 Welcoming Remarks by the Moderator
Ms. Sigrid Kaag, UN Assistant General Secretary

11:00-11:10 Opening Remarks
H.E. Dr. Zalmai Rassoul,

11-10-11:20 The National Priority Programs for Promoting Growth and Poverty Reduction in the Transformational Decade
H.E.Dr. Shamlal Bahtija, Senior Economic Advisor to the President

11:20-11:30 The Nexus Between Poverty and Environment
H.R.H. Prince Mostapha Zaher, National Environment Protection Agency (NEPA)

11:30-11:40 Sustainable Agriculture to Support Food Security
H.E. Mohammad Asef Rahimi, Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL)

11:40-11:50 Rural Entrepreneurship/Local Governance Initiatives to Empower Rural Afghans
H.E. Wais Ahmad Barmak, Minister of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD)

11:50-11:55 Intervention by the Moderator

11:55-12:20 Q & A / Open Discussion

12:20-12:30 Closing Remarks (TBD)
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