Ban Ki-moon's speeches

Opening remarks at joint press briefing with Afghan President Hamid Kazai following the Kabul conference

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Kabul (Afghanistan), 20 July 2010

Thank you, Mr. President. Salam Alaikum. Tashakor.

Ladies and gentlemen of the media.

I am glad to be here for today’s conference on Afghanistan. And I thank and I appreciate the
leadership of President Karzai and the commitment for peace and security, development, and
human rights of Afghanistan under the leadership of President Karzai.

I am honoured that the United Nations has served as co-host together with the Afghan
Government. This conference marks the beginning of a crucially important transition. As agreed
at the London Conference earlier this year, in January of this year, and again here in Kabul,
Afghanistan will now take the lead in shaping the country’s future. Afghans will set the priorities
and decide which path to follow. The international community will play a supporting role.

It is thus symbolic that today’s event is the first international conference on Afghanistan to be
Afghan-led and held in the country itself.

The Afghan Government presented 23 priority national programmes in the key areas of peace
and security, governance and development. President Karzai and his Government have
renewed their commitment to deliver real meaningful improvements for the country’s people.

The international community has agreed to realign its efforts behind those Afghan priorities. We
have also reaffirmed our long-time commitment to Afghanistan’s well being.

I am encouraged by today’s results. I have urged all partners to make good on their pledges.
The United Nations will do its part.

The people of Afghanistan have suffered greatly for many years. They continue to want only
what people everywhere want – jobs, shelter, education and health, their fundamental human
rights, safety for their children, the hope of a better future for all.

With the steps taken today Afghans have a better chance to gain a more secure foothold on that
path. With them in the lead, and with the right support from the international community, I am
convinced we can succeed.

Thank you very much.