Following is the text of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ video message to the Ministerial Conference on Afghanistan, in Geneva today:
President Ghani, Excellencies,
I am pleased to greet this important Conference. Our hearts go out to all Afghans who have been affected by conflict, trauma and suffering.
This Conference comes at a time when violence is widespread and genuine opportunities for peace in Afghanistan are being severely tested. I welcome your focus on the objectives of transformation and self-reliance, as set by Afghanistan four years ago at the beginning of the Transformation Decade.
The Geneva Mutual Accountability Framework, which will guide us until 2020, puts development and reform in the crucial context of contributing to peace and security. I hope that today’s event can generate further efforts to achieve the stability for which Afghans have yearned for so long.
As the international community, we must come together to enable the success of an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process – and sustain that solidarity once a peace agreement has been reached. I wish you a most productive and fruitful conference.