Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework Special Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board Meeting

Photo: JCMB Photo 2
Photo: JCMB Photo 1

Co-Chairs’ Statement
Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework (TMAF)
Special Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board (S-JCMB) Meeting
Kabul, Afghanistan, 29 January 2014

1. A special meeting of the Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board (S-JCMB) (hereinafter called “the Meeting”) was held on 29 January 2014 in Kabul, Afghanistan. Endorsing the joint report on progress since the Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) on 3 July 2013, the Meeting reaffirmed commitments of both the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the international community under the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework (TMAF).

The Meeting acknowledged the progress made since SOM in July 2013 by both partners on their mutual commitments under TMAF and further discussed the opportunities, challenges and way forward therein. Momentum generated in the implementation of TMAF has been sustained.

2. The Meeting welcomed and appreciated the participation of the candidates for the 2014 presidential elections. The candidates observed proceedings of the Meeting and the discussions on challenges and opportunities before the current and future governments. The candidates shared their vision and supported the criticality of TMAF to the future of Afghanistan and firm commitment of both partners based on the principles of mutuality and accountability.

3. The Meeting noted with appreciation the reconfirmation of the international community’s Tokyo commitments to provide US$16 billion through 2015 and sustaining support, through 2017, at or near the levels of the last decade. Progress was noted in putting aid on-budget and on aligning aid with National Priority Programs (NPPs) and it was agreed that further progress was needed in cases where donors had not yet reached the 50% on-budget and 80% alignment targets. Partners reaffirmed that alignment and use of on-budget mechanisms play a vital role in building government systems. Also noting the importance of improved information on development results and transparency around aid will be increasingly necessary, especially to sustain funding commitments and periodically assess the relative effectiveness of program investments.

4. The meeting acknowledged that Afghanistan has made substantial progress over the past 13 years, which would not have been possible without the exceptional financial support of the international community and the sacrifices by both Afghans and international partners, while recognizing that Afghanistan will continue to require substantial donor assistance to sustain progress in reducing poverty, creating jobs and better delivery of services.

5. The meeting agreed that in order to put Afghanistan on a solid path toward self-reliance, the Government in partnership with the international community will have to continue to build upon the gains of the last decade in grounding representational democracy, improving governance, addressing human rights issues, especially for women and girls, strengthening anti-corruption mechanisms, ensuring the integrity of public finance, addressing economic challenges such as enlarging the revenue base, and inclusive, sustained growth and development as a prerequisite for the generation of employment opportunities, especially for Afghanistan’s youth.

6. The Meeting acknowledged enactment of the key election laws and expeditiously appointing commissioners. It was noted with satisfaction that the preparations for the 2014 presidential and provincial council elections are on track to be held on 5 April. The Government was encouraged to continue to coordinate and work closely with the Independent Election Commission (IEC) and Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) to ensure timely, credible, inclusive and transparent presidential and provincial council elections as per the Constitution and the electoral legal framework.

7. The Meeting congratulated the Government on the production of the First Report on the Implementation of Elimination of Violence against Women Law (EVAW). The Meeting welcomed the forthcoming release of the EVAW Law Report by the Government. The Government committed to further strengthen the database on VAW cases and continue to make progress on the implementation of the law.

8. The Meeting took good note of the International Coordinating Committee of National Human Rights Institutions’ decision to defer the re-accreditation of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) for one year, while stressing the importance of the selection and appointments process, the gender ratio of the AIHRC staff, and increased public financing. The Afghan Government reaffirmed its commitment to maintaining the standards of the Human Rights Commissioners in accordance with Article 11 of the AIHRC law and the Paris Principles to retain its "A" accreditation. The Meeting welcomed the important step taken by the Government of getting approval of the recurrent budget line in the national budget in support of the AIHRC.

9. The Meeting complimented the Government on impressive scores under Open Budget Index (OBI) and Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA). The international community encouraged the Government to facilitate passing of the Mining, Value Added Tax (VAT), and Tax Administration laws expeditiously as important ways of encouraging fiscal sustainability and broadening the revenue base.

10. The importance of a stable financial sector was noted, for which the passage of the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Countering Financing of Terrorism (CFT) laws were agreed to be necessary steps. Government will continue to make progress on resolving the Kabul Bank issues including asset recovery and the appeals case.

11. The Meeting further noted that a self-reliant and more prosperous Afghanistan can only stand on a stable economic foundation. Sustainable and inclusive economic growth requires reforms and improving the investment climate, adequate infrastructure and legal and policy environment in the country as well as regional economic cooperation. Suppressing the illicit economy, notably the production, trade and consumption of narcotics – and the supply of precursors - will be another shared task to be addressed.

12. The Meeting welcomed the contribution of civil society and the private sector and their active engagement in the TMAF process and reaffirmed their roles in the socio-economic development of Afghanistan.

13. The international community and the Government, in the spirit of mutual accountability, reaffirmed their commitment to remain enduring partners as outlined in the Tokyo Framework.

14. The Co-Chairs thanked the presidential candidates and other participants, for their participation and looked forward to the Ministerial-level meeting towards the end of 2014.