English | 日本語

NATO Summit in Chicago brings further consensus

The two-day North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit in Chicago ended on May 21st with excellent progress on its main focus: creating a shared vision for the security of Afghanistan in the 10 years following 2014.

H.E. President Hamid Karzai spoke at the event, thanking the leaders of the 28 member nations and their guests, including Japan as represented by H.E. Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba, for their commitment and sacrifices in the previously unprecedented global effort to free Afghanistan from international terrorists and extremists. Further, H.E. added that Afghanistan is committed to furthering the process of complete Afghanization of security by 2014, when Afghan security forces will have reached a strength of 350,000. In his speech at the event, H.E. President Karzai summarized the importance of this strengthening: “Afghanistan’s security is fundamentally tied to the security of the region with implications for global security. A stronger Afghanistan, with capable and effective security forces, will be the lynchpin of stability and security in the region, and a reliable partner of the international community. Therefore, your contribution to the future development of the ANSF, for which we are very grateful, is a judicious investment in the defense of regional and international security.”

In a declaration by NATO members at the conclusion of the summit, a consensus the time frame and process was reached, and the commitment of the organization and member states to providing strategic support beyond 2014 was firmly stated. As H.E. President Barack Obama clearly phrased in a speech earlier in the session, "as Afghans stand up, they will not stand alone."

The next stage in facilitating Afghanistan’s future development in conjunction with the international community will be the focus of the upcoming Tokyo Conference in July. H.E. President Karzai stated that at the conference, Afghanistan will submit “a strategic economic plan for more self-reliance in the decade beyond 2014. Our economic plan will aim to gradually reduce our dependence on international aid, utilize Afghanistan’s own economic potentials, and achieve sustainable and equitable development for all our people.”