Non-Aligned Movement firmly believes that establishing peace and security is a necessary prerequisite for the reconstruction and humanitarian efforts in a post-conflict society. In such post-conflict situations, sustainable development, progress on security, development and governance are mutually intertwined and reinforcing in order to support stability. In accordance with these principles, Non-Aligned Movement is committed to supporting Afghanistan and its leadership in defending and preserving its sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity, eliminating the threats to its peace and security, and thereby supporting the country’s path to development and stability.
At the 18th NAM Ministerial Conference held at Baku in April 2018, NAM stressed the importance of continued efforts to strengthen the process of regional economic cooperation to facilitate regional connectivity, trade and transit, including through various regional development initiatives, with a view to promote sustainable economic growth and jobs in Afghanistan. NAM welcomed ongoing progress for the implementation of these initiatives, including the Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India (TAPI) gas pipeline project, the Central Asia South Asia Electricity Transmission and Trade Project (CASA-1000), the Chabahar agreement between Afghanistan, India and the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Lapis Lazuli Transit, Trade and Transport Route Agreement and the Turkmenistan-Aqina railway segment, as well as various bilateral and other transit trade agreements, including the transport of the first wheat consignment from India to Afghanistan through the Chabahar port and the establishment of the Afghanistan-India direct air freight.
NAM has welcomed the recent initiatives for regional cooperation such as the Seventh Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA) held in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, on 14-15 November 2017. 7th RECCA Declaration reaffirmed that regional economic cooperation and integration offered broad opportunities for growth and could assist with exploiting and developing the long term economic potential that exists in Afghanistan and the wider region. The Declaration stressed the need for advancing regional economic cooperation as an effective means to achieve economic prosperity in Afghanistan.
The Declaration further strengthened the commitment of RECCA regional and partner countries and organizations to work collectively to address the implementation bottlenecks, including the investment needs, regional cooperation and investment projects, through diversification of fund mobilization attracting investment from a diverse public and private sources including from the new investment banks and sovereign wealth funds.
At the 7th RECCA forum, many NAM Member States highlighted their efforts towards regional cooperation with Afghanistan. Indonesia highlighted that bilateral trade with Afghanistan had increased by more than 100% in 2017 compared to 2016 and that Afghanistan had the 13th largest investment realization value in Indonesia among Asian countries with 40 projects worth approximately US$ 12.3 million. Saudi Arabia highlighted the total assistance to Afghanistan since 2001 of US$ 640 million, out of which $190 million had gone into humanitarian assistance. Iran pledged support for peace and stability in Afghanistan and reiterated it commitment to the developing infrastructure projects in Afghanistan such as the construction of the road project in Farah Province, as well the completion of third section of the Khaf-Herat railway.
Apart from regional cooperation, NAM Member States have also been contributing towards the Afghan reconstruction process. India is playing a prominent role in this regard and NAM has acknowledged these efforts. India is Afghanistan’s main regional development partner; it has provided more than $3 billion in economic assistance and has built roads, dams and the parliament building. At the 18th NAM Ministerial Summit, NAM appreciated the Government of India for hosting the India-Afghanistan Trade and Investment Show held in New Delhi in September 2017, which generated potential business and investment deals worth over $250 million.
NAM has reiterated the importance of continued international support for a stable, peaceful and democratic Afghanistan. The Movement has stressed the importance of advancing regional cooperation as an effective means to promote security, stability and economic and social development in Afghanistan.