2020 Afghanistan Conference

Peace, Prosperity and Self-Reliance

Geneva, 23 & 24 November 2020

UN office in Geneva


The Afghanistan 2020 Conference will take place on 23 – 24 November in Geneva and is co-organized by the Government of Afghanistan, the Government of Finland, and the United Nations. The quadrennial pledging conference presents an important opportunity for the Afghan Government and the international community to commit to common objectives for promoting sustainable development, prosperity, and peace in Afghanistan. An aim of the conference is to commit the Afghan government and the international community to shared development objectives for 2021 – 24, to coordinate development cooperation, and to ensure financial support for the Afghan administration. In addition to the pledges of financial support, a joint political declaration and a new aid architecture are the anticipated outcomes of the conference. The ministerial level pledging conference is expected to bring together more than seventy countries as well as international organizations and agencies. It was last held in 2016 in Brussels and in Tokyo in 2012.


The Afghanistan 2020 Conference takes place at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. The event follows a hybrid format where participation is possible both in-person or virtually.

Inquiries on practical arrangements for the conference can be addressed to the Ministry of Finance, Government of Afghanistan, and the Finnish Afghanistan 2020 Conference Task Force.



Communiqué 2020 Afghanistan Conference

The 2020 Afghanistan Conference adopted a communiqué calling for an immediate, permanent, and comprehensive ceasefire. Partners also called for a meaningful peace process with the participation of women and youth, as well as ethnic, religious, and other minorities. The communiqué establishes a renewed partnership to strengthen a sovereign, unified, democratic, and peaceful Afghanistan on its path towards prosperity and self-reliance for the benefit of all Afghans. The communique is also available in Dari &  Pashto.

Afghanistan Partnership Framework (APF)

Afghanistan and the international community have entered a new phase of cooperation, as articulated in the Afghanistan Partnership Framework, marked by conditionality, and enhanced joint review mechanisms to ensure results and impact for the people of Afghanistan. The final document was negotiated and agreed between the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and its development partners. The APF is also available in Dari &  Pashto.

Afghanistan’s National Peace and Development Framework for 2021-25 (ANPDF II)

At the 2020 Afghanistan Conference international partners welcomed the second version of the Afghanistan National Peace and Development Framework, which provides the Afghan government’s vision, strategy, and plan for the next five years (2021-25). The ANPDF - II is also available in Dari &  Pashto.

Other Documents

Programme, Logistics Note, GMAF Report, COVID-19 FactsheetPalais des Nations mapIndico Quick Guide for Participants , Guide for Virtual Participants


Monday 23 November 2020

10:00 – 12:00 (Geneva Time)

1) Sustainable peace building

The Afghanistan peace negotiations that started two months ago offer new perspectives for peaceful development, after nearly four decades of conflict. While the start of talks is an achievement, in order to ensure a just and lasting peace, the process must be inclusive and participatory, at all stages and all levels of discussion.

The ‘Sustainable Peace Building’ side event, co-hosted by the Government of Afghanistan, European Union, and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, will bring together key decision-makers from the Afghan government, the international community and civil society to discuss and promote inclusive and participatory approaches to peace building. The event will be divided into two segments, the first on safeguarding and strengthening human rights and women’s participation and the second on reintegrating refugees and returnees. Both segments address key prerequisites for a successful peace process.

Welcome and opening remarks by co-chairs:

  • AFG: H.E. Mohammad Haneef Atmar, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
  • EU: H.E. Janez Lenarčič, European Commissioner for Crisis Management

Keynote addresses:

  • AFG: H.E. Rula Ghani, First Lady of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
  • AFG: H.E. Seyed Sadat Mansoor Naderi, State Minister of Peace of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
  • UN: Ms Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

 Segment A: Safeguarding and strengthening human rights and women’s participation

  Opening remarks:

  • AFG: Mr Mohammad Masoom Stanekzai, Chief Negotiator, Afghanistan Peace Negotiation Team

Panel discussion:

  • UN: Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director, UN Women 
  • NO: H.E. Ine Eriksen Søreide, Minister of Foreign Affairs
  • SE: H.E. Robert Rydberg, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs
  • DE: H.E. Martin Jäger, State Secretary, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development
  • AFG: Ms Shaharzad Akbar, Chairperson, Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission
  • AFG: Dr (Ms) Habiba Sarabi, Afghanistan Peace Negotiation Team
  • CSO: Ms Mary Akrami, Executive Director, Afghan Women’s Network

Concluding remarks:

  • AFG: H.E. (Ms) Hasina Safi, Minister of Women's Affairs

 Segment B: Reintegrating refugees and returnees           

Opening remarks:

  • UN: Mr Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees

Panel discussion:

  • AFG: H.E. Noor Rahman Akhlaqi, Minister for Refugees and Repatriation
  • UK: Baroness Liz Sugg, Minister for Sustainable Development, Foreign,

Commonwealth and Development Office

  • WB: Mr Hartwig Schafer, Vice-President South Asia
  • UN: Mr António Vitorino, Director General, International Organization for Migration
  • CSO: Ms Charlotte Slente, Secretary General, Danish Refugee Council 
  • Afghan Diaspora Representative: Mr. Farid Zarif

Concluding remarks:

  • UN: Mr Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees

Closing remarks by co-chairs:


13:30 – 15:00   

2) Institutional and societal methods for fighting corruption

Discussion topic: State-building and good governance rely on the rule of law as well as transparent, efficient, and accountable institutions. Integrity must be built by the government and by all segments of society: from the grassroots up, and from the national level down. The anti-corruption side event will look at lessons learned from fighting corruption in different contexts and how they may be applied more efficiently to Afghanistan, particularly in light of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, such as peace, justice, and strong institutions. In addition to institutional measures, civil society, religious leaders, community elders and free media also have an important role in fostering accountability and enabling the growth of broad confidence in public institutions.

Video: “How does Corruption hurt me?”

Introduction and opening remarks:

  • H.E. Ms Alison Blake CMG, Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Afghanistan
  • H.E. Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State, UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.
  • H.E. Jutta Urpilainen, Commissioner for International Partnerships, European Commission 
  • Ms Deborah Lyons, Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for Afghanistan

Keynote address:

  • H.E. First Vice-President Amrullah Saleh

Video: “How do I fight against corruption in my country?”

Panel discussion:

  • Moderator: Ms Romana Schweiger, UNAMA
  • Lailuma Nasiri, Afghanistan Justice Organization
  • H.E. Andreas van Brandt, Ambassador of the European Union to Afghanistan
  • H.E. Farid Hamidi, Attorney General
  • Ms Heather Marquette, University of Birmingham & Senior Research Fellow, FCDO 
  • H.E. Ghizaal Haress, Ombudsperson
  • Mr John Brandolino, Director, Division for Treaty Affairs, UNODC

Concluding remarks:

  • H.E. Alison Blake, Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Afghanistan

Video: “Why is my future better without corruption?”


16:00 – 17:30   

3) Economic priorities and aid effectiveness

Discussion and topic: What are Afghanistan’s economic priorities and how can effective aid planning and partnership move Afghanistan away from donor dependence and towards greater self-reliance through the incorporation of private sector-led economic growth, trade, and regional connectivity into development plans for 2020-24?

This side event is intended to broaden the discussion beyond donor/partner funding flows to a more inclusive discussion of economic development investment that integrates all stakeholders in economic development, for growth through investment.


  • Nazir Kabiri, Biruni Institute

Keynote speakers:

  • John Barsa, Acting Deputy Administrator, USAID 
  • H.E. Abdul Hadi Arghandehwal, Minister of Finance of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan 
  • Kanni Wignaraja, Assistant Secretary General & Regional Director, UNDP


See the full 2020 Afghanistan Conference Programme
All the events will be webcast via: http://webtv.un.org/.


Inquiries: moneer.koshani@mof.gov.af 


Tuesday 24 November 2020

Interprefy & UN Web TV / Room XVII – Palais des Nations

Morning Session

Chaired by:

  • H.E. Pekka Haavisto, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland 
  • H.E. Mohammad Haneef Atmar, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
  • Ms Deborah Lyons, Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for Afghanistan 

9:00 – 10:00  (Geneva Time)   Opening 

Welcome by the United Nations:

  • H.E. Tatiana Valovaya, Director-General of the United Nations at Geneva

Opening remarks:

  • H.E. Pekka Haavisto, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland
  • H.E. Mohammad Haneef Atmar, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
  • H.E. Abdul Hadi Arghandehwal, Minister of Finance of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
  • H.E. Deborah Lyons, Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations
  • H.E. Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
  • H.E. Ignazio Cassis, Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of the Swiss Confederation

Keynote addresses:

  • H.E. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
  • H.E. António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations

10:00 – 11:00    Bilateral Statements

Statements by representatives of partner governments and organisations 

11:00-11:30       Break

11:30 – 11:45    Readout from the three side events held on Monday 23 November

11:45 – 12:00    Afghan Civil Society Joint Statement

12:00 – 13:30    Bilateral Statements

Afternoon Session

Chaired by:

  • H.E. Ville Skinnari, Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade of Finland 
  • H.E. Abdul Hadi Arghandehwal, Minister of Finance of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
  • Ms Deborah Lyons, Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for Afghanistan

15:00 – 17:30    Bilateral Statements

17:30 – 18:00    Closing and Joint Communiqué

  • H.E. Ville Skinnari, Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade of Finland
  • H.E. Abdul Hadi Arghandehwal, Minister of Finance of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
  • H.E. Mohammad Haneef Atmar, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
  • H.E. Deborah Lyons, Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for Afghanistan

18:20 – 19:00     Press Conference (online / Room XVII)

See the full 2020 Afghanistan Conference Programme

The ministerial level pledging conference will be webcast via: http://webtv.un.org/ 

Inquiries about the programme: moneer.koshani@mof.gov.af 


16 November 2020

Protecting education and addressing child protection challenges in Afghanistan

Despite the huge strides made on education in Afghanistan over the past two decades, enormous challenges remain. This event will highlight how donor countries, the Government of Afghanistan and the humanitarian community can best work together to protect the fragile gains on education since 2001. Panelists will discuss a range of topics, including girls' access to education, attacks on schools during the conflict, and links to child protection.

Organizers: Save the Children, Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack, UNICEF, World Vision International
Co-sponsors: The Permanent Missions of Afghanistan, Norway, and Sweden to the UN in Geneva 
Key notes address by H.E. Ms. Rangina Hamidi, Acting Minister of Education, Afghanistan

Time: Monday 16 November at 13.30 Geneva / 17.00 Kabul
The event will be hosted online and open to the public. Registration link
Follow the event live on Facebook.

For any questions, please contact Olof Blomqvist (olof.blomqvist@savethechildren.org).

17 November 2020

Afghan Women and Economic Empowerment – Thinking Outside the Box

Tuesday 17 November 2020 at 14:00 – 15:30 CET/17:30 – 19:00 KBL

Co-hosted by: The Agency Coordinating Body for Afghan Relief and Development (ACBAR) and Afghan Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industries (AWCCI)

While the conventional methods to help secure livelihoods and economic empowerment in Afghanistan (especially for women) include income generation opportunities such as tailoring, hairdressing, food processing, and handicrafts, more innovative initiatives have been able to bring a fresh perspective to job creation and skills development, particularly for Afghan youth. This will bring together four Afghan professionals who have introduced groundbreaking approaches that have opened new opportunities for self-reliance – particularly for Afghan women. Demonstrating their ‘thinking outside the box’, they will bring their direct voices to an international audience to discuss and share the challenges and achievements and how their business models can be scaled up across other provinces in Afghanistan with the right level of support. 

Panel members: Fereshteh Forough, Founder and Executive Director, Code to Inspire, First coding school for women in Afghanistan (based in Herat), Marghuba Safi, Founder, Peshraft Zanan, organic beauty product company based in Kabul, Sara Wahedi, Founder and CEO Ehtesab, a civic technology startup based in Kabul, Farzana Fazli, Independent Jewelry designer and entrepreneur, based in Kabul, Manizha Wafeq, Panel Moderator, President of Afghan Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industries (AWCCI), Thomas ten Boer, Special Guest, Afghanistan Country Director of Welthungerhilfe

The event will be hosted online and open to the public and will also be broadcast live Facebook.

Please use https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86907539243?pwd=T3Q0cXloQnVmZmhQcUx2NVdoR0NlUT09  Meeting ID: 869 0753 9243, Passcode: 169250.

For any questions please contact Shahrzad Amoli advocacymanager@acbar.org

18 November 2020 

Durable Solutions for Displaced Afghans

After four decades of conflict, Afghans remain one of the largest and longest displaced populations in the world. Yet, return remains an elusive prospect for most Afghan refugees. This event brings together an expert panel to discuss and exchange ideas on what 'return and reintegration' means in today's Afghanistan? What role can refugees play in rebuilding Afghanistan and what are the barriers to return currently? Panelists will unpack the experiences of refugees returning to Afghanistan, the challenges, and opportunities they face post-return, and whether or not regional cooperation can realistically facilitate long-term solutions for displaced Afghans.

Organizers: Asia Displacement Solutions Platform (ADSP), in partnership with the Centre for Asia Pacific Refugee Studies (CAPRS).

Moderator: Sune Rasmussen, Correspondent for The Wall Street Journal

Speakers: Samina Ansari (Founder and CEO of Avyanna Diplomacy), Wafiullah Kakar (Deputy Minister at MoRR), Adam Combs (Regional Director at the Norwegian Refugee Council), and Angela Moore (UNHCR Afghanistan)

Time: Wednesday 18 November at 10.00 Geneva / 13.30 Kabul

The event will be hosted online and open to the public. Please register for the event here. For any questions, please contact Evan Jones (evan.jones@adsp.ngo).

Thursday 19 November 2020

Humanitarian Assistance, International Humanitarian Law and Protection of Civilians in the Framework of the Peace Process

The humanitarian situation in Afghanistan is dire. The COVID-19 pandemic has put a further strain on the population. According to the UN, close to fourteen million people will need humanitarian aid and more than seventeen million are expected to be food insecure this winter. Humanitarian aid will remain crucial, its delivery must be facilitated and in line with humanitarian principles. Afghanistan has suffered from four decades of war, with a dramatic impact on civilians. Respect and promotion of IHL are crucial to save lives and can generate a positive effect on the peace negotiations, increasing chances of lasting peace and transitional justice.

Building on these considerations, this high-level meeting will be an excellent opportunity to highlight that humanitarian aid, International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and protection of civilians will remain key in Afghanistan, during the peace negotiations and beyond, for real prospects of sustainable future peace.

Organizers: European Union - Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), Sweden – the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. It will see the participation of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and other prominent stakeholders.

Time: Thursday 19 November at 13.00-14.45 Geneva / 16.30-18.15 Kabul

The high-level meeting will be open to the public. Additional information, including the agenda and the link where this high-level meeting will be web streamed will be shared in due course. For additional information, please contact ECHO-MEETING-AFGHANISTAN-19NOV@ec.europa.eu.

Thursday 19 November 2020

Side meeting on Support to Peace and Prosperity Through Public-Private Partnerships in Key Infrastructure Investments

The European Union and the Asian Development Bank are organizing a virtual Side Meeting on 'Support to Peace and Prosperity through Public-Private Partnerships in Key Infrastructure Investments'. The objective of the meeting is to create a better understanding of the Public Private Partnerships approach in Afghanistan and to showcase infrastructure development opportunities to both public and private sector investors, using existing examples to stimulate a wider discussion. The meeting will contribute towards the identification of future partnerships to be taken up in a series of follow-up events that will bring government and potential public and private investors together to explore cooperation in specific domains and projects.

Keynote addresses: H.E. Mr. Abdul Hadi Arghandiwal, Acting Minister of Finance (tbc), Mr. Jean-Louis Ville, acting Director Asia, Central Asia, Middle East/Gulf and Pacific, European Commission, DG DEVCO. Mr. Werner Liepach, Director General, Central and West Asia Department, Asian Development Bank

Presentations: Mr. Peter Marro, Advisor, Central and West Asia Department, ADB, Ms. Isabel Chatterton, Regional Infrastructure Director for Asia, IFC, Mr. Felix Busse, Vice President Energy & Infrastructure, DEG, Mr. Daler Jumaev, CEO of Badakhshan Energy, speaker from the Government of Afghanistan (speaker tbc)

Time: Thursday 19 November 2020 from 9:30 to 12:00 noon CET (video conference)

Friday 20 November 2020

High-Level Consultation – Return and Reintegration: Building a Future for all Afghans

Since the launch of the Support Platform for the Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees (SSAR Support Platform) at the Global Refugee Forum last December, a series of consultations have addressed greater responsibility-sharing to enable sustainable return and reintegration of the nearly 2.4 million Afghan refugees generously hosted in the neighboring Islamic Republics of Iran and Pakistan. These include the Inaugural Meeting of the Core Group of the SSAR Support Platform (7 October), the 7th Meeting of the SSAR Quadripartite Steering Committee (1 October), and the High-Level Meeting on the SSAR Support Platform (6 July).

Building upon these, the UNHCR High Commissioner will convene a virtual High-Level Consultation on “Return and Reintegration: Building a Future for All Afghans,” on 20 November, at 10:00 a.m. (Geneva).  Panelists will include a broad range of partners, and consideration will be given to the linkage between inclusive planning for return and reintegration and the peacebuilding, market-building and State-building objectives of the Afghanistan National Peace and Development Framework II (ANPDF II) for 2012-2025. The deliberations will help to inform discussions at the 2020 Afghanistan Conference, which is being co-hosted by the Governments of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Finland, and the United Nations from 23-24 November. 

Additional information, including the agenda and a link to listen to the consultations via Zoom, will be shared in due course. For additional information, please contact SSAR-Secretariat@unhcr.org.

Launch Event


Media accreditation to the Conference is handled by the United Nations Information Service (UNIS) in Geneva, with registration open until 20 November 2020.

Media are advised to note that physical access to media events in the Palais des Nations in Geneva will be limited due to Covid-19 restrictions and seating is on a first come first-served basis.

All conference proceedings will webcast live on webtv.un.org.  Accredited media can also attend the press conference virtually. A media advisory with further news, including specific information for broadcasters, will be published at the proper time.

Media representatives are asked to pay close attention to all Covid-19 measures announced by the Swiss authorities and the United Nations Office at Geneva.

Register here: https://indico.un.org/event/35368/

Please note that this registration is open only for media representatives and a separate registration for other participation in the Conference will be available soon.



Shamroz Khan, Director of Communications & Spokesperson, Ministry of Finance of Afghanistan,
shamroz.masjidi@mof.gov.af, tel. +93 (0) 797 332 334

Liam McDowall, Chief, Strategic Communications, United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan,
mcdowalll@un.org, tel. +93 (0) 728 426 195

Johanna Kaprio, Communications Coordinator, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland,
johanna.kaprio@formin.fi, tel. +358 50 522 8916



The Fourth Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) hosted by the Ministry of Finance in collaboration with UNAMA and Finland Government brought together the international community, civil society, private sector, and other key stakeholders from the government to advance the Afghanistan National Peace and Development Framework (ANPDF) agenda prior to the upcoming Geneva Mutual Accountability Framework (GMAF). The Meeting reviewed key achievements and policy issues and encouraged wide range discussions around the economic impact of Covid-19, poverty, unemployment, development, peace, and the outlook. 

The meeting reaffirmed the commitment of international partners in support of the Afghan Government while seeking assurance of significant reforms, transparency, and accountability for future assistance.

President Ghani highlighted significant achievements of the government, acknowledged the contributions of the international community and partners and reaffirmed the commitment of the Afghan Government in brining significant reforms across key areas to ensure inclusive economic growth and achieving a sustainable peace and development in the upcoming five years.

The meeting concluded with keynote speeches from international partners, government officials, including H.E the acting Minister of Finance and the key address of H.E the President of Afghanistan.

Outcomes of the SOM 2020

Fourth Senior Officials Meeting  Dari  Pashto