U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton today met the Afghan civil society representatives at the Bonn Civil Society Forum in Germany.
At the Forum Ms. Clinton thanked Lady Ashton and the European Union for the excellent work that they are doing.
“Let me thank Foreign Minister Baird from Canada, which has been a stalwart supporter for the development of your country. I also want to thank everyone from the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission and the Afghan Women’s Network. I think the Bonn Civil Society Forum was a successful effort, for which you deserve the credit.” -Ms. Clinton
She noted that there are some important recommendations coming out that the United States will pay close attention to.
“I want to make five quick points, starting with the importance of what you do as representatives of civil society in Afghanistan and a request that you find ways to unify around specific priorities.” -Ms. Clinton
She noted there are many interests around the table, from agriculture to economic development to the protection of women, the importance of good governance, ending corruption, a reconciliation process that is inclusive and respects the rights of the people of Afghanistan under your constitution and your laws.
“So there are a number of critical priorities, and I would hope that out of your working through this Civil Society Forum and the work that you do back home, you will set some priorities that you will focus on to be sure that attention is paid both by your government and by the international community.” -Ms. Clinton
She stressed there are more works ahead of them. She stressed that the United States, committed with my colleagues around the table to working with the civil society representatives.
“I ask that you help us by being organized and as unified as possible, because we will do better together if we are working on specific outcomes in these areas that will make a difference.” -Ms. Clinton