contribution of the ASEAN Standing Committee and ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) as well as their chairs towards a peaceful settlement of these issues.
The Ministers reiterated their commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Afghanistan. They welcomed the Bonn Agreement signed 5 December 2001, as an important step in the commencement of political activity in Afghanistan. They also welcomed the successful convening of the Emergency Loya Jirga, held from 11 – 19 June 2002, the election of President Karzai as the Head of State, by a secret ballot, the adoption of the new Constitution by Afghanistan’s Constitutional Grand Assembly on 4 January 2004 and the establishment of the Transitional Authority, and expressing its full support for President Karzai and the Transitional Authority.
The Ministers recognised that the challenges faced by the Afghanistan Transitional Authority and by the Afghan people are enormous. They expressed the Movement’s resolve to contribute to Afghanistan’s reconstruction and rehabilitation. They noted with satisfaction that individual Member Countries of the Movement had already taken several concrete measures to assist Afghanistan with humanitarian relief and rebuilding activity.
The Ministers took note of the International Conference on Reconstruction Assistance to Afghanistan in Tokyo on 21 - 22 January 2002, the Berlin Conference on Afghanistan, held on 31 March and 1 April 2004, co-chaired by the United Nations, Afghanistan, Germany and Japan and thereby the strong commitment by the international donor community, including Member States of the NAM, for reconstruction assistance to Afghanistan.
The Ministers expressed their deep concern that the terrorist groups, including former Taliban cadres, were regrouping in the Southern and Eastern parts of Afghanistan. Equally of concern was that the efforts of the international community to fight terrorism were being undermined by support, protection and shelter that these forces of destabilisation continued to receive
The Ministers believed that the establishment of peace and security was essential for the reconstruction efforts to be successful in Afghanistan. They also expressed hope that the holding of presidential elections on 9 October 2004 and parliamentary election in April 2005 for which many countries have extended co-operation, will pave the way towards the restoration of full democracy in Afghanistan. They stressed that the efforts of the international community on Afghanistan should be co-ordinated through inclusive and co-operative forums, rather than through competitive and exclusive groupings.
The Ministers welcomed the Kabul Declaration on Good Neighbourly Relations of 22 December 2002, in which a commitment to constructive and supportive bilateral relationships based on the principles of territorial integrity, mutual respect, friendly relations, co-operation and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs have been reaffirmed.