Strengthening Nordic development cooperation in and with Afghanistan
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Original versionOslo: Norad (Norad Report Discussion no. 3/2009) 43 p.
The meeting of the Nordic Foreign Ministers in Stockholm on 18 April 2008 adopted a Plan of Action for Nordic Cooperation in Afghanistan to enable them to be a more concerned partner for the Government of Afghanistan (GoA) and the international community. The countries indicated that a joint study should be undertaken to identify differences and similarities in development strategies for Afghanistan, and the possibilities to strengthen this cooperation over time. The overall aim of an increased cooperation in the development field is to achieve a stronger impact in sectors of particular importance to the Nordic countries. A more efficient organisation of development work should ease the workload for each country. Furthermore, a strengthened Nordic cooperation would enhance cooperation among donors in general, and strengthen the role of the Afghan government in taking overall responsibility for the development of Afghanistan. The Nordic countries identified the following sectors as possible fields of increased cooperation: good governance; administrative reform; capacity building; education; respect for human rights, with a particular focus on women; justice sector; fight against drugs. It was noted that the Nordic countries differ when it comes to the delegation of authority to the embassies in Kabul, and in how decision making is related to political issues and development. These differences create certain challenges for the Nordic countries at different levels in reaching a common understanding and cooperation on specific development efforts. This assessment should take into account the Afghan National Development Strategy (ANDS), the Afghanistan Compact, the Paris Declaration, Afghan ownership, the Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board-structure (JCMB), the role of the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA), and the "Nordic Plus - Practical Guide to Delegated Cooperation". In addition to an understanding