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Volume 453: debated on Tuesday 28 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress has been made in implementing the National Action Plan for Peace, Reconciliation and Justice in Afghanistan; and whether she expects the programme to meet commitments set out in the Afghanistan Compact. (101969)

The National Action Plan for Peace, Reconciliation and Justice, drafted by the Afghan Government in collaboration with UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan and the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, and adopted by the Afghan Cabinet in December 2005, sets out the Afghan Government’s strategy for transitional justice until 2008. It provides for the adoption of five interrelated ‘key actions’ in order to ensure redress for victims and prevent the future occurrence of atrocities in Afghanistan: public symbolic measures acknowledging the suffering of victims and their families; institutional reform; truth-seeking and documentation; promotion of reconciliation; and the establishment of meaningful and effective accountability mechanisms. The international community reaffirmed their shared commitment to implement the Action Plan at the London Conference on Afghanistan earlier this year.

The Afghanistan Compact provides that the Action Plan is to be implemented by 2008. While the Action Plan has yet to be formally launched, many of its ‘key actions’ are linked to progress in other areas, in particular the rule of law and efforts to tackle corruption, which are covered by the “Justice for All” Action Plan launched in January 2006. Efforts are underway to strengthen judicial institutions, enhance the capacity of key Afghan Ministries and develop a coherent and progressive legal framework, with the adoption in the last year of vital legislation on counter-narcotics, the Office of the Prosecutor, and the jurisdiction and organisation of courts.