Afghanistan remains one of the Government’s top foreign policy priorities. Developments are kept under constant review. Since 2001 there has been considerable political progress in Afghanistan. Notable achievements include the first nationwide democratic presidential and parliamentary elections and ratification of a new constitution.
With international support, Afghan-led presidential, parliamentary, provincial and district council elections are due to take place this year and in 2010. Voter registration is well under way and the third phase of this has now been completed.
We and our international partners continue to provide development assistance and work with the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) to ensure the political space exists for Afghanistan to continue to develop democratically. Building capacity in the ANSF remains key for Afghanistan to take responsibility for its own security. In 2008 the Afghan National Army participated in 70 per cent. of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation’s International Security Assistance Force operations.