Documents: Full Text of the Tashkent Declaration

As reproduced by The Institute for Afghan Studies


Tashkent Declaration on Fundamental Principles for a Peaceful Settlement of the Conflict in Afghanistan

The Deputy Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the "Six plus Two" group, composed of the States bordering on Afghanistan- the People's Republic of China, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and the Republic of Uzbekistan - as well as the Russian Federation and the United States of America, having met in Tashkent on July 19th, 1999 with the participation of the Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General for Afghanistan, Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi, having considered the situation in Afghanistan, being sincere friends of the Afghan people and desiring peace and prosperity for Afghanistan, have confirmed the following principles.

We express the profound concern of our Governments at the continuing military confrontation in Afghanistan, which is posing a serious and growing threat to regional and international peace and security.

We remain committed to a peaceful political settlement of the Afghan conflict, in accordance with relevant provisions of resolutions and decisions of the General Assembly and the Security Council of the United Nations, and we, in particular, recall the "talking points" and the "points of common understanding", adopted earlier by the countries of the "Six plus Two" group (A/52/826- S/1998/222, annex, and A/53/455-S/1998/913, annex, respectively).

We confirm that the United Nations, as a universally recognized intermediary, must continue to play a central and impartial role in international efforts to achieve a peaceful resolution of the Afghan conflict and we reaffirm our full support for the efforts of the Special Envoy of the SecretaryGeneral for Afghanistan and the work of the United Nations Special Mission to Afghanistan.

We reaffirm our firm commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Afghanistan. We express our profound concern at the violations of the human rights, including those of ethnic minorities and women and girls, as well as the violations of international humanitarian law that are taking place in Afghanistan.

We are deeply distressed with the steady increase in the cultivation, production and illicit trafficking of narcotics and the illegal sale of arms, which have far-reaching unfavorable consequences not only for the region but beyond it as well.

We are also concerned at the use of Afghan territory, especially areas controlled by the Taliban, to conceal and train terrorists, and the fact that dangerous consequences of such actions can be seen in Afghanistan, its neighboring countries and far beyond their borders.

In view of the foregoing, we have come to the following conclusions:

1. We are convinced that there is no military solution to the Afghan conflict, which must be settled through peaceful political negotiation in order to establish a broad-based, multi-ethnic and fully representative Government.

2. Accordingly, we urge the Afghan parties to resume political negotiations
aimed at achieving these goals.

3. In order to help bring about a cessation of hostilities, which we consider essential, we have further agreed not to provide military support to any Afghan party and to prevent the use of our territories for such purposes. We call upon the international community to take identical measures to prevent delivery of weapons to Afghanistan.

4. We express our readiness to promote direct negotiation, under the auspices of the United Nations, between the Afghan parties in accordance with the relevant resolutions and decisions of the General Assembly and Security Council of the United Nations and this Declaration in order to conclude an intra-Afghan agreement on the implementation of paragraph 1, set forth above. As members the ''Six plus Two'' group, we are fully determined to provide our individual and collective support to this process.

5. We consider that the negotiation process must be conducted under the auspices of the United Nations and may consist of two stages.

(a) The main objective of the first stage is to adopt measures for building mutual confidence. Such measures will include:

(i) The singing of an agreement on an immediate and unconditional ceasefire without any pre-conditions;

(ii) The holding at this stage of direct negotiations between the plenipotentiary delegations of the two main parties to the conflict ­ the United Front and the Taliban movement - in order to reach agreements, inter alia on:

Exchanging of prisoners of war,

Lifting internal blockades and opening roads for reciprocal trade and delivery of humanitarian assistance in the territories controlled by the various Afghan groups;

(b) The main objective of the second stage is for the Afghans themselves to draw up basic principles for the future State structure of Afghanistan and the establishment of a broadbased, multi-ethnic and fully representative Government within a short period of time.

6. Those of us, who have a common border with Afghanistan, moved by a common desire to take effective and coordinated measures to combat illicit drug-trafficking, have agreed, on a bilateral and multilateral basis, to strengthen effective and coordinated measures to combat illicit drugtrafficking. In this connection, we recall and confirm the important role played by the United Nations Drug Control Programme in this process.

7. We urge the Taliban to inform the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the United Nations about the results of their investigations into the killings of the diplomatic and consular staff of the Consulate-General of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Masar-e-Sharif and the correspondent of the Islamic Republic News Agency, and appeal to the Taliban to cooperate fully with the international investigation into their killing in order to punish the guilty parties.

8. We urge the Afghan parties, particularly the Taliban, to cease providing refuge and training to international terrorists and their organizations and to cooperate with the efforts to bring terrorists to justice.

9. We are fully determined to make every effort to encourage the Afghan parties to respect fully the basic human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Afghans in accordance with the basic norms of international law.

10. We are prepared to cooperate with the new Afghan Government that is to be established in accordance with paragraph 1, set fourth above, in all aspects in order to strengthen security and stability in Afghanistan and the region, bring about the return the Afghan refugees to their homes and ensure speediest rehabilitation and reconstruction of Afghanistan through support from UN agencies and programmes, international financial organizations and donor countries.

11. We call upon the international community to respond to the Inter-Agency Consolidated Appeal for Emergency Humanitarian and Rehabilitation Assistance for Afghanistan, launched by the Secretary-General for the period from 1 January to 31 December 1999, bearing in mind also the existence of the Afghanistan Emergency Trust Fund. Support for demining is of particular importance.

12. We call upon the international community to support these proposals and take coordinated steps to bring about a speedy settlement of the conflict in Afghanistan and also call upon all forces in Afghanistan to demonstrate political will and wisdom, overcome their differen ces and mutual hostility and not miss an historic opportunity to achieve stable and long-lasting peace.

13. The present Declaration is established in two originals, in the English and the Russian languages, both texts being equally authentic. DONE in the City of Tashkent, the Republic of Uzbekistan, this " 19th " day of the month of July one thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine.

For the Government of the People's

Republic of China ______

For the Government of the Islamic

Republic of Iran ______

For the Government of the Islamic

Republic of Pakistan ______

For the Government of the

Republic of Tajikistan ______

For the Government of

Turkmenistan ______

For the Government of the

Republic of Uzbekistan ______

For the Government of the

Russian Federation ______

For the Government of the

United States of America ______

As Observer

For the United Nations ______