The Bonn Agreement

A 12-part document entitled “Afghanistan`s Bonn Agreement: A Catalog of Missed Opportunities,” published today by Human Rights Watch, analyzes conditions in the country one year after the agreement that formalized the end of the Taliban regime. The briefing paper outlines a number of areas where the Afghan government and international actors have missed opportunities to improve security and protect human rights. Human Rights Watch makes several recommendations to international and Afghan actors to help implement important provisions of the agreement. The Bonn Agreement (officially the agreement on interim arrangements in Afghanistan until permanent government institutions were restored) was the first set of agreements adopted on 5 December 2001 to restore the State of Afghanistan after the US invasion of Afghanistan in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. In the absence of a national government since 1979 in Afghanistan, it was deemed necessary to have a transition period before a permanent government was established. A nationally agreed government would require the convening of at least one jirga de loya; However, in the absence of law and order following the rapid victory of the armed forces of the North American and Afghan alliance, immediate action was taken to prove necessary. The Bonn Agreement was signed on 5 December 2001 by representatives of various anti-Taliban factions and political groups. It set out a roadmap and timetable for the establishment of peace and security, the reconstruction of the country, the restoration of some important institutions and the protection of human rights. The agreement contains provisions relating to military demobilization and integration, international peacekeeping and human rights monitoring.

“A year later, the Bonn agreement still represents Afghanistan`s best chance to end chronic instability, violence and a history of massive human rights violations,” said Brad Adams, Asia executive director at Human Rights Watch. “However, many of the agreement`s promises were not kept last year. The international community has missed several opportunities to marginalize local military leaders and better promote security and the protection of human rights. “Many of the difficulties encountered last year in implementing the Bonn agreement are the result of the disastrous state of Afghanistan`s civil and state institutions after two decades of war,” Adams said.