The Friends of Democratic Pakistan, established as a forum in September 2008, held its first Summit in New York City on September 24, 2009, under the co-chairmanship of President Barack Obama, President Asif Ali Zardari, and Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Also attending were twelve Heads-of Government and senior representatives of nine countries and five multilateral institutions.
The Summit Leaders congratulated the people of Pakistan for achieving significant progress in the democratic transformation of their country, and recognized the great significance of democracy to the stability of Pakistan, the region and the global community of nations. They recognized that democracy must be enabled to deliver on the promise of a new hope and for realizing the aspirations of the people for prosperity and peace.
Reflecting on the positive Ministerial and senior officials meetings of the Group of Friends in Abu Dhabi in November 2008, in Tokyo in April 2009 and in Istanbul in August 2009 – of whose conclusion Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan provided his assessment- the Summit Leaders confirmed that the international community, in particular members of the Friends of Democratic Pakistan, would continue to provide political and strategic support to the Pakistani people in their national effort to achieve greater socio-economic development and to overcome the challenges of terrorism, militancy and extremism.
The Summit Leaders acknowledged the progress and the sacrifices made by the people of Pakistan in the struggle against terrorism, militancy and extremism. They applauded the united resolve of the Pakistani nation and institutions to eliminate these threats as well as the crucial importance of continued support for them to take the lead. They promised to support and collaborate with Pakistan in these efforts.
The Summit Leaders welcomed the announcement by the World Bank and the Government of Pakistan to establish a Multi Donor Trust Fund to provide for a coordinated financing mechanism for donor support of areas affected by terrorism, militancy, and extremism. They urged bilateral and multilateral partners to extend and co-ordinate this support in order to align fully behind the Government’s proposed comprehensive approach.
The Summit Leaders recognized the suffering of the Pakistani people due to the prolonged shortfalls in electricity and agreed to assist as a crucial means of support for Pakistan’s economic and human development. They agreed that a next focus of the Friends will be to support Pakistan’s efforts in formulating a sustainable, integrated energy plan and noted the Asian Development Bank’s support in mobilizing the Friends for energy sector assistance. Leaders anticipate a report on energy at the next Ministerial meeting of the Friends.
The Summit Leaders expressed solidarity with those affected by terrorism, militancy, and extremism, including the millions of people displaced from their homes in the North West Frontier Province and the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). They also recognised further the indirect impact on all people in Pakistan.
The Summit Leaders applauded Pakistan’s recent success in containing and reversing militancy and terrorism in the Malakand area. It praised, in particular, the special effort made by the Government in designing a strategy for the reconstruction and development of the Malakand Division, in close consultation with the Friends of Democratic Pakistan. The Summit Leaders reinforced their commitments to offering further humanitarian and early recovery assistance for those in need, and also to reconstruction of affected areas in particular in the light of the needs assessments.
The Summit Leaders emphasised that the Pakistani Government’s long-term strategic approach to security and socio-economic development presents a constructive framework for international co-operation to confront terrorism, militancy, and extremism. The Group of Friends welcomed Pakistan’s commitment to quickly develop and implement an integrated and comprehensive approach to address issues of security and development in FATA.
The Summit Leaders stressed the need for the Pakistani Government and the Friends to strengthen their partnership in addressing other critical priorities identified by the Government. They welcomed the support of the United Nations for Pakistan's efforts in mobilizing assistance and encouraging partnerships.
The Summit Leaders underlined the importance of helping Pakistan enhance, comprehensively, its institutional capacities, and in this context, reaffirmed that the Friends would facilitate a partnership approach.
The Summit Leaders welcomed the Pakistani Government’s commitment to address the challenge of enabling an effective application of the rule of law across Pakistan as a means of tackling the challenges of extremism and development.
The Summit Leaders welcomed the intention of the Government of Pakistan to revive and revitalise the annual Pakistan Development Forum to serve as a platform for a substantive policy dialogue between Government and international partners on Pakistan’s development priorities, including health, education, social protection, inclusive economic growth and strengthening institutions. They welcomed the support of International Financial Institutions, as well as Pakistan’s other partners, to assist Pakistan in its development agenda.
The Summit Leaders encouraged donors to follow through with their bilateral commitments as pledged in Tokyo in April 2009 to ensure that financial support and development assistance is delivered as soon as possible to the Pakistani people.
The Summit Leaders recognised the value of enhanced market access as a means to revive economic activity and to promote the well-being of the people of Pakistan. They agreed to positively consider Pakistan’s call for enhanced trade development and market access.
The Summit Leaders recognised the importance of promoting engagement by the business sector in Pakistan and other countries to enable Pakistan’s socio-economic development. They undertook to encourage, promote and facilitate public-private partnerships and joint ventures, and to engage in sustained dialogue with respective business sectors with a view to removing existing hurdles to trade and investment.
The Summit Leaders stressed the value of the Group of Friends of Democratic Pakistan as a political forum to express international solidarity with the Pakistani people’s aspiration to build a stable, democratic and prosperous nation. They also stressed the importance of the Group as a catalyst to mobilise concrete support to the Pakistani government and people and to promote better understanding of Pakistan's rich cultural heritage.
The Summit Leaders instructed their Foreign Ministers to meet as often as necessary to achieve these aims and to demonstrate the ongoing high level of attention being given to supporting the people of Pakistan.
Issued by the Co-Chairs of the Friends Summit:
President of Pakistan
President of the United States
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
24 September 2009