Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
April 2, 2009

An Experts’ meeting preparatory to the Friends of Democratic Pakistan (FODP) Ministerial meeting was held in Abu Dhabi on 1-2 April 2009 [1]

2. The meeting was co-chaired by Dr. Tariq Ahmed Al-Haidan, Assistant Under Secretary for Political Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Mr. M. Salman Faruqui, Secretary General to the President of Pakistan. (List of participants is given at Annex.)

3. The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates, H.E. Dr. Anwar Mohammad Gargash, inaugurated the meeting of Experts and conveyed the support of the leadership and Government of the U.A.E. for the FODP process.

4. All participants expressed their appreciation for H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, the President of the UAE, for hosting the meeting, for the excellent arrangements made by the Government of the UAE, and for the hospitality extended.

5. The Secretary General to the President of Pakistan thanked the experts for their participation, welcomed the addition of new members in the Friends Group and delivered a message, on behalf of the President and Prime Minister of Pakistan underscoring Pakistan’s vision of a progressive, democratic state committed to forging greater friendship and partnership for peace and development in the region and the world. The Secretary General reiterated the intention of the Government of Pakistan to keep the FODP process and the Donors’ Conference on separate tracks and with distinct objectives. He added that while the Donors’ Conference would address immediate financial needs, the FODP was a long-term process and therefore it was proposed to establish a secretariat and separate working groups to continue engagement with FODP members. The FODP meeting in Tokyo would be an important milestone in this process.

6. Pakistan’s strategic perspectives on the FODP process and the Tokyo Donors’ Conference were presented. Pakistan also presented proposals on the five clusters in development, security, energy, institution building and trade and finance.

7. The Experts appreciated the transition to democracy in Pakistan and its consolidation. The meeting further appreciated the commitment of the Pakistani leadership to strengthen democratic institutions and promote the rule of law.

8. The Experts noted with appreciation the clear articulation by Pakistan of its strategic priorities in terms of promoting development and security and countering the challenges of terrorism and extremism by adopting a holistic and comprehensive approach.

9. The experts, inter alia, examined the preliminary documentation presented by Pakistan relating to:
- Poverty alleviation through social protection;
- Improving security through enhancing the capacity of national institutions and meeting its security needs;
- Enhancing the efficiency of governance through capacity building and partnering of institutions as well as policy and regulatory reforms;
- Strengthening the private sector as the true engine for sustainable economic growth;
- Strengthening public private partnership;
- Accelerating human resource development through increased investments in education and health including population welfare;
- Commitment by the Government of Pakistan to work internally and with the international donor community over the medium and long term to address needed infrastructure development including in the critical water and energy sectors;

10. After preliminary discussions on the various clusters, there was consensus that the overall framework pursued by Pakistan was commendable and would provide the basis for further discussion and in-depth consideration.

11. There was consensus to carry forward the FODP process after the Tokyo Ministerial. It was proposed that separate working groups would be established with interested countries and institutions to examine their engagement under different clusters. These would be integrated with established donor coordination arrangements.

12. The Friends expressed interest in developing bilateral and multilateral partnerships with Pakistan in specific clusters. This process will be carried forward in consultation with the relevant ministries in the Government of Pakistan.

13. The Experts took note of the interest to evolve Pakistan’s strategy for effective communications and public diplomacy by reaching out to the business community and media to positively project the FODP initiative.

14. The Experts also took note of the forthcoming Donors Conference in Tokyo which aims at meeting Pakistan’s urgent financial requirements.

15. The Meeting recommended high level participation at the FODP Ministerial in Tokyo on 17 April.

16. The Meeting noted Pakistan’s decision to establish the FODP Secretariat in Islamabad.

17. In line with the statement by the High Officials of the FODP adopted in Abu Dhabi on 17 November 2008, the Meeting recommended to the FODP Ministerial to give strong political support to the FODP process and to the mutual efforts of Pakistan and the FODP to enhance Pakistan’s inherent strengths and capacity in overcoming challenges and building a partnership for peace and development.

The following participated in the Abu Dhabi Experts Meeting: Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, Netherlands, Republic of Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, UAE, UK, USA, Asian Development Bank, European Commission, European Union, Islamic Development Bank, United Nations and World Bank