Acclaimed author and UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Khaled Hosseini ended a five-day visit to Afghanistan today by highlighting the need for peace as the indispensable element in ensuring the safe and sustainable [Read more…]
Statement of H.E. Dr. Zahir Tanin
Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the
Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the United Nations
At the Resumed Session of the Executive Board of UNDP/UNFPA
8-12 September, 2009
Ladies and gentlemen,
Thank you for giving me the floor. It is a pleasure to have the opportunity to speak again about UNDP’s work in Afghanistan. My government and the people of my country will always be extremely grateful for the central role of UNDP in promoting social and economic development. UNDP is Afghanistan’s largest development partner. It has been active in Afghanistan for decades, and since the fall of the Taliban it has provided indispensable programmes encouraging disarmament, sustainable livelihoods, and governance. Many of the countries here today provide resources for these and other essential UNDP programmes. Together, all of us have an enormous stake in ensuring that the work of UNDP is efficient, effective, and aligned with national development goals and overall UN policy.
Since our last meeting in May we have taken important steps towards those goals. I would like to thank UNDP for working with us to address our concerns. The revised UNDP Country Programme on the table today is a more focused, more descriptive document that will provide a strong foundation for UNDP’s work in Afghanistan over the next three years.
Afghanistan presents an incredibly complex set of challenges, with more than 60 donor countries active, more than a hundred multinational aid organizations, 20 UN agencies and thousands of smaller NGOs, plus numerous Afghan ministries. This multiplicity of actors makes coordination a necessity, and also one of our greatest challenges. As we all recognize, the only way to find success in Afghanistan is with a unified approach between and among development, humanitarian, political and military actors. We must align our priorities under a single set of national goals and strategies, such as the ANDS and the recently-signed UNDAF. And we must encourage open and productive communication among stakeholders. Though many of these conversations occur in Kabul, here in New York we should provide active support to bolster our collective efforts.
Over the past months, my delegation has sought to create stronger partnerships between Afghanistan, UNDP and donor countries with the aim of fostering closer coordination and an improved consultative process both here in New York and among our counterparts in Kabul. This Country Programme document provided the catalyst for this process, but it should not end here. It is crucial that we maintain, and further strengthen, these partnerships in the future to assist in the effective implementation of this Country Programme, and to promote constructive work between UNDP and other actors in Afghanistan under the guidance of UNAMA and internationally-agreed policy priorities. My delegation here in New York and my colleagues in Kabul are ready and willing to engage in this endeavor. We have a responsibility to ensure that UNDP’s crucial work in Afghanistan has the support and attention it deserves.
I thank you, Mr. President.
Afghanistan will top the United Nations Security Council agenda later this month when the fifteen member Council is expected to debate the Secretary-General’s quarterly report on the situation in Afghanistan.
The Council is also expected to receive a briefing by the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, Kai Eide.
Afghanistan went to the polls on 20 August to choose a president and members of 34 provincial councils. These were the first Afghan-led elections in over thirty years. The Security Council welcomed the “historic” poll and condemned the actions of “extremist groups” who sought to disrupt them. UN envoy, Kai Eide, said holding elections across Afghanistan despite significant logistical and security challenges marked “an achievement for the Afghan people”.
The Security Council is expected to hear Mr Eide’s analysis of the Afghan elections and discuss post-election priorities for the international community’s work with the next Government of Afghanistan. The UN envoy recently called for a â€˜massive institution building’ programme that will enable Afghans to take over the reins of development efforts across the country.
Other topics of discussion for the Council are likely to include the Secretary-General’s plans to strengthen the United Nations Assistance Mission and the benchmarks requested by the Council at their last meeting on Afghanistan held in June . These benchmarks will be used to measure progress of the mission’s efforts in Afghanistan and are expected to focus on institution -building, security, economic and social development issues.
By Aleem Siddique, UNAMA