On 3 September, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) adopted its 2015-2019 country program document for Afghanistan. The document was approved by the Executive Board of the UNDP at a meeting at the United Nations.
H.E. Ambassador Zahir Tanin, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations, delivered a statement at the meeting. “The new country programme lays the foundation for a fresh and reinvigorated partnership between Afghanistan and the UNDP,” he said. He noted with appreciation the extensive consultations between the Government of Afghanistan and the UNDP country team in drafting the country programme, and highlighted the flexible nature of a document that the government of Afghanistan is able to revisit after the inauguration of the new government.
Ambassador Tanin noted that the new country program comes at a critical time in the country, when Afghanistan is undergoing a political transition and awaiting the results of a democratic election. “As we move into the Transformation Decade (which starts in 2015 and lasts until 2024),” he explained, “it is crucial that we learn from the past, that development assistance supports enhanced Afghan leadership and ownership, and that it enables the country to move from aid dependency to self-sufficiency.” He emphasized the importance of this approach to ending fragility, achieving greater Afghan sovereignty and coming to a more normalized relationship with the international community in the future.
Following Ambassador Tanin’s remarks, the Deputy Assistant Administrator and Deputy Regional Director of the Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific for UNDP, Mr. Nicholas Rossellini, took the floor. Introducing the Afghanistan country program, Mr. Rossellini noted that “Afghanistan has undergone fundamental transitions in its political, security, and socio-economic spheres over the last decade.” In the decade ahead, he said, the country would continue its journey to self-reliance. He noted that as Afghanistan transitions towards the Transformation Decade, UNDP will also transition to meet emerging priorities and challenges in the country.