Afghan Government Becoming Stronger as International Engagement Increases, Says UNAMA

“The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) will reinforce its mission of assistance to the Afghan people and support to Government institutions under the leadership of President Karzai,” said Christopher Alexander, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan today.

The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has informed the Security Council of his intention to appoint Kai Eide, a Norwegian diplomat, as his Special Representative for Afghanistan, Mr. Alexander said. “In brief, our new SRSG and UNAMA will be looking to accelerate the strengthening of national institutions and the improvement of Afghan lives,” he added.

The Deputy Special Representative stressed that the Afghan Government was now stronger than ever. A network of clinics, schools and village-based development councils now covered the country.

Mr. Alexander, who heads UNAMA’s political efforts, emphasized that over the past six months the level of international engagement in Afghanistan had continued to increase.

“There remains a strong consensus among partners and donors that this commitment should continue and even deepen,” argued Mr. Alexander. “But the conviction is stronger than ever that the key to peace and security here remains the success of state institutions. For this reason, all of us, international organizations and donors, are preparing to support the Afghanistan National Development Strategy”.

On police reform, Mr. Alexander said: “while there are serious problems still with the police, our offices report that the quality of policing has improved in most parts of the country. The vision and institutional structure of the Afghan National Police are now being refined and over 1,090 police trainers, advisors and mentors are now in place across Afghanistan”.

The United Nations role under the Afghanistan Compact, a blue print to rebuild the war torn country, was central and impartial, said the Deputy Special Representative, adding: “We count on you, our hosts and partners to help us safeguard this impartiality in the cause of those values – peace, development and human rights – that Afghans continue to champion so fiercely”.

“We are here for all Afghans, regardless of language, of ethnicity, of district, of region. We call on all of you to help us and to join us in support of the legitimate Government of Afghanistan as we all seek to help Afghans make better lives for themselves and their country” concluded Mr. Alexander.