Security Council extends UNAMA mandate

Security Council of the United Nations adopted a resolution(S/RES/1662) which among other things extends UNAMA’s mandate for a further 12 months. The resolution welcomes the long-term commitment of the United Nations to working with the people and Government of Afghanistan, and reiterates support for full implementation of the Afghanistan Compact.

There solution touches on a number of important areas, including disarmament, opium cultivation, human rights, capacity building, regional cooperation, and justice reform, to name only a few. We are still in the process of translating versions in Dari and Pashto for you, but copies in English are on the side table, and on our website

DIAG announcements: weapons collection in Khost, new Website

as you know, and the Afghanistan Compact commits Afghanistan to disbanding all illegal armed groups by the end of next year. Over the coming weeks you will be seeing and hearing much more about the Disbanding of Illegal Armed Groups Programme from the Government and its international partners.

In readiness for the new activities, the Joint Secretariat of DIAG yesterday launched an official website with information in Dari, Pashto, and English. This is a valuable news and background resource for all journalists and others wishing to know more about DIAG, and I urge you to visit this site. This is just one of many public information activities in the pipeline.

Till now DIAG has mostly been known for its nationwide weapons collection activities – and 20,250 weapons and nearly 142,000 pieces of ammunition have been handed over since DIAG process was launched in June 2005. But by ridding Afghanistan of parallel armed structures DIAG’s ultimate aim is to allow the re-establishment of rule of law through the promotion of good governance.

This morning a weapons collection ceremony is taking place in Khost with four former Jihadi commanders expected to collectively surrender approximately100 heavy and light weapons as well as 15 tons of ammunition.

Preparations underway for Mine Action Awareness Day

Around this room are posters for International Day for Mine Awareness, which falls next week on Tuesday, April 4.

Then Mine Action Centre for Afghanistan (UNMACA), Afghanistan’s New Beginnings Programme (ANBP), and UNAMA are planning a number of events to mark this.

Amelia visit next Monday, April 3rd, to a demining site is being organized by UNMACA with UNAMA support. The site visit, at the Halo Trust demolition site north of Kabul, will feature speakers and the destruction of mines. UNAMA’s regular Press Briefing next Monday will be at this site. Details will be sent to you later this week.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs tells us that on Tuesday April 4th, it will be hosting a reception, which will include guest speakers, mine victims, a mine awareness play, the release of a 20-minute documentary (a mine victim’s story), and a photo exhibit.

Also on Tuesday April 4th, ANBP is planning a mine-destruction event at Shiberghanin Jawzjan province. Recently some 15,000 anti-tank and anti-personnel mines were discovered. Media interested in traveling there should contact Ahmad Jan Nawzadi on 070 208 963.

ANBP currently assists the Afghan government in stockpile destruction.