Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board finds solid initial progress on Afghanistan Compact

Meeting for its second full session, the high-level Afghan-international body charged with overseeing the implementation of the Afghanistan Compact noted progress made in several areas and urged continued determination and vigor in turning the Compact’s benchmarks into reality.

The Compact, unveiled at the London Conference on Afghanistan on 31st January and 1st February this year, represents a new framework for international engagement over the next five years and focuses on three critical areas: security; governance, rule of law and human rights; and sustainable economic and social development.

“Afghanistan has a remarkable tool, in the form of the Afghanistan Compact, for bringing its vision of a progressive, just, and prosperous nation towards reality,” said Tom Koenigs,UN Special Representative in Afghanistan and the Board’s internationals-chair. “But still we are nearer the start of the process than the end. There is much work to be done. There must be no letting up.”

Echoing the need to remain vigilant in delivering on the commitments made, Professor Shaq Nadir, Senior Economic Advisor to the President and co-chair said, “The role of the JCMB, as custodian of the Compact, is to deal with the real issues facing people across Afghanistan. The JCMB must ensure it is dynamic enough to adjust to changing circumstances, and that the Compact and Afghanistan National Development Strategy deliver concrete benefits to all Afghans.”

At today’s meeting, the Board was informed that the mechanisms for moving the Compact forward were now in place, with the system of consultative groups, technical working groups, and multiple sub-working groups completed and operational.

Members of the JCMB were also presented with a draft report showing the status of each of 11 benchmarks that falls due during the Compact’s first year. These include anti-corruption steps and rule of law improvements, a strengthened mechanism for senior appointments, support for the new national assembly, defined province and district boundaries, an urban land registration process, improved natural and water resource management, private sector development, and a human resource study.

In addition, the Board was briefed on Afghanistan’s security situation, as well as on plans to modernize the country’s energy sector. While overall initial progress with the Compact was assessed positively, the Board highlighted delays in the energy sector as an area needing urgent and close attention, particularly with the onset of winter just a few months away.

The Board meets at least four times each year, and thebe-annual and other reports it will produce during the Compact’s5-year lifespan will be fully open to public scrutiny. It is expected to meet again on 5 November 2006 and 4 February 2007.

Click here for the English, Pashto and Dari versions of the joint press statement