Press Briefing: 5 December 2017

Press Briefing by Manuel de Almeida e Silva
Spokesman for the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and by United Nations Agencies in Afghanistan


05 December 2017


Today’s Guest

The special guest today is Gregory Schulz from the International Labor Organization (ILO). He will be talking about the establishment of Employment Services Centers in Afghanistan.

  • Unamend National Democratic Institute hold informal consultations with political parties

An informal consultation workshop with representatives of political parties is happening as we speak here in Kabul. It is organized by UNAMA and the National Democratic Institute (NDI).

Innis opening remarks, the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Filippo Grandi, said that we must all learn democracy together and thus this informal consultation. He also noted that there are a number of challenges in advance of the legislative elections. Among them, the question of population figures for allocation of seats in the National Assembly, the definition of district boundaries and putting together voters’ lists.

Another point to be discussed is the establishment of the Afghan Independent Electoral Commission. Professor Rag Austin, UNAMA’s senior electoral expert, will make a presentation on different types of electoral commissions.

Following the presentations, participants are expected to break up into discussion groups. Representatives from registered political parties, as well as from parties awaiting registration, are expected to attend the workshop.

  • Drover 500 former soldiers disarm in just two days

Weave a short note on the Disarmament Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) Programme, however it does reflect the new momentum of disarmament. In just two days, since we last briefed you on Thursday (December 2), 588 Afghan soldiers and officers have disarmed. Afghanistan’s New Beginnings Programme informs us that so far 26,569 members of the Afghan Military Forces have disarmed.

Ceremony to mark completion of 16-month Afghan Judiciary training program

This afternoon at 4pm a ceremony chaired by Vice President Hayat Amin Arsala will mark the completion of a 16-month training program for the Afghan Judiciary. The training was designed by the International Development Law Organization (IDLO) in collaboration with the International Institution of Higher Studies in Criminal Sciences (ISISC). It was implemented under the supervision of the Afghan authorities, with the support of the Italian government and UNAMA. Ameer Has, the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, will be attending the event this afternoon.

The program began in July 2003 and had two main objectives; to train significant number of members of the judiciary to improve the administration of justice; and also to form some of them to later serve as trainers for others.

The program involved over 450 judges and prosecutors, around 150 of them from Kabul, the remainder from the provinces. Approximately one third of the participants are women. Each participant received 300 hours of practical training in some 20 topics including civil, commercial, administrative, criminal law, as well as codes of conduct for the judiciary.

The ceremony will take place at the Prime Minister’s compound. Please click here for the IDLO press release. For further information you can also contact Riccardo Shaded from IDLO at 070 288 074.

  • UNODC to start two-week workshop on drug abuse prevention, treatment and rehabilitation

Yesterday was the first day of a two-week training workshop to discuss drug abuse prevention, treatment and rehabilitation. The workshop, organized by United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC), will last until the 13th of December and be attended by Demand Reduction Action Teams (DRAT) from Kabul, Herat and Mazar.

Undocks also planning a one-week study tour in Iran for Demand Reduction Action Teams to visit various drug treatment and HIV/AIDS prevention centers.

According to a study by the UNODC released in July 2003, conservative estimates revealed there were about 7,000 heroin users and nearly 11,000 opiumaddicts in Kabul.