New mandate will strengthen engagement in Afghanistan – UN envoy

Special Representative .Ján Kubiš addresses media in Kabul, Afghanistan. Photo: UNAMA/Fardin Waezi

28 March 2012 – The United Nations envoy in Afghanistan said today that the recently renewed mandate of the world body’s mission in the country lends itself to stronger engagement with the Government and society at large to advance peace, development and a host of other goals.

Last week, the Security Council extended the mandate of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) for another one year so it can continue supporting the country as it goes through the process of assuming full responsibility for its security, governance and development efforts.

“We see a strong requirement towards the United Nations to work not as a sort of detached party but in support of the Afghan Government and society,” said the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of UNAMA, Ján Kubiš, which has been in place now for 10 years.

He told a news conference in Kabul that the new mandate recognises “very clearly that Afghanistan is assuming more and more sovereignty and ownership of all the processes that are happening here in the country, that indeed the transition process goes on, that indeed all of us… are facing new realities on the ground and also in the region.”

Highlighting the key priorities for the UN, Mr. Kubiš stressed that the Organization will continue to promote peace and reconciliation, coordinate international civilian efforts and provide more coherent support to the Government.

The Mission will also place emphasis on enabling and strengthening the role of Afghan institutions.

“The majority of the Afghan people want to see peace, less killings and more stability. We as the UN must support the peace process and I promise engagement,” said Mr. Kubiš. “That means talking to the people fighting. Without talking to them there can be no inclusive peace process.”

In a briefing to the Council last week, Mr. Kubiš said that Afghanistan’s transition process remains on track despite recent tragic incidents, adding that efforts continue to strengthen the capacity of national institutions to maintain rule of law and provide services to the population.


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