Senior UN Envoy Urges More Coordinated Assistance for Afghanistan’s Development

NEW YORK–(ENEWSPF)–9 December 2009 – The top United Nations envoy in Afghanistan today called for the country’s key partners to ensure they work together in a more coordinated and streamlined way to move forward with supporting national development efforts.

“There is no other choice. We all have to change our mindset and be more geared towards a coordinated approach,” Kai Eide, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), said of the assistance rendered by the UN, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), the European Union and key donors.

During his meeting in Kabul with United States Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Mr. Eide also underlined the need to avoid a situation where pressure for immediate results leads to an acceleration of quick-impact projects and draws attention further away from long-term sustainable solutions.

“This applies in particular to the building of civilian institutions and Afghanistan’s economic growth,” he stated.

The Special Representative cited new momentum in the partnership between Afghanistan and the international community with, among others, the launching of US President Barack Obama’s new strategy for the country, which includes the deployment of 30,000 more American troops, along with efforts to build the capacity of national institutions.

“However, that new momentum is still fragile and must now be consolidated with the appointment and work of the new Afghan Government and the preparations for the London conference on 28 January 2010,” said Mr. Eide.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed the London meeting, and a further high-level conference to be convened in Kabul a few months later, as opportunities to discuss Afghanistan’s agenda in the wake of its recent presidential elections.