Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran to launch landmark development partnership: UN
In an effort to bolster long-term prospects for Afghanistan, the Governments of Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan have agreed to pursue a groundbreaking joint partnership for development, economic cooperation and trade, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) announced today.
"A regional approach is essential to the reconstruction effort in Afghanistan," said Francesco Bastagli, UNDP's representative in Iran. "Cooperation between Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan is crucial if the humanitarian and economic challenges are to be met."
With technical support from UNDP, the agency said in a statement, the three countries are expected to establish a joint commission for sub-regional cooperation and development. Chambers of Commerce and private and public sector enterprises will play a key role in the commission.
UNDP will act as facilitator for the initiative, which will be launched in Tehran at a ministerial-level meeting on 18-19 May. Participants will include representatives from the UN, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the Islamic Development Bank.
Ways to expand private sector collaboration, facilitate trade and commerce and define strategies for regional economic cooperation will be considered at the meeting, UNDP said, adding that participants will also discuss specific development challenges and opportunities and examine Afghanistan’s development vision and national development plan.