The top United Nations official in Afghanistan today congratulated civic groups there for launching a Code of Conduct governing their work and said it would pave the way for improved efforts to rebuild the war-ravaged country.
Jean Arnault, Secretary-General Kofi Annan's envoy to the country, said the new document “sets very high standards that are relevant not only to NGOs (non-governmental organizations) but to the aid community at large.”
He called for the Code to be “broadcast far and wide” and said it would “boost popular confidence in what all of us are trying to achieve in Afghanistan.”
Mr. Arnault acknowledged that since a peace accord was struck three years ago paving the way for Afghanistan's political transition, the rush to address the country's problems was not without mistakes. “Some basic requirements were sometimes overshadowed and some important lines were blurred, helped by a persistent legal and policy vacuum,” he said.
The Code of Conduct, he said, should address this problem by providing clear operating procedures. “The NGO community has been a pillar of Afghanistan's survival in the past two decades, with which the UN has worked very closely and which the UN is proud to call a partner,” he said. “Today's initiative can only make this partnership stronger, and establish Afghan civil society even more firmly as a key actor in the rebuilding of its country.”