UN envoy calls for action on Afghanistan Compact development plan
As key national and international officials gathered in Kabul to usher forward a major development plan for Afghanistan, the senior United Nations envoy to the country urged determined action to see it through.
“Much hard work lies ahead if progress is to be assured, if peace is to prevail, if human rights are to be strengthened, if friendly relations with neighbours are to flourish, and if economic growth is to start benefiting all Afghanistan's citizens,” Tom Koenigs told a meeting of the Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board, which was set up to resolve strategic issues and provide high-level political support for the Compact's implementation over the next five years.
Adopted at a donors conference in London earlier this year, the Compact contains more than 70 measurable and time-bound benchmarks in the areas of security, governance, sustainable development and counter-narcotics.
Mr. Koenigs called attention to recent progress in Afghanistan, such as economic growth and democratic advancement. But he cautioned that much remains to be done to restore normalcy in the war-ravaged and still-volatile country. “We must not blind ourselves to the difficult realities that many Afghans still face, nor to the challenges we are all up against,” he cautioned.
The Monitoring Board, he stressed, must “push and to pull, give advice and support, coordinate efforts and monitor progress as well as shortcomings to achieve each and every of the many benchmarks in time.”
Among those attending the meeting were the Afghan President's Senior Economic Advisor, Ishaq Nadiri, representatives of Afghanistan's six largest development assistance contributors (the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, European Union and India), three neighbouring countries (Pakistan, Iran and China), three regional countries (Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Russia), international military supporters (NATO, CFC-A, Canada, Netherlands, Italy and France), and two international financial institutions (the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank).
The Board will meet next on 30 July.