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General Assembly puts its weight behind Afghan reconstruction plan, stresses security

General Assembly puts its weight behind Afghan reconstruction plan, stresses security

The 192-member General Assembly has fully backed a five-year reconstruction plan for strife-torn Afghanistan agreed with the international community earlier this year, stressing in particular the need to improve security in the country and also deal with the widespread drug trade.

Acting without a vote, the Assembly wrapped up its annual debate on Afghanistan yesterday by adopting an 11-page resolution pledging to implement the Afghan Compact, which was launched in January as a wide-ranging blueprint for development covering politics, economics, human rights, crime and judicial reform.

“The General Assembly… expressing its strong commitment to the implementation of the Afghanistan Compact and its annexes, launched at the International Conference on Afghanistan… which provide the framework for the partnership between the Government of Afghanistan and the international community,” the resolution stated.

“[The Assembly] calls upon the Government of Afghanistan, with the assistance of the international community, including through the Operation Enduring Freedom coalition and the International Security Assistance Force… to continue to address the threat to the security and stability of Afghanistan posed by the Taliban, Al-Qaida and other extremist groups as well as by criminal violence, in particular violence involving the drug trade.”

The resolution also called upon the Government to “vigorously pursue its efforts to establish a more effective, accountable and transparent administration at all levels,” while urging international donors to follow-up on agreements made during the January meeting and Member States to assist in the recovery efforts.

“[The Assembly] urgently appeals to all States, the United Nations system and international and non-governmental organizations to continue to provide, in close coordination with the Government of Afghanistan and in accordance with its national development strategy, all possible and necessary humanitarian, recovery, reconstruction, financial, technical and material assistance for Afghanistan.”

The Assembly debate, which also involved representatives from 16 other countries and regional groups, follows a Security Council mission to Afghanistan earlier this month which warned that unless the international community fully supports the recovery effort, the country risks becoming a failed State.

Yesterday’s discussions also focused on Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s latest report on the country, which was released in September and warned that the upsurge in violence over the past few months represents a “watershed” and is the most severe threat to the transition to peace since the fall of the Taliban in 2001.

In another action, the Assembly also adopted a resolution without a vote declaring 26 March 2007 a day for world wide commemoration of the two-hundredth anniversary of the abolition of the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

It also decided to hold a plenary meeting on the international day to “honour the memory of those who died as a result of slavery, including through exposure to the horrors of the Middle Passage and in revolt against and resistance to enslavement.”