Security Council extends UN mission in Afghanistan

Security Council extends UN mission in Afghanistan

Security Council
The Security Council today extended the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) by another year, welcoming the mission’s recently expanded presence in the provinces and voicing concern at the harm caused by the production and trafficking of opium.

The Security Council today extended the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) by another year, welcoming the mission’s recently expanded presence in the provinces and voicing concern at the harm caused by the production and trafficking of opium.

In a resolution adopted unanimously, the Council also urged the Afghan Government and members of the international community to do more to implement the Afghanistan Compact, five-year UN-backed blueprint launched early last year which sets benchmarks for certain security, governance and development goals.

The resolution stresses the importance of meeting the benchmarks, particularly those focused on “the cross-cutting issue of counter-narcotics,” and calls for accelerated reform in the justice sector as called for in the Compact.

Council members said the Mission’s increased number of regional and provincial offices outside the capital, Kabul, had improved the delivery of services to Afghans, and encouraged this process to continue, especially in the southern and eastern provinces.

But they expressed alarm at the effects of widespread corruption in the fight against drugs and efforts to boost governance, saying it was undermining Afghanistan’s security and development.

The resolution called on the Government to implement all the elements of its National Drug Control Strategy, including enlisting regional support against illegal trafficking and money laundering linked to the industry.

The mandate extension was endorsed days after Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued his latest progress report on Afghanistan, which he found had reached “a critical juncture” as it dealt with an emboldened insurgency, popular alienation and numerous human rights issues.

“It is time for the international community to reconfirm its commitment to Afghanistan and to move expeditiously to consolidate the accomplishments of the last six years,” Mr. Ban wrote.

Originally established in March 2002, UNAMA has now had its mandate extended until 23 March 2008.