Afghanistan

Afghanistan needs people to hold pens not guns, UN envoy tells ex-soldiers

Some 1,000 former combatants, marching without their rifles thanks to a United Nations disarmament programme, paraded in front of Afghan President Hamid Karzai today, in what he called "one of the best days in Afghanistan," according to a UN dispatch from the capital Kabul.

Key causes of insecurity remain in Afghanistan, top UN official says

The United Nations' top peacekeeping official told the UN Security Council today the many of the fundamental causes of insecurity in Afghanistan "remain unresolved."

UN to launch disarmament programme Friday in Afghanistan

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) is set to officially launch tomorrow a disarmament campaign that has already had some measure of success.

Afghan police helping to promote stability in troubled northern areas, UN reports

Troubled parts of northern Afghanistan are increasingly stable thanks in part to the deployment of a police unit there, a United Nations spokesman reported today.

Security Council approves expanding international force to outside Afghan capital

The United Nations Security Council gave its approval today for the international troops in Afghanistan to move out from the capital, Kabul, citing the importance of extending the Government's authority throughout the country and providing security for reconstruction and humanitarian efforts.

Afghan generals in north sign new accord while ceasefire largely holds, UN reports

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) today reported that the ceasefire signed late last week in Balkh has largely held in recent days, while Mazar-i-Sharif is reported to be calm.

In letter to Annan, NATO mulls expanding operation outside Afghan capital

As the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), responsible for leading the international security force in the Afghan capital of Kabul, mulls the possibility of expanding its operations and moving into other parts of Afghanistan, the head of the alliance said it would first need specific authorization from the United Nations Security Council.

Warring Afghan factions agree to UN-monitored peace agreement

Leaders of two factions in northern Afghanistan today signed an agreement designed to reduce tensions in the area where tank-led battles caused high casualties Wednesday and Thursday, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) reported today.

Security Council mission to visit Afghanistan

The United Nations Security Council is planning a visit to Afghanistan later this month to inspect and reinforce the peace and reconstruction process there.

UNICEF chief congratulates Afghans on birth registration drive

The head of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) today congratulated the Afghan Transitional Government for an "unparalleled success" in registering the births of 775,000 children under the age of one.