Afghanistan needs sustained international assistance, says UN envoy
BRUSSELS - Afghanistan faces formidable challenges and continues to need significant attention and sustained assistance from the international community, said UN envoy Tadamichi Yamamoto, speaking at a meeting of foreign ministers at NATO headquarters today.
Afghanistan’s National Unity Government has been carrying out security, political and economic transitions in a “difficult environment,” said Mr. Yamamoto, the UN Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan.
The UN envoy described how the government not only has made efforts to lay the foundations for a merit-based administration, to fight corruption and to conduct electoral reform, but also has reached out to Pakistan and the Taliban to explore a peace process.
“Despite recent setbacks, it is clear that this process must be Afghan-led and fully supported by the international community in order to create a conducive environment,” he stressed, noting that Afghanistan’s leaders are well aware that peace is required to put the country on a sustainable path toward economic development.
The UN representative went on to outline how Afghanistan has suffered some setbacks, particularly in the area of security. He described how, in 2015, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) documented the highest number of civilian casualties since UNAMA began tracking the statistics, with most of them caused by anti-government elements and a growing proportion attributed to Afghan security forces.
“UNAMA calls for continued NATO support for the development of a national policy on civilian casualty mitigation and its implementation,” he said.
In closing, the UN envoy underlined that while Afghanistan has made progress, those achievements can only be sustained by continued international assistance. “The upcoming Warsaw Summit and Brussels Conference are critical opportunities for the international community to renew its pledge to support Afghanistan’s gains and help it weather the challenges ahead,” he said.