Baghlan civil society, government forge stronger ties at UN-backed event
PUL-E-KHUMRI - Enhancing the transparency and accountability of government in the interest of improving local development initiatives was the focus of a UN-backed event in the northeastern province of Baghlan.
As the final event in a series of meetings backed by the regional office of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and held in the northeastern provinces, some 30 women and men representing civil society groups and local government came together to discuss ways to cooperate on development planning.
The event follows other UNAMA-organized meetings in Kunduz, Takhar and Badakhshan, all with the aim of building constructive links between civil society groups and provincial councils.
At the Baghlan event, participants discussed the role of the Provincial Council, ties with community leaders and ways to strengthen working relationships according to Afghan laws and customs.
Safa Sanayee, the Acting Director of Sectorial and Technical Services in the Provincial Governor’s Office, spoke at the event to highlight the importance of coordinating community efforts.
“The vision of both Provincial Council members and civil society organizations are similar, with the goal of having fruitful and productive achievements in the field of the good governance and development, but this vision becomes reality only with close coordination,” said Mr Sanayee.
Rasol Haba, the director of Baghlan’s civil society network, echoed the sentiments expressed by Mr Sanayee and underlined the importance of civil society groups working directly with government to strengthen ties.
“Joint efforts of Baghlan Provincial Council members and civil society networks will have a positive impact on government service delivery, and also on transparency and accountability at the provincial level,” he said.
At the end of the event, participants drafted a memorandum of understanding to establish a closer working relationship between the Provincial Council and civil society groups.
Local media outlet Tanweer TV prepared a 30 minute report on the event for broadcast on local TV and radio stations. The news reached an estimated audience of 300,000 people in and around Baghlan, an important province for Afghanistan’s industrial base, and home to the largest cement and sugar production factories in Afghanistan.
UNAMA is mandated to support the Afghan Government and the people of Afghanistan as a political mission that provides 'good offices' among other key services. 'Good offices' are diplomatic steps the UN takes publicly and in private, drawing on its independence, impartiality and integrity, to prevent international disputes from arising, escalating or spreading.
UNAMA also promotes coherent development support by the international community; assists the process of peace and reconciliation; monitors and promotes human rights and the protection of civilians in armed conflict; promotes good governance; and encourages regional cooperation.