Ghor civil society, government forge ties at UN-backed event
FIRUZKOH - Building stronger partnerships between provincial authorities and civil society to improve governance and enhance service delivery was the focus of a recent UN-backed event in the capital of Afghanistan’s western province of Ghor.
Organized by the Herat regional office of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), local government officials and civil society members came together in Firuzkoh, the capital of Ghor, to discuss ways to strengthen community cooperation in the interest of improving the delivery of government services, such as healthcare and education, especially to remote areas of the province.
According to Khudayar Waqif, a civil society activist and one of the participants at the event, the provincial government in Ghor has been faced with many challenges, not the least of which is a challenging security environment.
Waqif stressed, however, that civil society members and local communities in the province are keen to work with government officials to address the issues, especially in the interest of facilitating development projects and access to government services in Ghor’s remote areas.
Ghor, one of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces, is part of western region of the county and has a population estimated at 700,000 people. Agriculture is Ghor’s main industry. The capital, Firuzkoh, is an ancient city dating back to the era of Genghis Khan.
The event in Ghor is part of a broader UNAMA initiative aimed at supporting development and peace initiatives at the community level by fostering greater engagement between government offices and the communities they serve.
One way that UNAMA reaches out to foster greater cooperation among local government and communities is through its strong partnerships with media outlets across the country. At almost every UNAMA-backed event, local media partners not only record the discussion and debate for later rebroadcast, but also create new programmes around the issues that are raised, extending the discussion and creating new opportunities for local voices to be heard on issues such as peace, reconciliation, social harmony, transparency, human rights and rule of law.
UNAMA supports the Afghan people and government to achieve peace and stability. In accordance with its mandate as a political mission, UNAMA backs conflict prevention and resolution, promoting inclusion and social cohesion, as well as strengthening regional cooperation. The Mission supports effective governance, promoting national ownership and accountable institutions that are built on respect for human rights.
UNAMA provides 'good offices' and other key services, including diplomatic steps that draw on the organization’s independence, impartiality and integrity to prevent disputes from arising, escalating or spreading. The Mission coordinates international support for Afghan development and humanitarian priorities.