International support to peace in Kunduz and across the country remains essential, says UN envoy
KUNDUZ - The United Nations will do its utmost to support peace efforts in Kunduz and across Afghanistan, said the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan in meetings with government officials, civil society and media professionals today in the restive northern province.
Tadamichi Yamamoto, head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), discussed recent security developments, elections and peace efforts with Governor Haji Asadullah Omarkhel and Kunduz leaders in a daylong visit to the province.
The security situation in Kunduz has remained tense throughout the past year, after the provincial capital was briefly overtaken by the Taliban in late 2015. The capital was attacked again in October 2016.
“The United Nations stands with the people of Kunduz and is firmly committed to backing all efforts that lead to peace,” said the UN envoy. “The international community is highly aware of the challenges the people of Kunduz have faced, and remains steadfast in backing the people of Afghanistan in recovering from the violence of the past and moving toward peace and prosperity.”
In a separate meeting, Mr Yamamoto discussed the latest developments with media professionals working in Kunduz. Following the expulsion of the Taliban from Kunduz in October 2015, radio broadcasts and other media programmes in the city resumed in March 2016 thanks in part to several United Nations initiatives.
Shaeesta Radio, a network dedicated to women’s issues, and Kaihan Radio, which broadcasts shows geared to young Afghans, were looted during the Taliban’s attack and takeover of Kunduz between 28 September and 13 October 2015, and their staff forced into hiding. But with assistance from the UN Development Programme (UNDP), damaged station equipment was replaced.
UNAMA has been supporting Kunduz radio and TV through a combination of technical assistance and outreach activities. Following the end of fighting in the city in October 2015, UNAMA supported the people of Kunduz by backing a series of public information programmes via national and provincial radio and television.
More than 20 different UN entities are present in Afghanistan, working to support Afghans through a broad spectrum of development and humanitarian activities, including through support for development planning, resource mobilization, and coordination of international donors and organizations.
UNAMA is mandated to support the Afghan Government and the people of Afghanistan as a political mission that provides good offices; promotes coherent development support by the international community; supports 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.