Jawzjan leaders discuss development initiatives at UN-backed symposium
SHEBERGHAN - Stronger bonds must be forged between government offices and the private sector to see sustained economic growth, said panellists at a UN-backed symposium held in the capital of the northern province of Jawzjan last week.
Panellists, consisting of government officials, provincial council members and civil society representatives, discussed ways to improve coordination between government offices and the communities they serve, with especial focus on creating strategies to facilitate development in the province.
Organized by the Mazar regional office of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), the symposium was recorded by a local radio, and the highlights were later broadcast to an audience estimated at 400,000 in and around Sheberghan, with the goal being to update local communities about the discussion and the decided outcomes.
Provincial Governor Lutfullah Azizi opened the event, noting that the province has great potential to create jobs if development projects leveraging the provinces natural resources are successfully implemented. He described how the province’s development plan includes building more hospitals, parks, roads and a reliable water supply, in addition to constructing more office buildings and assistance facilities for conflict-displaced Afghans.
During the lively discussion, particularly around areas required to expedite development projects, participants agreed to meet regularly to coordinate, with the full involvement of civil society in planning, prioritizing and monitoring development projects.
Jawzjan, situated in Afghanistan’s northern region, has a wealth of natural resources and connects the region’s major city of Mazar-e Sharif to Turkmenistan through the Aqina border point, an active international trade route.
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 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.