More offices for UNAMA in Afghanistan

22 May 2009

More offices for UNAMA in Afghanistan

KABUL - The UN’s Mission in Afghanistan is set to increase its number of offices across the country this year.

With two recent office openings in the southern province of Uruzgan and the northern province of Sar-i-Pul, the Mission is expecting to open another three offices.

In March 2009 the UN Security Council renewed the mandate of UNAMA in Afghanistan for a further year. The Council’s resolution stressed the importance of the expansion of offices for the Mission: “All lay the framework for working towards peace and security, rule of law, good governance, human rights protection and sustainable economic and social development.”

The most recent office to open, and 20th UNAMA office in Afghanistan, was in Sar-i-Pul, a dynamic province of 500,000 inhabitants sharing a 16,385 kilometres square area.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, the governor of Sar-i-Pul Mohammad Bashir Qanit Chahabi, made clear the expectations in the province: “Until now, the reconstruction process has not been as expected. We need more support in education, health and agriculture…We hope that the opening of the office will improve the coordination between national and international NGOs, and provide a good support for the implementation of the Government’s programmes in the province.”

By March 2010 it’s expected that UNAMA will also have opened offices in Ghazni, Helmand and Farah.

Through the offices, UNAMA aims to develop better field coordination and monitoring and support between all UN agencies.

The regional offices also promote human rights, especially the rights of women. Most critically for 2009 is supporting the Government and independent commissions towards the presidential and provincial council elections in August.

“We try to reach the people who are suffering most, through UNAMA and relative agencies of the UN family. We would also serve as a magnet for other agencies and programmes,” said the UN’s Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan Kai Eide.

“We should be everywhere to coordinate the humanitarian tasks. We should be everywhere to help promoting human rights. We should also help strengthening the local Government. Our issue is also to outreach all parts of Afghan society. It is an important part of the peace process,” added Mr Eide.

UNAMA currently has 20 offices located in Balkh, Kunduz, Herat, Kandahar, Nangarhar, Bamyan, Kabul, Baghlan, Paktya, Ghor, Kunar, Khost, Nimroz, Badghis, Faryab, Uruzgan, Badakhshan, Daikundi, Sar-i-Pul and Zabul provinces, with a further two offices in Tehran and Islamabad.

By Alexandre Brecher-Dolivet, UNAMA