Municipal advisory board pledged at UN-backed event in Khost
KHOST – A pledge to establish a municipal advisory board through a transparent electoral process was a key outcome of a recent UN-backed workshop in south-eastern Khost province.
Around 35 people participated in the one-day meeting, including representatives of Provincial Councils, District Governors offices and civil society organizations, along with students and members of the business community and media.
Organized jointly by the Khost Municipality Department and UNAMA the workshop focused on awareness-raising of the work of local government, more cooperation between community stakeholders and the promotion of enhanced transparency in municipal governance. It follows a similar workshop held in neighbouring Paktya province in August.
A highlight of the Khost workshop was the pledge by Abdul Basir, the Mayor of Khost municipality, to set up a democratically-elected municipal advisory board, which would open the way to wider community participation.
Mohammad Mubarez Zadran, spokesperson for the Provincial Governor’s office, said the new administration is serious about curbing corruption and will take all possible steps to institute and bring about transparency and accountability. He called on citizens to extend their support to the provincial administration in combating corruption.
Workshop participant, Saifullah Hayat, said he supported any moves to develop inclusive plans and policies that encourage people to pay taxes and cooperate with the municipality’s development plans.
During group discussions, participants suggested that municipality should work out mechanisms for transparency in revenue collection and in budget utilization in order to increase public trust.
The event was widely covered by local media including Khost RTA, Gharghash TV, Nan FM radio, Khost Killid radio, Woles Ghag radio and Chenar radio, and was also reported on by Kabul-based national media.
Khost province shares a border with Pakistan, with the Pashtun ethnic group comprising the majority of the population.
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.