UN Day 2009 marked in Afghanistan
KABUL - The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) joined hands today with Afghan ministers, governors and others to celebrate UN Day across the country.
In Kabul, a ceremony was held to launch the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) for Afghanistan.
Developed with the Government of Afghanistan UNDAF plots out a US$ 4 billion development assistance plan from 2010-2013.
UNDAF supports the Afghanistan National Development Strategy (ANDS) and focuses on three priority areas: governance, peace and stability, with emphasis on human resources development/capacity development; agriculture and access to income, which targets rural communities and aims at building marketable skills through vocational training programmes; health and education.
In a speech today the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General Robert Watkins, assured project partners that the United Nations in Afghanistan is “trying to focus where needs are greatest as tabulated and analyzed by agencies.”
He emphasized that UNDAF will be “much more responsive to the needs of the country.”
Speaking at the same ceremony in Kabul to mark UN Day, Afghanistan’s Minister of Economy Dr Mohammad Jalil Shams said: “We are very happy that we are launching the UNDAF on this very historic day. MoE is the counterpart of the UN in the implementation of this assistance framework. We are looking forward to working together in these development efforts.”
“We assure the UN and all agencies the full support of the MoE – we are at your disposal,” stressed Dr Shams.
In Mazar, 250 people including government officials, university students, heads of police and army and representatives from the UN attended a UN Day celebration.
The celebration ended up with theatre plays on specific issues such as human rights and drug addiction.
“We need more support from the UN to repair the economy and democracy of Afghanistan,” said Anwar Razaqyaar, the executive officer of the Balkh government office.
Tomorrow events to mark UN Day continue in Kunduz.
About 100 governmental officials, NGO's representatives, members of civil society and media will join together at the Kunduz governor’s hall.
A play on love of peace, a poem on peace and development and a short demining film will be also included in the agenda.
UN Day marks the signing of the UN Charter in 1945.
In 1947 the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution declaring that 24 October “shall be henceforth officially called United Nations Day and shall be devoted to making known to the peoples of the world the aims and achievements of the UN, and to gaining their support for the work of the United Nations”.
The UN has been in Afghanistan for more than 50 years. Since 2002 UNAMA has led and coordinated the UN family and worked closely with the Government of Afghanistan.
By Alexandre Brecher-Dolivet and Aurora V. Alambra, UNAMA