Monday, November 24, 2014

UN Envoy Urges Next Afghan Government To Make Institution Building A National Priority

The top United Nations envoy for Afghanistan, Kai Eide today urged the country’s future government to take the lead in managing Afghanistan’s development through a new and “massive institution-building programme”.

At the same time he welcomed the launch of a project that will see 15,000 civil servants trained in the essential skills needed for a capable and professional Afghan bureaucracy.

Speaking in front of a classroom at Afghanistan’s Civil Service Institute in Kabul Special Representative of the Secretary-General Kai Eide said focus would be needed in five areas for institution-building to succeed:

“I see this programme consisting of several key elements; Firstly the development of human capacity. This will require broad and ambitious training programmes, short-term for those who are the civil servants of today and long term for those who will serve the civil service of tomorrow; Secondly the development of the physical capacity of infrastructure on the ground. Today, for instance, only half of district governors have offices; Third, the development of technical capacity or IT, enabling the Government to be effective and stimulate interaction between the various layers of the administration. Fourth, the development of incentives that can attract administrators in various parts of the country. And lastly, the development of a culture of accountability that will convince the people that local administration are their servants and only have their concerns in mind.”

Around 15,000 civil servants are set to benefit from essential training in accounting, procurement, project management, policy making and human resources under the project launched today.

The Capacity Building on Five Common Functions Project was developed by Afghanistan’s Civil Service Commission with the assistance of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Afghanistan (UNAMA) and funding from the United States. The project will begin by developing a standard Afghan curriculum across five common functions, which will then be taught to 4000 key staff in Kabul and 11,000 officials from all 34 provinces of Afghanistan over the next two years.
Strategic Communication and Spokespersons Unit
United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA)
Kabul, Afghanistan

Security Council Press Statement on Terrorist Attack in Kandahar

The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the terrorist attack in Kandahar on 25 August 2009, which caused numerous deaths and injuries. The members of the Security Council expressed their condolences to the families of the victims and to the people and the Government of Afghanistan.

The members of the Security Council underlined the need to bring perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism to justice, and urged all States, in accordance with their obligations under international law and relevant Security Council resolutions, to cooperate actively with the Afghan authorities in this regard.

The members of the Security Council reiterated their serious concern at the threats posed by the Taliban, Al-Qaida, and other extremist groups, to the local population, national security forces, international military and international assistance efforts in Afghanistan.

The members of the Security Council reaffirmed the need to combat by all means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts. The members of the Security Council reminded States that they must ensure that measures taken to combat terrorism comply with all their obligations under international law, in particular international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law.

The members of the Security Council reiterated their determination to combat all forms of terrorism, in accordance with their responsibilities under the Charter of the United Nations.

The members of the Security Council reiterated that no terrorist act can reverse the path towards peace, democracy and reconstruction in Afghanistan, which is supported by the people and the Government of Afghanistan and the international community.

Karzai edges ahead in Afghan poll

initial counting from Afghanistan’s presidential election shows incumbent Hamid Karzai with a slight lead.

With 10% of the ballots counted, the election commission said Mr Karzai had 212,927 votes, compared to 202,889 for ex-Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah.

However, there remain many allegations of fraud, and the commission is investigating almost 800 complaints.

Final results are not expected for several weeks. A candidate needs more than 50% of votes to avoid a run-off.

Shortly after the figures were announced, reports came in of a large explosion in the southern city of Kandahar, followed by gunfire. There were reports of casualties but no further details.

‘Too early to call’

The Independent Election Commission said that so far 524,444 valid votes had been counted, with Mr Karzai on 40.6% and Mr Abdullah on 38.7%.
Ramazan Bashardost has 53,740 votes so far and Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai is fourth on 15,143.

Only 2% of votes in Kandahar province have been counted and none in Helmand. Mr Karzai is expected to do well in both southern provinces.

electiongraph

Other leading candidates: Ramazan Bashardost 53,740 (10.2%) Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai 15,143 (2.9%) Winning candidate needs more than 50% of votes to avoid a run-off

The commission says it will release more results over the next few days.

Before the announcement of the first results, Mr Abdullah called on Afghans to react calmly.

“I’m urging Afghans… to be patient and to show responsibility. I think that the people don’t want to resort to violence,” he said.

Washington’s special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, said on Tuesday the initial results were not conclusive.

“You don’t call it with 10%… it’s too early to call,” he said.

The BBC’s Ian Pannell in Kabul says any preliminary claims about the result must be viewed with caution in the light of the allegations of fraud, corruption and ballot-stuffing and concerns about low voter turnout, especially in the south.

The election commission is also being urged to wait until the official adjudicators, the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC), completes its investigation.

There are almost 800 complaints of fraud and irregularities and, out of these, 54 are considered to be very serious.

Mr Abdullah has said that he has evidence that voting was widely rigged in favour of Mr Karzai. Mr Abdullah said he had submitted the allegations to the ECC.

Another leading presidential candidate, Mirwais Yasini, told the BBC that workers from his campaign discovered about 800 ballots with ticks next to his name thst he believes had been discarded from the ballot box.

The evidence has been handed to the ECC.

Afghan and Western officials have declared last Thursday’s poll a success, despite concerns about the turnout, especially in the insurgency-wracked south.

The Nato-led International Security Assistance Force said there were more than 400 insurgent attacks on election day, which would make it one of the most violent days in Afghanistan since 2001.

Mr Holbrooke said on Sunday that allegations of fraud were to be expected.

Story from BBC NEWS: