Friday, August 1, 2014

Afghanistan ratifies UN Multilateral Agreement for the Establishment of an International Think Tank for Landlocked Developing Countries

New York

19 October 2011

Today, Wednesday, 19 October 2011, His Excellency, Dr. Zahir Tanin, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations signed the “Multilateral Agreement for the Establishment of an International Think Tank for Landlocked Developing Countries” on behalf of his country. The Agreement will enter into force on the sixtieth day after the date of deposit of the tenth instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.

The overall goal of the International Think Tank is to use quality research and advocacy methods to help build the capacity of Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) with a view to benefiting from international trade.  Long-term goals include poverty reduction and raising human development in LLDCs. The byproduct of the Agreement will be promotion of cooperation between LLCDs, dissemination and sharing of information on trade related topics, and contributing to policy formulation as well as fostering quality views and approaches among LLDCs.

Afghan Government and international community endorse seven National Priority Programmes for funding

KABUL, 19 OCTOBER 2011 – The Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board (JCMB) met today and unanimously endorsed seven National Priority Programmes (NPPs) presented by the Government of Afghanistan. This was the first time that the JCMB has met since November 2010. The programmes endorsed focus primarily on socio-economic development, but also include a programme dedicated to monitoring and improving human rights situation of all Afghans.
“This meeting represents a key step forward in the re-invigoration of the ‘Kabul Process’. I am very pleased that the Government and the donors have agreed to reconvene this Board ahead of the Bonn conference in early December,” said Staffan de Mistura, United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan.
The ‘Kabul Process’ had lost momentum in the wake of the Kabul Bank failure. The recent decision by Parliament which approved a supplemental budget request by the Ministry of Finance to provide capital to the Central Bank has opened the door to fresh engagement with donors and has added momentum towards reaching an agreement on an International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme.
This process is intended to promote mutual accountability and partnership between the Government of Afghanistan and the international community around the national development strategy and its 22 National Priority Programmes.
“The willingness of donors to invest in our national programmes is essential to the people of Afghanistan. Ultimately, sustainability demands that all programming in Afghanistan is designed and implemented with the government as a full partner,” said Finance Minister Zakhilwal.
The programmes endorsed by donors for funding were:
- Human Rights and Civic Education
- Education for All
- Expanding Opportunities for Higher Education
- Capacity Development to Accelerate National Action Plan for the Women of Afghanistan (NAPWA) Implementation
- National Regional Resource Corridor Initiative
- National Extractive Industry Excellence Program (NEIEP)
- e-Afghanistan

NOTES TO EDITORS:

• The Afghan Government and the international community agreed to establish a Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board (JCMB) for overall strategic coordination of the implementation of the Afghanistan Compact at the London Conference (January 2006) and the following United Nations Security Council Resolution No.1659.

• In June 2010 President Karzai and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon co-chaired the Kabul Conference which marked a new phase in the partnership between the Government of Afghanistan and the international community. The Kabul Conference endorsed in principle 22 National Priority Programmes and furthered the ‘Kabul Process’ indicating a heightened commitment to a secure, prosperous and democratic Afghanistan.

• Please refer to the Kabul Conference Communiqué:
http://unama.unmissions.org/Portals/UNAMA/Documents/Kabul%20Conference%20Communique.pdf

BAMYAN IS THE FIRST PROVINCE IN AFGHANISTAN TO UNDERTAKE LARGE SCALE SURVEY

PRESS RELEASE
BAMYAN IS THE FIRST PROVINCE IN AFGHANISTAN
TO UNDERTAKE LARGE SCALE SURVEY

The Central Statistics Organization of Afghanistan (CSO) and the United Nations Population Fund
(UNFPA) completed data collection in Bamyan province for Socio-Demographic & Economic Survey
(SDES)

Bamyan, 13 October 2011
The Socio-Demographic & Economic Survey (SDES) in Bamyan Province successfully completed its data collection phase.
Over 500 residents of Bamyan have been employed and trained to become data collectors for what will be a large-scale survey, the first of its kind in Bamyan and the country. The SDES data collectors reached all districts to give the population the chance to be counted.
The surveyors visited every household in the entire province to collect basic demographic data and detailed Socio-Demographic and Economic data from 50 percent of these households in all villages of Bamyan.
The Central Statistics Organisation is mandated to provide the Government of Afghanistan with reliable Socio-Economic data in order to allow for effective and fair governance, planning and resource distribution. With the technical support of UNFPA and the financial support of the Government of Japan, the Socio-Demographic and Economic Survey (SDES) in Bamyan will provide essential data for the provincial government to effectively serve the population.
“Population dynamics – including changing population size, structure and distribution, involving fertility, mortality and migration, among others – influence every aspect of social and economic development. Generating, analyzing and disseminating population data is critical for good governance and helps establish sound and successful development policies and programmes. The United Nations Population Fund is pleased to see this Socio-Demographic & Economic Survey taking place here in Bamyan province and we are proud to see the unique employment opportunities this large scale survey is creating for the people of Bamyan” said Mr. Arie Hoekman, UNFPA Representative.
“Before this project arrived in our district we were all unemployed youth, so this has provided us with a great opportunity to not only earn money but to develop our skills for future work”, said a data collector from Yakawlang district.
It is hoped that the Socio-Demographic and Economic Survey will potentially be rolled out in all 34 provinces with the continued support of UNFPA and international donors. This will eventually provide Afghanistan with robust national and sub-national data on size, age structure and gender of its population.

Importantly, the SDES will also collect data on migration, as well as educational and professional characteristics of the population, such as school attendance and literacy.
At one of the numerous training events around the province, a young man from Saighan district said, “As young Afghans it is our responsibility to perform the duty of data collection in our communities, for the future development of our district and of our country”.
The data collection process successfully ended today. Meanwhile, a data processing centre is being established in the centre of Bamyan province, where the completed questionnaires will be sent for data entry. Data is expected in early 2012.
“We will do all we can to cooperate and to inform all of the villages in our district of this activity, so that we can be successful in this project”, said the head of the village shura in Kahmard district.
To monitor the data collection process, a delegation from the Government of Japan lead by Ms. Aoi Yagamishi visited Bamyan.
“We are glad to see that the population of Bamyan province is strongly cooperating with the SDES process as well as are proud that Japan could make a good contribution to this very important project. We are hoping to continue our support for the development of large scale survey in other Afghanistan provinces”, said Ms. Aoi Yagamishi of the Embassy of Japan.

End

Contacts:
Ms. Sarah-Jean Cunningham, UNFPA Liaison Officer – cunningham@unfpa.org
Mr. Younus Payab, UNFPA Assistant Representative – payab@unfpa.org
Ms. Mercedita Tia, UNFPA Census Specialist – tia@unfpa.org