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Cablegate: Un Briefs On Unama's Structure, Expansion, And

VZCZCXRO2785
OO RUEHPW RUEHTRO
DE RUCNDT #0697/01 2171516
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 041516Z AUG 08
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4747
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL IMMEDIATE 0241

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 USUN NEW YORK 000697

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV UNSC AF
SUBJECT: UN BRIEFS ON UNAMA'S STRUCTURE, EXPANSION, AND
BUDGET

1. (SBU) ACTION REQUEST AND SUMMARY: On 30 July, the UN
briefed members of the Joint Coordination and Monitoring
Board (JCMB) on the United Nations Assistance Mission to
Afghanistan (UNAMA), specifically with regard to UNAMA's
budget proposal, UNAMA's expansion, and aid coordination and
effectiveness. UNAMA's recently submitted 2009 budget will
retain its two-pillar structure (headed respectively by a
DSRSG for Political Affairs and a DSRSG/Resident
Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator). The UN reported that
the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
(OCHA) would retain its current position under the
DSRSG/RC/HC. OCHA will increase in size to address urgent
humanitarian issues. Russia, Iran, India, the UK, Italy, and
France all expressed support for SRSG Kai Eide, UNAMA, and
the decision to keep OCHA within UNAMA. The proposed UNAMA
budget will be twice the size of the current 86 million USD
budget, primarily due to a 40 percent increase in staff,
security costs, and the costs associated with opening up six
new provincial offices. Before the end of 2008 UNAMA will
open two new provincial offices in Tirin Kot (Uruzgan
province) and Pul-i-Khumri (Baghlan province). By early 2009
UNAMA will open two more offices in Sar-i-Pul (Sar-i-Pul
province) and Ghazni (Ghazni province). The last two offices
will open by late 2009 in Lashkar Gah (Helmand province) and
Farah Center (Farah province).

2. (SBU) Summary continued: After the UN's brief, Afghanistan
PermRep Tanin expressed the government of Afghanistan's high
regard for SRSG Eide, saying that Eide had "established
himself as an effective leader" and "energized the offices of
UNAMA with a revised structure." Tanin commended Eide on his
regional efforts and his ability to align with Afghan leaders
of government, and suggested that things are "moving in the
right direction." ACTION REQUEST: During the meeting, the
UN asked all JCMB countries to identify geographic locations
in Afghanistan where we would like the UN Country Team to
prioritize its efforts. Additionally, the UN would like to
know whether we would prefer to fund various aid agencies
individually or through a central trust fund. END ACTION
REQUEST AND SUMMARY.

3. (SBU) On 30 July, the UN briefed members of the Joint
Coordination and Monitoring Board (JCMB) on the United
Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA),
specifically with regard to UNAMA's budget proposal, UNAMA's
expansion, and aid coordination and effectiveness. UNAMA's
recently submitted 2009 budget will retain its two-pillar
structure (headed respectively by a DSRSG for Political
Affairs and a DSRSG/Resident Coordinator/Humanitarian
Coordinator), said Scott Smith, the UN's team leader on
Afghanistan. Under this two-pillar structure, the aid
coordinator, Mark Ward, will have a senior-level position,
although it will be under the DSRSG/RC/HC. Ward will also
gain a direct reporting line to Eide.

4. (SBU) The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian
Affairs (OCHA) will retain its current position under the
DSRSG/RC/HC rather than assuming a quasi-independent role
separate from UNAMA (as OCHA and other NGOs wanted). OCHA
will increase in size from 36 personnel (16 international and
20 national) to 96 personnel (36 international and 60
national). The U.S., UK, India, Russia, and Iran all
commended the decision to keep OCHA under UNAMA.

5. (SBU) The proposed 2009 UNAMA budget will be approximately
twice the size of the current 86 million USD budget,
primarily due to a 40 percent increase in staff, security
costs, and the costs associated with opening up six new
provincial offices. Smith estimates that the budget will be
approved by November. He also reported that the UNAMA job
vacancy rate is trending down, partially due to the positive
effect of the recently approved UNAMA special allowance.

6. (SBU) Smith said that before the end of 2008 UNAMA will
open two new provincial offices in Tirin Kot (Uruzgan
province) and Pul-i-Khumri (Baghlan province). By early 2009
UNAMA will open two more offices in Sar-i-Pul (Sar-i-Pul
province) and Ghazni (Ghazni province). The last two offices
will open by late 2009 in Lashkar Gah (Helmand province) and
Farah Center (Farah province). Smith acknowledged that it
will take some time to fill the personnel requirements for
each of these new offices.

7. (SBU) Smith reported that at the July JCMB meeting in
Kabul, a decision was made to streamline consulted groups by
developing three standing committees (one for security, one
for governance/human rights/human law, and one for social and
economic issues). Each standing committee will consist of a
representative from UNAMA and the Afghan government. These

USUN NEW Y 00000697 002 OF 002


three committees will establish ad hoc task forces to address
specific issues. UNAMA and the Afghan government are still
addressing exactly how these standing committees will operate.

8. (SBU) Tanin stressed that the framework for the
implementation and coordination of the Afghanistan National
Development Strategy (ANDS) must be effective and capable of
being monitored. He asked UNAMA to help the Afghan finance
ministry with the implementation of the ANDS. Tanin
expressed the government of Afghanistan's high regard for
SRSG Kai Eide who he said has "established himself as an
effective leader" and "energized the offices of UNAMA with a
revised structure." Tanin commended Eide on his regional
efforts and his ability to align with Afghan leaders of
government, and suggested that things are "moving in the
right direction." Tanin also applauded the decision to keep
OCHA under UNAMA, saying that it is essential that the UN's
operations in Afghanistan fall under a unified UNAMA.

9. (SBU) Russia, Iran, India, the UK, Italy, and France
expressed their support for SRSG Eide, UNAMA, and the
decision to keep OCHA within UNAMA. Iran commended Eide for
his regional efforts, particularly his recent visit to Iran.
Iran recommended that each JCMB member country bring a budget
representative to the next JCMB meeting to help facilitate
the approval of the 2009 UNAMA budget.
Wolff

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