World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Peace is key to Afghan revival, UN envoy says

Peace is key to revival, UN envoy says at end of forum on Afghanistan's recovery

29 November - As an international conference on reconstruction of Afghanistan wrapped up its work today in Islamabad, the United Nations official leading the UN recovery effort in the country stressed that viable political settlement was key to any future economic revival.

"Without political bridges being built and without a peace being made no amount of economic social and social development activity will substitute," said the Administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), Mark Malloch Brown, who has been recently named by Secretary-General Kofi Annan to lead the early recovery effort in Afghanistan. Mr. Malloch Brown was speaking to the press after the conclusion of the three-day conference, which was co-sponsored by UNDP, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.

The forum, held under the theme "Preparing for Afghanistan's Reconstruction," concluded with a solid basis to carry out a multi-sectoral needs assessment for the war-shattered country, according to a spokesman for the conference.

"There is, of course, much more work to be done, but the level of consultation with Afghanistan's non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and professional community at the conference has established an important foundation for this urgent work," Dale Lautenbach told reporters in Islamabad.

He said that specific discussions were held on the role of women in Afghanistan's reconstruction. "The rights of women were seen as not only a fundamental human and moral right but a practical and economic contribution to the country's future," he said. The participation of women, "boosted by education and confidence building," would be particularly important to the country's future.

Education also emerged as a major theme of the meetings, with participants urging special attention to Afghanistan's many orphans. Many participants also emphasized that education for men and women of all ages should be part of a future strategy.

There was also a wide agreement on the importance of creating a comprehensive health system for Afghanistan, where only 23 per cent of the population has access to safe water and only 12 per cent has sanitation. Four per cent of the population is disabled, many by landmines.

"The conference was not designed to put a price tag on reconstruction," Mr. Lautenbach said, emphasizing that delegates "already had their most important resources: the Afghan people themselves."


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Decriminalising Same-Sex Relationships: UN Rights Chief Applauds Indian Decision

“This is a great day for India and for all those who believe in the universality of human rights," Bachelet said. "With this landmark decision, the Indian Supreme Court has taken a big step forward for freedom and equality...” More>>


Myanmar: UN Chief Rohingya Refugee Crisis Enters Second Year

Over 700,000 Rohingya fled Myanmar to ramshackle refugee camps in neighbouring Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar area, Bangladesh after being forced from their homes by a military operation which UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein compared, at the time, to ethnic cleansing. More>>


Scott Morrison In Hot Seat: NZ Congratulates Current Australian PM

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has today congratulated Scott Morrison on winning the leadership of the Australian Liberal Party and has acknowledged outgoing Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. More>>


Swing States: Gordon Campbell On Why The US Needs MMP

After the bizarre events this week in Helsinki, the world will be hoping and praying that the US midterm elections in November can put a restraining brake on the presidency of Donald Trump. This may happen, but there’s a highly undemocratic reason why such hopes may be frustrated. More>>


  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC