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Paris Meeting Should Boost Afghan Partnership - UN

Paris meeting should boost Afghan partnership, says UN envoy

10 June 2008 - A major summit in support of Afghanistan to be held in Paris later this week should result in an enhanced partnership between the fledgling democracy and its international partners, the top United Nations envoy to the country said today.

"The Paris conference is more than just a pledging conference for donors. We will seek to forge a 'new deal' between the Government of Afghanistan and the international community," said the Secretary-General's Special Representative, Kai Eide.

He will join Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Afghan President Hamid Karzai and delegates from over 80 countries and organizations on Thursday at the International Conference on Afghanistan - part of global efforts to help with reconstruction and development in the strife-torn nation.

Mr. Eide heads the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), which is tasked with promoting peace and stability by leading efforts of the international community, in conjunction with the Afghan Government, to rebuild the country and strengthen the foundations of peace and constitutional democracy.

"On our part, the international community must bring much greater coherence in the assistance being provided, we must channel more resources and effort towards building basic state institutions able to protect and serve the Afghan people," said Mr. Eide.

He added that the Afghan Government must play its part by deepening and broadening its economic and political reform process, demonstrating greater accountability and intensifying anti-corruption efforts.

In addition to assessing the progress made since the last international donors' meeting in London over two years ago, the meeting will also witness the launch of the Afghanistan National Development Strategy, the Government's five-year blueprint for the country's reconstruction.

"With the Afghanistan National Development Strategy we now have an Afghan-led and owned blueprint for all our support efforts. The imperative will be on the Government to show increased accountability for the support received and on the international community to get behind Afghanistan's own priorities," Mr. Eide stated.

ENDS

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