Top UN official says Afghanistan faces "crucial year" in 2010
The United Nations' top official in Afghanistan said Wednesday that the Central Asian country faces a "crucial year" in 2010 as it scrambles to strengthen security and stability, Xinhua reported.
In his briefing to the UN Security Council, De Mistura, head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), said Afghan and international stakeholders alike acknowledged that no military solution could bring about stability in that country.
For security gains to be sustained, Afghanistan required a political vision that was articulated, driven and owned by the Afghans themselves, he said.
"Efforts must combine to create a sufficiently conducive political environment to counterbalance rising insecurity in a manner that signals that Afghanistan assumes greater responsibility for their country's desirable end state," he said.
He said UNAMA had reconfigured its work, deciding to adopt a " three-plus-one" strategy with a focus on support to elections, fostering reconciliation and encouraging regional cooperation, while also focusing on "aid coherence" to help the United Nations better deliver services in support of the Afghan government and people.
A report submitted by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the Security Council said that the number of security incidents in the country increased significantly over the past months.
It was due to increased military operations in the southern region during the first quarter of 2010 and significant anti- government activities in the south-east and east, according to the report.
Most incidents involved armed clashes and improvised explosive devices, it said.
The report noted that, despite the unstable security environment, there were several positive developments in the civilian sectors since the Afghan government took the lead in advancing the political process and setting out a progressive approach to implement the reform agenda towards "Afghanization" of security, governance and development.