Afghanistan UN peacekeeping chief vows to stay the course for next five

“The starting point at the end of 2001 was a very low one and so there is a huge amount of work that remains to be done, whether it be security, whether it be governance, whether it be development – to use the three key pillars of the compact,” Under-Secretary-General for UN Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Marie Guéhenno tolda news conference in Kabul, the capital.Mr. Guéhenno, who represented Secretary-General Kofi Annan at yesterday’s inauguration of the new parliament, stressed that it was essential that the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), mandated by the UN Security Council and led by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), maintain the same level of support for the security of Afghanistan.“I think the (United States-led) Coalition Forces and ISAF have done a remarkable job and we wouldn’t have made the progress that we have made without their great contribution,” he said. “It’s important now to continue the effort. The Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police are making progress, but they still need our support and this support should be forthcoming.” Mr. Guéhenno also underlined the importance of strengthening the coordination of international efforts in building up the country’s infrastructure, for instance in establishing a road system to link communities with their markets. And he committed the UN to work closely in partnership with the Government to bring a level of transparency that will make the efforts of the international community more effective and increase the central role that the Government has to play in developing an Afghan National Development Strategy.