Good governance key to community development, say Baghlan leaders at UN event
PUL-E KHUMRI - The pivotal role of good governance in promoting development and strengthening coordination with civil society was emphasized by participants at a UN-backed event in the capital of the north-eastern province of Baghlan.
The event, which took place recently and brought together some 40 participants from government departments, civil society groups and media organizations, was organized by the Kunduz regional office of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).
The purpose of the event, which was recorded for later television and radio broadcast to an audience estimated at 400,000 people in and around the provincial capital, was to highlight the role of government in supporting peace and stability in Baghlan and to outline the benefits of government offices developing stronger relationships with the communities they serve.
Baghlan Governor Abdul Hai Nemati opened the discussion by talking about some of the challenges the province has been facing, and highlighting some of the projects his office is overseeing. In addition, he described the creation of a new committee dedicated to enhancing transparency for all provincial development projects.
Khadeja Yaqeen, director of Baghlan’s Department of Women’s Affairs, said she believes such meetings are important for the province’s development. Rasool Huba, the head of Baghlan’s Civil Society Network, offered similar comments, stressing the key oversight role that civil society organizations can play in helping to improve good governance at the provincial level.
Others attending the event underscored the importance of engaging the public in development plans, and discussed the critical need for the public to be able to access information about government activities, which they identified as a cornerstone of good governance.
Earlier this year UNAMA worked with local youth groups the north-eastern region to support their advocacy efforts in provincial decision-making processes. Some of these youth representatives participated in the Pul-e Khumri event, and are expected to continue to take part in similar UNAMA-backed events in the future.
UNAMA is mandated to support the Afghan Government and the people of Afghanistan as a political mission that provides 'good offices' among other key services. 'Good offices' are diplomatic steps UN takes publicly and in private, drawing on its independence, impartiality and integrity, to prevent international disputes from arising, escalating or spreading.
UNAMA also promotes coherent development support by the international community; assists the process of peace and reconciliation; monitors and promotes human rights and the protection of civilians in armed conflict; promotes good governance; and encourages regional cooperation.