UNAMA head visits Kandahar in first regional visit

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Special Representative of the Secretary-General Ján Kubiš today told Afghan and United Nations officials that increased security as a result of the transition should lead to more development during a visit to Kandahar, his first regional trip since taking office.

"I chose Kandahar as part of my first field trip for obvious reasons: because of the importance of the Southern Region and in order to reinforce our partnership with the people and local authorities,” Mr. Kubiš said during a meeting with Kandahar Governor, Dr. Toryali Wesa.

Calling Afghanistan a sovereign country in charge of its future, Mr. Kubiš told local officials “you have friends and partners to help you, and the UN is the best partner because you are part of it.”

Afghanistan was one of the first UN members, joining the Organization in 1946.

During the meeting, Governor Wesa called the UN a “good partner” and noted what he called the region’s strategic importance: "If there is peace in Kandahar, there will be peace in Afghanistan and vice-versa.”

Mr. Kubiš also met with Provincial Council members, line departments, and civil and military officials. "You are brave people. I would like to pay my respect for those who lost their lives for a better future, many of your colleagues and ours, too,” he told the provincial representatives.

He reiterated that the UN was in Afghanistan at the invitation of the Government and would remain in the country past 2014.

Mr. Kubiš also spoke to heads of UN agencies, funds and programmes operating in the southern region, including the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) which lost three colleagues last October in a suicide attack. “I am honoured to be part of the team” he said at the meeting.

By UNAMA Kandahar