SECURITY COUNCIL ARRIVES IN AFGHANISTAN TO ASSESS PROGRESS, SHOW SUPPORT
21 June - Members of the Security Council arrived today in Kabul to review progress made by the Afghan Government with assistance from the international community, and to demonstrate their continued support for the country's efforts to ensure a sustainable peace.
The visit by the 15-member body is led by Ambassador Ertugrul Apakan of Turkey, and it comes ahead of the conference to be held in the capital on 20 July and co-chaired by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).
Next month's gathering is a follow-up to the London Conference held in January, during which the Government and its international partners jointly endorsed a strategy of transition to greater Afghan responsibility for the affairs of the country.
The visit is also taking place just weeks after the holding of the Consultative Peace Jirga – which brought together 1,600 delegates from across the country to discuss the way forward in the peace process – and as the country prepares for the parliamentary elections scheduled for 18 September.
While in Afghanistan the Council members will meet with President Hamid Karzai, senior members of the Government and other Afghan authorities and institutions, as well as with members of civil society.
They will also meet members of the international community and with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in his latest report to the Council, stated that the UN is committed to a continued long-term presence in Afghanistan, noting that this is a “critical” year in the country's transition.