Saturday, June 19, 2010

It's snowing in the United Nations Security Council

Kabul in winter
Report of the Secretary-General pursuant to paragraph 40 of resolution 1917 (2010)

Now there's an innocuous title. Who would know this report was about Afghanistan? And even if you did, and if you knew where to look, it's difficult to find the relevant paragraphs. So, here are a few of the relevant 81 paragraphs:

18. Overall, the number of security incidents increased significantly, compared to previous years and contrary to seasonal trends. This is attributable to an increase in military operations in the southern region during the first quarter of 2010 and to significant anti-government element activities in the south-east and eastern regions of Afghanistan. The military focus remained on the southern region, with operations in central Helmand and Kandahar. Extending the reach of the Government remains the primary goal. The success of this approach is predicated on timely implementation of efforts to strengthen governance and service delivery linked to longer-term development. This requires increased and systemic cooperation between the Afghan National Security Forces and non-security ministries, as well as coordinated, coherent and inclusive support from the International Security Assistance Force and the international community.

47. During February, 27,700 people were displaced by military operations in Helmand Province. Line ministries and United Nations implementing partners registered the displaced and provided food and non-food assistance to 88 per cent of the displaced families. The World Food Programme (WFP) provided 494,912 metric tons of food in the form of family rations to the displaced families. By April, the pace of return of the displaced was slow, owing to continued military operations in the area, the high numbers of improvised explosive devices and the population’s concern about new power structures. The United Nations and partner non-governmental organizations continue to monitor the situation, update contingency plans and replenish pre-positioned stocks. A review of the humanitarian response to the Helmand operation revealed three principal strengths: improved coordination and information-sharing among agencies, adequate pre-positioning of supplies and successful implementation of the joint system for registering and verifying assessments. This contributed to a more rapid and effective distribution of assistance.

71. Since my previous report (A/64/705/-S/2010/127), the overall security situation has not improved. Indiscriminate anti-Government element attacks against civilian targets, Government representatives and international military forces continued. The
alarming trend of increased improvised explosive device incidents and the occurrence of complex suicide attacks persisted. Military operations also intensified.

78. Despite the considerable growth and reform plans for the development of the Afghan National Security Forces, the security environment remains unstable. A comprehensive approach on security sector reform needs to be supported by effective governance and progressive advances in the political process, to counterbalance concentrated military efforts. UNAMA continues to call upon all parties concerned to put the safety of civilians first.