HL Deb 27 March 2002 vol 633 cc49-50WA
Lord Judd

asked Her Majesty's Government:

In the light of the experience of the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC), what they advocate as the role of the United Nations in Afghanistan in each of the following specific areas:

  1. (a) human rights;
  2. (b) electoral matters;
  3. (c) military matters;
  4. (d) civil administration;
  5. (e) police matters;
  6. (f) repatriation of refugees and displaced people; and
  7. (g) rehabilitation. [HL3399]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean

It is important that the UN and international community learn from previous experience in post-conflict situations such as Cambodia. The Government believe that the UN has a central role to play in the political, reconstruction and rehabilitation process in Afghanistan. The recent report of the UN Secretary-General on the situation in Afghanistan sets out his proposed structure for the UN presence in Afghanistan. The UN Assistance Mission to Afghanistan, under the leadership of Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative to Afghanistan, will aim to ensure that UN agencies on the ground are well co-ordinated and focused on supporting the Afghans to implement the terms of the Bonn Agreement.

The UN is currently working with the Afghan Interim Administration in a number of areas:

  1. 1. The UN-led political process, as outlined in the Bonn Agreement, sets out a road map for the transition to a democratic representative government in Afghanistan. The next stage in the political process, the Emergency Loya Jirga, will be held in June. The Loya Jirga will select the members of the Transitional Administration, which will rule until elections are held in 2004.
  2. 2. The UN is working with the Afghan Interim Administration on the immediate transitional assistance programme for the Afghan people. The programme contains UN and NGO projects focusing on urgent humanitarian needs, immediate recovery projects, and longer-term reconstruction and governance support.
  3. 3. The International Security Assistance Force (acting under a UN mandate) is helping the Afghan Interim Administration to maintain WA 50 peace and security in and around Kabul. The German Government have offered to take forward the training of the Afghan police force.
  4. 4. The UNHCR is working on the resettlement and repatriation of refugees.
  5. 5. The UN is supporting the Afghan Interim Administration to establish a human rights commission.