The United Nations Renews its Commitment to Afghanistan

At an all-day meeting of the Security Council, more than 30 countries expressed support for extending the UN Mission in Afghanistan, known as UNAMA. The head of UN peacekeeping, Jean-Marie Guehenno briefed the Council members on the Secretary-General's latest report, which lists the many challenges to peace in the country, including still fragile Afghan governmental institutions susceptible to corruption and a massive illegal drug economy thriving in the vacuum of State authority and abetting the insurgency. Mr. Guehenno also mentioned the need to coordinate better the activities of various international and local actors in Afghanistan. Italy's Ambassador, Marcello Spatafora said the main message to be drawn from the report of the Secretary-General is that the international community needs to stay the course in Afghanistan. Mr. Spatafora is said to be working on a draft resolution to be adopted by the Security Council that will sharpen UNAMA's mandate by identifying priority actions for the mission. The task of coordination falls to the newly appointed Secretary-General's representative in Afghanistan, Norwegian diplomat Kai Eide (photo). Mr. Eide emphasized that his role would be to advance the UN's partnership with the Afghan Government with the aim of enabling the Afghan people to take charge of their country.

Protecting Children's Rights in India

Children make up about 40% of India's population. Many of them are poor and do not enjoy the rights guaranteed by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child — they have to work for a living and do not go to school; many are still forced into early marriages. Millions of girls are missing, because they were selectively aborted. Last year India created a National Commission for Protection for Child Rights headed by Dr. Shantha Sinha, a long-time dedicated child rights activist. As she tells UN Radio's Gail Bindley Taylor Sainte, Dr. Sinha is determined to turn things around for India's children

Filed under UN Calling Asia.
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November 2017
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