Terrorism, drugs and crime thwarting Afghan development, warns Ban

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (right) speaks at the Moscow Special Conference on Afghanistan


27 March 2009 – Terrorism, illicit drug trafficking and organized crime are seriously impeding progress in Afghanistan, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned today, calling for greater international cooperation to help the country tackle these challenges.

“They are obstacles to development,” Mr. Ban said in an address to the Special Conference on Afghanistan, convened in Moscow under the aegis of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

“They bring violence into people’s daily lives. They undermine justice and human rights. They are a grave threat to public health, to governance and a democratic future.

Mr. Ban stressed that Afghanistan cannot face these challenges alone, and that all countries have an interest in countering them with “sustained and robust” action.
The Secretary-General also noted that the country’s security situation is at a “delicate juncture,” and while conditions have deteriorated in recent months, indications of “new thinking and new commitment” from Afghanistan’s international partners are reasons for cautious optimism.

Current political, security and development issues in the country will also be discussed at the International Conference on Afghanistan to be held in The Hague on 31 March. The meeting, which will be opened by Mr. Ban, follows similar events held previously in Bonn, London and Paris.


Source: UN News Centre