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UNAMA chief stresses regional engagement at OSCE conference

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nicholas-haysomThe top United Nations official in Afghanistan, Nicholas Haysom, stressed the world body’s commitment to support Afghanistan, both in the country and across the region, during a panel discussion held at the Wilson Center in Washington D.C.

The panel discussion, held last week as part of an Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) conference, focused largely on Afghanistan’s challenges as it enters a new phase of transformation to consolidate democratic institutions and improve the well-being of its people.

The panel members each addressed several questions, ranging from what effect Afghanistan has on regional stability to what the international community can do to foster development and prosperity in the country and the wider region.

In his remarks, Mr. Haysom, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), identified Afghanistan’s economic, security and political challenges as “formidable,” and said the country “needs concerted regional engagement.”

In addition to the UN envoy offering comments and addressing questions from the Wilson Center audience, others who spoke on the panel included Yerzhan Ashikbayev, Deputy Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan; Hekmet Karzai, Deputy Foreign Minister of Afghanistan; Michael Georg Link, Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights; Shahrbanou Tadjbakhsh, Professor of Human Security at Sciences Po, Paris; and Marcel Pesko, Director of the Office of the OSCE Secretary-General.