In New York today, the Security Council voted unanimously to extend the mandate for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) until 23 March 2009. The new mandate underscores the leading role played by the United Nations in rebuilding Afghanistan. Commenting on this, Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier today (20 March) issued the following statement in Berlin:
"The new mandate for the work of the United Nations sends the right message at the right time. It reflects the determination of the international community to make a success of the mission in Afghanistan.
I am particularly pleased that the new Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Kai Eide, has been given a strong coordination mandate. For me it is clear: At a time when we want to step up our civilian reconstruction efforts and also take in more remote regions, we have to coordinate our joint action even more. This also holds true for the coordination of civilian and military efforts because reconstruction cannot happen if there isn't enough security.
Our goal is that the Afghan Government starts to shoulder more responsibility for reconstruction and security. For this to work, we need to take a frank look at where we are at the Afghanistan Conference in Paris."
In autumn 2007 the German Government decided to increase its funding for civilian reconstruction from 80 million euro a year to over 140 million euro. At the same time, the Government tripled its contribution to the police force and proposed that the EUPOL European police mission be doubled in size to improve the security situation.