United Nations Election Support Project (UNESP) document for the year 2021, has been signed between the Election Management bodies (Independent Election Commission and Independent Electoral Complaints Commission), United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in the IEC headquarters.
This document was signed by Seyed Esmatullah Mal Deputy to IEC, Ms. Zohra Bayan Shinwari, Head of the IECC, Mr. Jorge Goncalves, Chairman of the UNAMA and Catherine Masaka, UNDP Representative, with the presence of Deputies, Secretaries and CEOs of commissions and also some staffs from UNDP.
Mr. Mal In addition, appreciated global community, especially UNAMA's comprehensive cooperation and declared: "The project document is an example of the international community's commitment on institutionalizing a free, fair and transparent election. This commitment is becoming more and more effective and has been continuously able to take more stable steps towards our joint objectives. Signing this document enables commission to be more successful in raising awareness, institutionalizing the elections, increasing capacity building and technical issues.""
Mr. Mal also added that, commission is ready for conducting provincial council, Ghazni Wolesi Jirga and municipalities' elections. Operational plans has also been shared with the leadership of government. Commission still needs financial and technical support of international partners regarding better implementation of public awareness programs, trainings, capacity building and logistics.
Ms. Shinwari also thanked the UN’s cooperation and emphasized on the importance of capacity building of the Election Management Bodies for enhancing the credibility of the future electoral processes.
On the other hand, Ms. Deborah Lewens, UN Special Representative Secretary-General for Afghanistan said “The UN is working to build capacity of Afghan electoral institutions. The IEC and ECC should continue engaging with political parties , civil society organizations, the media and other important stakeholders not just at national but also for provincial and local level to allow for meaningful and inclusive public consultation that are key to building public trust and confidence on electoral institutions and processes.”
Similarly, Mr. Abdullah Al-Dardari, UNDP Resident Representative for Afghanistan shared that in the extended period, UNESP will continue building the capacity of EMBs but it is also a transition for identifying needs of EMBS beyond 2021.
The revised project document of UNESP was prepared in consultation with the EMBs, UNESP advisors , donors and by incorporating recommendations shared by civil society organizations to improve the future electoral processes.