The UN Security Council has extended the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) for another year, until March 17, 2015.A press release issued by the UNSC at the end its meeting in New York yesterday said, the 15-member Council unanimously adopted a resolution that "the mission would continue to lead and coordinate international civilian efforts in Afghanistan, including support for the 2014 presidential election, the 2015 parliamentary elections and future electoral processes".
The resolution also promises help to Afghanistan in building capacity and providing technical assistance to its national institutions. The current mandate of the UNAMA is to expire on March 19.
The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan is a political mission which was constituted by the Security Council resolution in 2002 at the request of the Afghan government for laying the foundations for sustainable peace and development in the country. The UNAMA has played an important role in strengthening electoral institutions in Afghanistan.
Meanwhile nearly three weeks are left for the presidential and provincial council elections in Afghanistan for which polling will take place on April 5. The Election Commission has made elaborate arrangements for the smooth conduct of the democratic process with the assistance of national security and other agencies. The political campaigning for the elections is, by and large, going on peacefully, although there are also reports of stray incidents of violence against electoral officials and campaign workers from different parts of the country.
The mandate of another UN mandated mission of the 50-nation International Force in Afghanistan will also expire by the end of this year and the NATO-led foreign combat troops are planning to return to their respective countries by December 2014.