JCMB agrees to expand Afghan national army
Source: United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA)
Kabul, 10 September 2008 – The Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board (JCMB), meeting today in Kabul, agreed the expansion of the Afghan National Army – increasing its strength to 134,000 personnel.
The Board, which consists of senior Afghan Ministers and representatives of the international community, also welcomed the new co-chair of the JCMB, Senior Cabinet Minister Hedayat Amin Arsala.
The Board endorsed a proposed Afghanistan Social Outreach Programme, whose aim is to empower local communities. It welcomed the proposal presented by the Afghan Government to set-up a mechanism to support the implementation of the Afghanistan National Development Strategy (ANDS). Reports were also presented on the status of preparations for elections and on the new anti-corruption body, the High Office of Oversight.
In addition, there were briefings on the humanitarian and refugee situations, with renewed calls to answer a humanitarian appeal for $404 million to help the most vulnerable Afghans over the coming winter months.
Kai Eide, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan and co-chair of the JCMB said:
“I welcome the decision taken today to expand the Afghan National Army. This increase is a huge step towards ensuring the Afghan Government has the number of soldiers it needs and that it can gradually take over the responsibility for the security of the country. We all know that ensuring security for all Afghans is of paramount importance.
“There is now a real sense of urgency to build on the commitments and progress that were made at the Paris Conference [in June]. This is a testing period for us all, but we all remain committed to implementing the commitments made – such as improved aid effectiveness and a more intensive fight against corruption.”
NOTES TO EDITORS:
The Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board (JCMB) was established for the overall strategic coordination and implementation of the Afghanistan Compact.
For further information, media should contact Nazifullah Salarzai (Dari, Pashto and English) on 0797 662 504 or Dan McNorton (English) on 0700 250 358.
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