Emergency international assistance for peace, normalcy and reconstruction of war-stricken Afghanistan

Report of the Secretary-General


The benchmarks set out in the political agenda of the Bonn Agreement of
5 December 2001 will have been met with the holding of parliamentary (or Wolesi
Jirga) and provincial council elections on 18 September this year. Preparations for
the forthcoming elections are on track, with the completion of candidate
nominations, the challenge and vetting period, and voter registration. Civic education
efforts are ongoing and the official campaign period will start one month prior to
election day. Funding however, continues to be a crucial factor for keeping the
elections on track and some $31 million is urgently required to fill a funding gap and
avoid any delay in the holding of the elections.

Although significant gains have been made in meeting the objectives of the
political agenda, the implementation of the institutional agenda of the Bonn
Agreement has been uneven across sectors. Institution-building continues to be a
challenge. Many critical State institutions at both the national and provincial levels
remain weak and susceptible to corruption. Efforts to reform security sector
institutions have enjoyed varying degrees of success. With the successful completion
of the disarmament and demobilization components of the disarmament,
demobilization and reintegration programme, additional support of some $21 million
will be required to complete the ongoing reintegration efforts and to implement the
successor programme established to disband illegal armed groups. The Afghan
National Army will reach its target strength of 43,000 by September 2007, three
years ahead of schedule. The current plan provides for the training of 62,000 Afghan
National Police by the end of this year. So far, over 40,000 police officers have been
trained and significant funding has been proposed for a major new police reform and
mentoring programme. In spite of the efforts of Afghanistan’s counter-narcotic
forces, the cultivation of and trade in narcotics remain one of the greatest threats to
the establishment of the rule of law and effective governance in Afghanistan. If left
unchecked, the fragile democratization and State-building achievements attained so
far will be undermined. Reform in the justice sector has been relatively slow,
hampered by lack of capacity, poor infrastructure and communications, and the
difficulty of integrating legal reform with mechanisms of traditional justice. The
Government has taken some steps to address public-sector and civil service reform.
However, sufficient resources have not been dedicated to developing effective
provincial administrations, responsive to the central Government. The Afghan
Independent Human Rights Commission has had a positive impact on the protection
and promotion of human rights; this impact is likely to be sustained in view of the
Commission’s current presence in 11 locations throughout the country.

The past three and a half years have seen significant economic growth in urban
centres, as well as an improvement in food security; yet, despite these achievements,
the reconstruction process has been hampered by the uncertain security situation,
which, coupled with an underdeveloped legal and regulatory framework, continues to
discourage private sector investment. Estimates show that State revenues will
average less than $400 million per year until 2008 — less than half of projected
expenditures for public sector salaries and operations. Despite extensive international
assistance to Afghanistan, a smooth transition from relief to recovery has been
hindered by years of drought, internal displacement, land rights issues, urban
pressures due to a large returnee influx and, more recently, severe flooding in certain
districts. The Administration’s disaster response mechanisms have grown
increasingly effective and have taken on additional responsibilities for disaster relief
and humanitarian assistance.

The security situation in Afghanistan continues to be of paramount concern.
There is an increase in the sophistication of weapons used and in the type of attacks
being carried out by insurgents and anti-government elements, especially in the south
and parts of the east of the country. To help contain any upsurge in violence in the
period leading up to the elections and beyond, various measures (modelled on those
developed during last year’s presidential elections) have been put in place by the
international military forces and the Transitional Administration.

I. Introduction

1. The present report is submitted pursuant to General Assembly resolutions
59/112 A and B of 8 December 2004 and Security Council resolution 1589 (2005) of
24 March 2005. It provides an overview of the progress made in the implementation
of the Bonn Agreement with particular emphasis on the period since the issuance of
the previous report, dated 18 March 2005 (A/59/744-S/2005/183). During this
period, the Security Council received an oral briefing on 24 June 2005 (see

II. Implementation of the Bonn Agreement

A. The political agenda of the Bonn Agreement

2. The parties to the Bonn Agreement committed themselves to a political
process that stressed the right of Afghans to determine freely their own political
future. The Bonn process mapped a step-by-step transition towards increasingly
legitimate power structures, culminating in the establishment of a fully
representative and freely elected government.

3. The first step was completed with the establishment of the Afghan Interim
Authority on 22 December 2001 under the chairmanship of Hamid Karzai. The
members of the authority were selected from and by the participants in the Bonn
talks. The Interim Authority exercised sovereignty for a period of six months and
established the basic institutions mandated by the Bonn Agreement.

4. An emergency Loya Jirga (grand assembly) to appoint a transitional
administration was held in June 2002. While the process of selecting delegates was
subjected to both political pressure and intimidation, the 1,500 emergency Loya
Jirga delegates (including over 200 women) ultimately constituted a representative
sampling of Afghan society and its political balance. The assembly elected Hamid
Karzai to head the Transitional Administration.

5. More broadly based than the Interim Authority, the Transitional
Administration launched the reform of key ministries and public administration at
the national and local levels. It adopted legislation addressing critical issues such as
the media, banking, customs and investment. A country-wide currency exchange
was completed in January 2003, introducing a new currency controlled exclusively
by the Central Bank, thereby providing a basis for economic stability. Nevertheless,
insecurity continued to limit the Administration’s reconstruction and development
efforts, as well as its ability to expand its authority across the country.

6. The next step in the political transition was completed with the holding of a
constitutional Loya Jirga in December 2003 and January 2004. Most CLJ delegates
were indirectly elected by ELJ district representatives or by special constituencies;
52 were appointed by the President. Of the 502 total delegates, 103 were women.
The Constitution adopted by constitutional Loya Jirga on 4 January 2004 establishes
a unified Islamic State based on the rule of law. It provides for a political system
that is presidential in nature, but with a large degree of parliamentary oversight.
Further, it enshrines the equality of men and women and promotes women’s political participation by guaranteeing them at least 25 per cent of the seats in the lower
house of parliament.

7. Under the terms of the Bonn Agreement, national elections were to be held in
June 2004. However, a number of legal and technical difficulties, as well as a
concern that the failure of many Afghans to disarm would prejudice the conduct of
the parliamentary elections, led the Joint Electoral Management Body to delay the
presidential election until 9 October 2004 and parliamentary elections until the
spring of 2005. The presidential election was contested by 18 candidates, including
one woman. Polling day was marked by a high turnout of voters (70 per cent) and an
absence of major security incidents. Allegations of serious irregularities raised by a
number of candidates were investigated by an independent panel of experts, which
concluded that they did not materially affect the outcome. President Karzai won the
election with 55.4 per cent of the vote. His inauguration on 7 December 2004 was
followed by the formation, on 23 December 2004, of a new cabinet, selected in
conformity with the Constitution’s requirements and with a view to achieving ethnic

8. As indicated above, parliamentary elections were to have been held in the
spring of 2005. In my previous report (A/59/744-S/2005/183, paras. 4-14) a number
of technical difficulties that jeopardized this time frame were mentioned. Ultimately,
those difficulties could not be surmounted and on 19 March the Joint Electoral
Management Body decided to postpone the elections until 18 September 2005.

9. On 27 April 2005, President Karzai signed a revised electoral law. The law
required the Central Statistics Office to release a set of population figures province
by province. These were used by the Joint Electoral Management Body to allocate
seats for both the Wolesi Jirga (249 seats, including 10 seats reserved for the
nomadic Kuchi population) and the 34 provincial councils (420 seats). There was
renewed debate on the single non-transferable vote electoral system chosen
provided for in the original electoral law, with some political figures favouring
proportional representation. In the end, the Transitional Administration, henceforth
referred to as the Government, retained the single non-transferable vote and referred
further debate on the electoral system to the future parliament.

10. With the legal framework in place, candidate nominations were filed between
30 April and 26 May 2005. Despite a tense security situation in many parts of the
country, over 6,000 Afghans (including more than 600 women) completed the
procedures to become candidates for either the Wolesi Jirga or the provincial
councils. A sufficient number of nominations were received from women candidates
to fill their reserved quota of seats, except in provincial council elections in the
three provinces of Nangarhar, Oruzgan and Zabol. In accordance with the electoral
law, the unfilled female quota of council seats in these provinces will remain vacant
until the next elections.

11. From 4 to 9 June, provisional candidate lists were widely displayed. Voters
were given the opportunity to challenge any candidate through the Electoral
Complaints Commission, an independent body established under the revised
Electoral Law to adjudicate all complaints concerning the electoral process. The
Commission announced on 2 July that it had received 1,144 challenges against 557
candidates, including 208 candidates accused of commanding or belonging to illegal
armed groups.

12. The scarcity of written criminal records in Afghanistan made it impossible to
prove the guilt of any candidate with respect to specific criminal activities or human
rights abuses. Consequently, the Electoral Complaints Commission drew upon the
substantial body of information accumulated by national and international
institutions since 2001 to disqualify provisionally the 208 candidates reported to
have links with illegal armed groups. They were given an opportunity to respond to
the findings of the Commission. They were also given the opportunity to disarm
voluntarily, in accordance with the law, by 7 July. A number of candidates chose this
second course of action. Of the 7,281 weapons collected by that date, 4,052 were
handed in by candidates.

13. On 11 July, the Electoral Complaints Commission provided the Joint Electoral
Management Body with a list of 17 candidates who were disqualified. Of this
number, 11 were disqualified for failing to disarm or having links with illegal armed
groups. In addition to the disqualifications, over 200 candidates withdrew from the
electoral process for a variety of reasons, ranging from the formation of alliances
with other candidate(s) to an unwillingness to participate in voluntary disarmament.
On 12 July, the Joint Electoral Management Body issued the final list of some 5,800
candidates. The Electoral Complaints Commission retains the right, until the day the
election results are certified, to exclude any further candidate, based on new
information which proves that that candidate is in violation of the Electoral Law.

14. A voter registration drive took place between 25 June and 21 July. It provided
unregistered Afghans with a chance to register and registered voters with a chance
to update the details on their registration cards. To register returning refugees,
registration sites have been established inside six returnee “encashment” centres
located in Herat, Kabul, Zaranj, Nimruz, Kandahar and Nangarhar. These centres
provide returning refugees with cash assistance and are managed by the Government
with the support of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for
Refugees (UNHCR). They will remain open for registration until one week before
the elections. By 25 July 2005, some 1.5 million new voters had been registered,
160,000 lost cards replaced and 15,275 corrections made.

15. Despite a significant deterioration in security, particularly in the south and
parts of the east of the country, the Joint Electoral Management Body has managed
to keep the technical preparations for the elections on track. Offices are fully
operational in the eight regional centres and the 34 provinces. On election day,
between six and seven thousand polling sites will operate simultaneously across the

16. The decision of the European Union to send electoral observers and that of the
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to deploy an electoral support
mission to Afghanistan are positive developments. Other organizations — both
domestic and international — have indicated their willingness to participate in the
observation effort. The deployment of thousands of domestic observers under the
coordination of the Foundation for Free and Fair Elections is especially

17. In April, the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission and the United
Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) resumed their joint effort,
successfully undertaken for the 2004 election, to evaluate the extent to which
political rights can be freely exercised. Three reports will be issued before the
election. The first, issued on 29 June, addresses the candidate nomination process.
Although some violations of political rights were confirmed, the report finds no
evidence of any systematic pattern of violations. Nevertheless, the report also
indicates that there is a broad fear of intimidation and a perception that the ability of
citizens to exercise political rights may be increasingly limited as the process

18. The official electoral campaign will begin on 17 August. Meanwhile, civic
education efforts are under way to familiarize Afghans with the voting procedures.
This has been particularly challenging in remote and insecure areas.

19. Polling day will be followed by counting, which will take place at the
provincial level. Measures are being planned to grant observers access to this
delicate phase of the process. Counting will be followed by a complaints and
adjudication period, and then by the certification of results. In accordance with
article 24 of the Electoral Law, the newly elected provincial councils must assemble
and elect their representatives to the upper house or Meshrano Jirga no later than 15
days after the certification of results. The Meshrano Jirga will also include 17
members appointed by the President. The process concludes with the inauguration
of the National Assembly.

20. Funding continues to be a crucial factor for keeping the elections on track. It is
essential that funds committed or pledged are paid, to ensure the smooth
implementation of the electoral operation. It is a matter of deep concern that, with
the elections just weeks away, a funding gap of some $31 million remains. I appeal
to donors urgently to make additional pledges so as to avoid any slippage in the
technical preparations for the elections.

B. The institutional agenda of the Bonn Agreement

21. The Bonn Agreement prescribes the establishment of several key institutions
to guide the process towards its ultimate goal of lasting peace, stability and respect
for human rights. Some of these institutions, such as the Loya Jirga Commission and
the Constitutional Commission have fulfilled their purpose and have been
disbanded. Others, such as the justice commission (see paras. 43-47 below), the civil
service commission and the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (see
paras. 48-50 below) have played an important role in promoting the goals of the
Bonn Agreement. Still others, such as the central bank (Da Afghanistan Bank),
while not explicitly prescribed in the Bonn Agreement, have been created or revived
to meet obvious needs that have emerged in the post-Bonn period.

22. While the Government has taken important initiatives to reform civil
administration at the central level, reforms below that level have proved more
difficult. In particular, insufficient resources have been dedicated to developing
effective public administration at the provincial and district levels. Although the
Constitution does not envisage a significant devolution of authority away from the
centre, provincial and district institutions are essential for both government planning
and service delivery. At the present time, these institutions are not in a position to
execute many of these functions. This is largely due to a lack of capacity and the
existence of corruption.

23. To address these problems, the Government, the United Nations and donors are
currently engaged in discussions on the public administration reform strategy.
Additional initiatives are required to build up the central Government’s capacity to:
(a) coordinate and plan at the provincial level; (b) ensure that social services are
delivered and (c) reflect local needs in the central Government’s planning processes.
The architecture of provincial and district administration, including the respective
roles and responsibilities of the elected provincial and district councils, will need to
be addressed by the future parliament.

24. Aside from lack of capacity and corruption, the uncertain security environment
has also impeded the development of effective government institutions at the
provincial and local levels. Reform of the security sector has therefore been one of
the most important and challenging items on the institutional agenda.

1. Security sector institutions

25. The Bonn Agreement requested the international community to assist in the
integration of the mujahideen into the new Afghan security and armed forces, to
help establish and train these forces and to assist in combating the cultivation and
trafficking of illicit drugs. Since 2002, a five-pillar security reform agenda, with a
“lead nation” coordinating each reform activity, has been pursued.

Disarmament, demobilization and reintegration

26. On 22 February 2003, the Afghanistan’s New Beginnings Programme was
established by the Government (with Japan as lead nation supported by UNAMA
and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)) to disarm, demobilize
and reintegrate members of the Afghan Military Forces. Implementation of the
programme began in October 2003, following an initial reform of the Ministry of
Defence. Some 16 months later, on 7 July 2005, the disarmament and
demobilization portion of the programme ended, with more than 63,380 Afghan
Military Forces troops (all ranks) disarmed. Of these, more than 59,290 have been
successfully demobilized and more than 57,590 have chosen to enter (and in some
cases have completed) the reintegration process in the following areas: the
agricultural sector (43 per cent), in vocational training or direct job placement, such
as in carpentry, metal work or tailoring (25 per cent), small business (21 per cent),
the Afghan National Army or the Afghan National Police (5 per cent), demining (5
per cent) and education (1 per cent).

27. The Afghanistan’s New Beginnings Programme has enabled the Government
to remove all Afghan Military Forces personnel from the payroll of the Ministry of
Defence, resulting in an estimated saving to the national budget of a recurrent cost
of over $120 million and effectively dissolving the Afghan Military Forces. The
Afghanistan’s New Beginnings Programme is now focused on ensuring the
sustainable reintegration of ex-combatants into their communities and the legal
economy. This includes a project to monitor and evaluate the progress made by excombatants
who have completed the reintegration programme (12 per cent to date).
Additional support of $21 million will be required by the Programme to complete
ongoing reintegration efforts, carry out an ammunition survey and implement the
project to disband illegal armed groups (described in greater detail below).

28. A crucial outcome of the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration
process has been the safe removal and cantonment of over 10,880 heavy weapons.
Cities such as Jalalabad, Kandahar, Gardiz, Mazar-e Sharif and Bamian are now
largely free of operational heavy weapons. The cantonment of these weapons,coupled with the demobilization of the Afghan Military Forces, has reduced
opportunities for factions to engage in clashes of the scope and intensity that
affected the northern provinces in the period 2002-2004, and the western provinces
last year.

29. Progress made on disarmament, demobilization and reintegration has helped
improve the political environment for the organization of meaningful elections.
Moreover, the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration process, together with
the creation of the Afghan National Army, has furthered the goal of ensuring that
military assets and weaponry belong to the State of Afghanistan alone, for the
protection of national sovereignty.

30. Progress has been made in the design of the successor project to disarmament,
demobilization and reintegration, the disbandment of illegal armed groups. These
groups, which are not on the payroll of the Ministry of Defence, exist throughout the
country and threaten the ongoing efforts to establish the rule of law and order at all
levels. An exercise to map and categorize these groups, undertaken by the Afghan
authorities with the support of international military forces and UNAMA, identified
some 1,800 illegal armed groups and their commanders on the basis of their
involvement in one or more of the following activities: political intimidation, drug
trafficking and threats to good governance. The findings of the mapping exercise
served as an important tool in the vetting of candidates for the elections, and the risk
of disqualification due to linkages with armed groups served as a catalyst for
potential candidates to disarm. The Government’s Disarmament and Reintegration
Commission decided that the disbandment of illegal armed groups programme
would not provide individual incentives for disarmament. Rather, post-disarmament
efforts would concentrate on enhancing security, governance, access to justice and
community-based economic and social benefits.

Establishment of the Afghan National Army

31. On 1 December 2002, President Karzai signed a decree establishing the
Afghan National Army. The decree brought all Afghan military forces, mujahideen
and other armed groups under the control of the Ministry of Defence. The reform of
the Ministry and general staff began in the spring of 2003 with the aim of creating a
broad-based organization staffed by professionals from a balance of ethnic groups.

32. The training of the Afghan National Army, led by the United States of
America with support from France and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and
Northern Ireland, continues to progress. It currently has 25,000 trained combat
troops (all ranks) and is expected to reach its target strength of 43,000 by September
2007, three years ahead of schedule, under an accelerated training programme. An
increasingly capable force, ANA participates in joint combat operations with
coalition forces. The composition of the Afghan National Army today mirrors the
ethnic and regional diversity of Afghanistan. The building of the army has
demonstrated the importance of taking a comprehensive approach to institutionbuilding,
combining selecting, vetting, equipping and mentoring with sweeping
reforms in the corresponding ministry.

Police reform

33. The German-led programme for the training of police officers and noncommissioned
officers began in August 2002, following the renovation of the Kabul police academy. Regional training centres were opened in seven cities in the course
of 2003 and 2004. At present, the Afghan National Police force comprises some
58,000 police officers, including border police, of whom more than 40,000 have
been trained through German and United States training programmes. The current
target is to have a force of 62,000 trained police officers by the end of this year.

34. In June 2005, Germany and the United States-led coalition forces proposed a
major new police reform and mentoring programme — totalling around $1 billion — to
the Government of Afghanistan and the international community. The new programme
will draw heavily on the approach adopted for the formation of the Afghan National
Army. Field mentoring and the reform of the Ministry of the Interior, including the
creation of a department for police and security affairs, will be central components of
the programme. Pay and rank reform, including severance packages, will be introduced
to achieve parity with ANA salaries.

35. Further study will be required to identify how the future recurrent costs of the
new police, including salaries, can be funded in a sustainable manner once the startup
investment has been made. Donors will need to ensure that a credible audit and
quality control mechanism is introduced to maintain public confidence. Police
reform must be more fully aligned with reform of the other pillars of security sector.
Furthermore, the Government must take resolute measures to remove patently
corrupt or incompetent senior police officials.

Counter-narcotics activities

36. The cultivation, sale and trafficking of illegal drugs poses a significant threat
to the long-term security and stability of Afghanistan. The scale and proliferation of
these activities undermine development, the rule of law and effective governance.
The money generated from narcotics production and trafficking is used to fund
crime, corruption, illegal armed groups and extremist elements. The widespread
availability of drugs also tends to increase local addiction rates, contributing to the
spread of diseases such as AIDS and reducing the availability of already scarce
human capital in Afghanistan.

37. The nature and scale of the problem has been recognized by the Government
of Afghanistan and the international community for some time. Despite their efforts
to address the problem, however, Afghanistan remains the largest opium producer in
the world, providing nearly 87 per cent of the world’s total supply. In 2004, the
illegal trade was equivalent to an estimated 60 per cent of the country’s gross
domestic product. The magnitude of the trade and the immense wealth that it
generates suggest that combating it will be a long-term endeavour requiring a
multifaceted strategy adapted to the varying conditions in individual provinces.
Afghanistan must develop and implement this strategy in close cooperation with
transit and recipient States.

38. The Government, with the support of the United Kingdom as lead nation, has
taken a number of steps to develop a strategic framework to improve coordination
among actors in the counter-narcotics effort. This framework has paid particular
attention to: (a) the differing capacities of central and provincial governments;
(b) linkages with the still-developing justice sector; and (c) cooperation with
neighbouring countries. Following the signing of the Declaration on Counter-
Narcotics at the Berlin Conference on 1 April 2004, Afghanistan and its six
neighbours signed a declaration on drugs on 30 June 2004 which commits its signatories to a series of practical measures. These include the provision of
assistance in the training of the Afghan counter-narcotics police force, intelligence
sharing and cooperation between border police units. In December 2004, President
Karzai convened a special counter-narcotics Loya Jirga, in which the participants,
representing community leaders from across the country, pledged to use their
political, religious and social influence to combat the spread of illegal drugs. The
following month, the Counter-Narcotics Directorate (originally established under
the National Security Council) was elevated to a full ministry, the Ministry of
Counter-Narcotics. The Ministry developed a counter-narcotics implementation plan
in February 2005, comprising eight pillars: (a) institution-building, (b) information
campaigns, (c) alternative sustainable livelihoods, (d) interdiction and law
enforcement, (e) criminal justice, (f) eradication, (g) demand reduction and
treatment of drug addicts, and (h) regional cooperation. The Counter-Narcotics Trust
Fund was established in June 2005 to channel contributions for the implementation
of this programme.

39. Drawing on lessons learned from previous efforts, this year’s eradication
efforts were conducted in two phases. The first phase was carried out by governors
and provincial law enforcement authorities and targeted districts close to cities and
markets in the provinces of Nangarhar, Laghman, Konar, Helmand and Badakhshan.
The second phase brought in central government-led forces and targeted the
provinces of Kandahar and Balkh, where it was felt the governors had not shown
sufficient commitment in leading eradication efforts themselves. It appears that the
provincial-led campaigns were relatively more successful than campaigns carried
out by the central government forces. The latter met with resistance from poppy
growers in some areas, resulting in casualties on both sides. Nevertheless,
eradication efforts in 2005 were not as successful as hoped and the total area
eradicated this year has been limited.

40. A rapid assessment survey undertaken by the United Nations Office of Drugs
and Crime in March 2005 suggested a decline in cultivation in 2005 in contrast to
the record levels of more than 131,000 hectares under cultivation in 2004. The final
results of the survey are expected in September.

Justice sector reform

41. Following the establishment of the Judicial Reform Commission in 2002, an
interim criminal procedure code has been adopted and a number of other relevant
laws essential to justice reform have been enacted or drafted. With assistance from
Italy (as lead nation), the United States, the European Union and the United Nations
organizations, progress has also been made with respect to the training of personnel
and the rehabilitation of physical infrastructure, including courts and correctional

42. During the reporting period, the Law on the Organization and Jurisdiction of
the Courts came into force in June after an extensive period of consultation with the
international community. The Juvenile Justice Code and the Law on Prisons and
Detention Centres were also adopted. Also in June, the law graduates training
programme of the Judicial Reform Commission produced, for the second year, 130
graduates, with support from UNDP. A number of justice sector facilities were
rehabilitated, including the Ministry of Justice building and the Attorney-General’s
offices in Kabul, as well as the provincial court building in Kondoz. Work is also under way on a new court house in Herat and in other regions, with support from the
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. International support has also ensured
that some urgent resource requirements, such as generators, computers and vehicles,
have been provided.

43. The Government has gradually shifted responsibility for reform from the
Justice Reform Commission to the justice sector’s three permanent national
institutions, the Ministry of Justice, the Attorney General’s Office and the Supreme
Court. These bodies coordinate their efforts through the Consultative Group for
Justice, chaired by the Ministry of Justice. The Group has become an active player
in shaping the sector’s reform strategy, including the coordination of donor
programmes. The Group, with the support of UNDP and UNAMA, is currently
developing a comprehensive needs assessment which will serve as the basis for
future justice sector reform efforts. The strategy which emerges will have to address
a number of critical issues that have hampered reform efforts. These include: (a) the
appropriate balance between capacity development and institutional reform; (b)
infrastructure and communications; (c) the desired method of engagement with the
mechanisms of traditional justice; and (d) developing effective linkages with police
reform and counter-narcotics efforts.

44. The Ministry of Justice and the Attorney-General’s Office, assisted by UNDP,
completed the first stage of the Government’s priority reform and restructuring
process. As part of this stage, all government institutions were required to
streamline their internal structures and departments and to revise their staffing plans
accordingly. The Ministry of Justice has commenced the second stage of the
process, which requires merit-based recruitment of all Ministry staff under the
newly revised structure.

45. For its part, the Supreme Court has assumed a lead role in the training of
judges through the establishment of the Judicial Education and Training Committee
in June 2005. The Committee aims to develop a more coordinated approach to the
planning, implementation and evaluation of training programmes for judges.

2. The Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission

46. The Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission was established by
presidential decree on 6 June 2002 and its mandate was later enshrined in the
Constitution (see A/58/742-S/2004/230). With a presence in 11 locations across the
country, its 400 staff is comprised of experts, both men and women, from all major
ethnic groups.

47. Since its inception, the Commission, with support from UNAMA, the Office of
the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), and UNDP,
has undertaken a number of important initiatives. These included the verification of
the exercise of political rights prior to elections, activities in the area of transitional
justice, the investigation of human rights cases, monitoring of at-risk communities
and monitoring of prisons. The work of the Commission has had a positive impact
on the protection and promotion of human rights. The number of violations of
human rights by State actors is decreasing.

48. Nonetheless, addressing the sources of human rights abuses and the creation of
an environment in which the population can enjoy the full respect of human rights
will require sustained efforts over the long term. In June, the Commission, UNAMA and OHCHR participated in a conference on peace, justice and reconciliation hosted
by the Government of the Netherlands, at which the Government of Afghanistan
presented ideas, developed jointly with the Commission and UNAMA, for an action
plan on transitional justice to key international actors, including major donor
countries. UNAMA has also encouraged the Government to broaden public
participation and to build support for transitional justice through a series of
consultations with civil society, including elders, religious leaders and former
mujahideen. OHCHR will organize a workshop in Kabul during the autumn of 2005
on two elements of the proposed action plan: truth-seeking and reconciliation.

C. The reconstruction process

49. Over the past three and a half years, significant economic growth has taken
place in the urban centres and food security has improved, with record crop yields.
A national budget was developed and a new currency was adopted. Schools have
reopened across the country, providing educational opportunities for 4.3 million
children. The enrolment of female students is now at an all-time high level. Over
three million refugees have repatriated voluntarily.

50. Despite these achievements, the economic and developmental challenges
facing Afghanistan remain daunting. In July 2005, the International Monetary Fund
(IMF) reported that the economy grew at a rate of 7.5 per cent in 2004/05. Although
IMF considers this pace to be steady, the Government has estimated that a minimum
growth rate of 9 per cent is required to achieve recovery. Government revenues are
expected to average less than $400 million per year until 2008 — less than half the
projected expenditures for public-sector salaries and operations. The Government is
not expected to be able to cover its operating costs fully before 2013. The uncertain
security situation, together with underdeveloped legal and regulatory frameworks,
continues to discourage private-sector investment. Every 30 minutes, a woman in
Afghanistan dies from pregnancy-related causes. Twenty per cent of children die
before the age of five. Life expectancy is 44.5 years, some 20 years lower than in all
of the neighbouring countries. Only 28.7 per cent of Afghans over the age of 15 are
literate and two million children (1.25 million girls) are still out of school. As a
consequence of the limited access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation (23
and 12 per cent of the population, respectively) preventable diseases remain

1. Development frameworks

51. The Bonn Agreement requested the assistance of the international community
with the rehabilitation, recovery and reconstruction of Afghanistan. Specific targets
and benchmarks, however, were not provided to guide the reconstruction agenda.
Since 2002, the international community has disbursed a total of $8.4 billion in
assistance to Afghanistan.

52. The Government has made progress in strengthening the accountability of
public-sector administration and has succeeded in meeting most of the IMF and
World Bank benchmarks related to fiscal management. In 2003, the first national
development framework laid out the Government’s broad development objectives.
These objectives encouraged a shift away from immediate humanitarian assistance towards longer-term social protection programmes in order to lay the groundwork
for a sustained economic recovery.

53. The Government’s increasing leadership and capacity in defining national
priorities led to a substantial re-costing exercise. The Government document entitled
“Securing Afghanistan’s future”, presented to donors at the 2004 Berlin Conference,
set economic growth targets in alignment with the Millennium Development Goals
and defined public-sector spending priorities for the next seven years. It also
highlighted that the development and rehabilitation needs of Afghanistan far exceed
the preliminary estimates to which donors generously committed themselves at the
International Conference on Reconstruction Assistance to Afghanistan, held in
Tokyo in January 2002.

54. In December 2004, President Karzai created the Ministry of the Economy to
take over responsibility for economic planning from the Ministry of Finance. The
third annual Afghanistan Development Forum was held from 4 to 6 April 2005, with
the participation of over 300 delegates from the Government and the international
donor community. Presentations and discussions at the Forum revealed a division of
views about how best to promote economic growth. Some participants preferred a
vision of Afghanistan as a bridge between central, south and east Asia, profiting
from trade and customs and its geographic location, and prioritizing private sector
development and large-scale infrastructure investment. Others argued that
Afghanistan was likely to remain a predominately agricultural economy and would
benefit most from development strategies which focused on that sector.

55. To address concerns within the Government regarding the extent of the
operations of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), President Karzai signed an
executive decree on 15 June excluding NGOs from participating in construction
projects and contracts. Exceptions can be granted by the Ministry of the Economy
on a case-by-case basis at the request of a donor country. In accordance with the
decree, the re-registration of NGOs has started and is expected to last for six
months. At present, there are an estimated 2,500 NGOs, including 350 foreign
NGOs, operating in Afghanistan.

2. Humanitarian developments

56. Faced with the aftermath of years of conflict, the Government of Afghanistan
has received extensive assistance from the international community in the delivery
of basic social services to poor and vulnerable populations. The United Nations has
played a key role in responding to humanitarian crises, including through the
provision of shelter, food aid and other life-saving measures. A smooth transition
from relief to recovery has, however, been hampered by natural disasters (six years
of continuous drought were followed in 2005 by extensive flooding), internal
displacement, land rights issues and urban pressures due to the large influx of
returnees. A lack of public-sector capacity and access to vulnerable populations has
hindered attempts at a comprehensive response to these issues.

57. The Government has increasingly assumed responsibility for disaster relief and
humanitarian assistance. The Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development has
taken the lead in disaster-response management. Areas of activity have included the
coordination of drought mitigation and winterization programmes, as well as
assistance to flood victims. Most recently, the Ministry coordinated the
Government’s response to nationwide floods in the spring and summer of 2005.
Rains in March and April particularly affected Oruzgan, Ghazni and Jowzjan
provinces, notably resulting in the bursting of the Ghazni dam on 29 March. A
second round of floods occurred in May and June, affecting the north-east and east.
The province of Badakhshan was particularly hard-hit, causing significant
population displacement. Flooding also affected Kapisa, Konar and Nangarhar
provinces in the east and Bamian, Sar-e Pol, Kondoz, Samangan and Balkh
provinces in the central and north-western regions.

58. The disaster-response mechanisms developed jointly by the Government and
UNAMA have grown increasingly effective in collecting information on and
facilitating the response to humanitarian crises. The provincial disaster committees
have brought together central and provincial government, NGOs and United Nations
agencies to devise a coordinated response in affected provinces. Their work has
been assisted through the collection and dissemination of information by a
centralized body, the Joint Operations Center. With respect to the recent floods, the
Center reported that 13,637 families had been affected, that there had been 332
deaths and 4,192 injuries, and that 12,672 houses had been destroyed, close to
11,000 livestock killed and over 11,000 hectares of agricultural land spoiled. In
response, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs authorized the
release of $120,000 from the Emergency Reserve Grant and UNICEF has begun the
distribution of non-food items donated by Norway.

59. On 28 June, the Tripartite Agreement between Afghanistan, the Islamic
Republic of Iran and UNHCR for voluntary repatriation of Afghan refugees and
displaced persons was renewed until the end of 2006. Since the programme began,
in March 2002, over three million individuals have returned to Afghanistan
(2,377,322 from Pakistan; 783,541 from the Islamic Republic of Iran; 11,198 from
other countries). The returns from Pakistan continue at more or less the same pace
as in previous years, whereas those from the Islamic Republic of Iran have slowed

III. Security

A. Security situation

60. Throughout the Bonn process, the security environment has continued to be of
paramount concern. From 2002 to 2004, powerful commanders and their militias,
dominated the security environment. Narcotics trade and related criminal activities
also expanded rapidly. More recently, there have been troubling indications that
remnants of the Taliban and other extremist groups are reorganizing. The unusually
severe winter of 2004-2005 brought about a relative calm (see A/59/744-
S/2005/183). Although most observers had expected a resumption of violence in the
spring, the extent and reach of the violence have exceeded the levels of previous
years. Afghanistan today is suffering from a level of insecurity, especially in the
south and parts of the east, not seen since the departure of the Taliban. The growing
influence of non-Afghan elements in the security environment is of particular

61. Since the issuance of my previous report, the level of insurgency in the
country has risen, as has the sophistication of the insurgents’ weaponry. Their tactics
are more brutal and effective and have been expanded to target community leaders.
They are better organized, better funded and more clearly aim to destabilize the
Afghan political transition. Their attacks range from the use of improvised explosive
devices, targeted killings and small ambushes, to more open confrontations with
Afghan and international security forces. A comparison of mine and improvised
explosive device attacks carried out in the south and south-east in May 2004 and
May 2005 shows a 40 per cent increase in May 2005. Furthermore, only 50 per cent
of the attacks in May 2004 caused damage, injury or loss of life, compared to 80 per
cent in May 2005. In recent months, several major weapons caches have been
discovered by the Afghan authorities and international forces.

62. The southern and parts of the eastern regions of the country have borne the
brunt of the recent upsurge in violence. Attacks by extremist elements (including
elements claiming allegiance to the Taliban and Al-Qaida) take place on an almost
daily basis. In a significant departure from their previous tactics, which focused on
provincial authorities, international and national forces and election workers,
insurgents are now also targeting local communities and their leaders. Since 29 May,
four pro-government clerics have been murdered in separate incidents; one cleric
was beheaded outside his religious school in Paktika province. On 1 June, at the
memorial service for a cleric who had been assassinated a few days earlier, a suicide
bomber detonated a massive charge in a mosque in Kandahar province, killing more
than 40 people, including the chief of police of Kabul province.

63. An increasing number of attacks against members of the international
community has resulted in significant reductions in or, in some cases, suspension of
activities. After attacks on 19 and 20 May resulted in the deaths of 11 national staff
of Chemonics, a subcontractor for an alternative livelihood programme, in Zabol
province, the company suspended its activities. Three separate improvised explosive
device attacks on deminers resulted in the temporary suspension of their activities
also. On 1 June, two deminers were killed and five were injured when their vehicle
was bombed on the outskirts of Grishk city, Helmand province; on 29 May, another
demining team was the subject of a bomb attack, fortunately without casualties; and
on 18 May three demining staff were killed in a roadside attack in Farah province. In
Kabul, a number of serious attacks against international workers have occurred in recent
months. The most serious were the suicide bombing of an Internet café on 7 May, in
which two Afghans and one international worker were killed, and the abduction on
16 May of a Care International aid worker, who was subsequently released on 9 June.
On 2 July, a vehicle convoy, including UNAMA personnel, was the target of an
improvised explosive device attack in Paktika province which resulted in the deaths
of five Afghan police officers and two Afghan Military Forces personnel.

64. The Afghan National Army and the coalition forces have intensified their
operations in the south and parts of the east of the country, engaging insurgents in
often prolonged combat. In an incident lasting several days in late June, coalition
and Afghan National Army forces engaged in an operation in Kandahar and Zabol
provinces that resulted in the deaths of at least 80 suspected insurgents. On 28 June,
a coalition forces helicopter was brought down by enemy fire near Asadabad in
Konar province. All 16 troops on board were killed. On 9 July, an Afghan National
Police patrol was ambushed in Helmand province, leaving at least 10 policemen
dead, of whom six had been decapitated.

65. In the north, north-east, central highlands, central and most of the western
region minor factional clashes and criminal activity continued to be reported.
However, on 11 May a public demonstration of more than 1,000 people was begun
in Jalalabad (Nangarhar province) to protest against the arrest by the coalition forces
of three Afghans and the alleged desecration of the Holy Quran at the United States
detention centre in Guantanamo. The demonstration quickly turned violent and
protestors attacked several United Nations and NGO premises, causing widespread
damage to offices and guest houses. The protest spread over three consecutive days,
with violent demonstrations being held in the provinces of Badakhshan, Konar,
Vardak, Lowgar, Gardez and Badghis. Several casualties were reported among the
population and the police. Peaceful demonstrations were also held in the capital and
in a few other provinces.

66. With regard to electoral security, there have been multiple attacks during the
reporting period against local Joint Electoral Management Body employees and
other Afghan electoral workers. At least four Afghan electoral workers were killed
and another two injured in six separate security incidents. In a seventh incident, two
electoral workers were temporarily abducted. Various measures have been put in
place by international military forces and the Government to help contain any
upsurge in violence over the next few months and to mitigate security risks to which
the electoral process may be exposed. These measures are modeled on those put in
place during the presidential elections and draw on lessons learned during those

67. The increased insecurity has had a direct impact on reconstruction, economic
development and the expansion of State authority, particularly in the south and east,
which account for an estimated one third of the country.

B. International Security Assistance Force commanded by the North
Atlantic Treaty Organization

68. In annex I to the Bonn Agreement the Security Council was requested to
authorize the deployment of a United Nations-mandated force that would assist in
the maintenance of security in Kabul and that could, as appropriate, be progressively
expanded to other areas. This multinational force, the International Security
Assistance Force (ISAF), was deployed to Kabul in January 2002, under the lead of
the United Kingdom, in accordance with Security Council resolution 1386 (2001) of
20 December 2001. The positive effect of the ISAF presence in Kabul was
immediate and welcome. ISAF continued to play a major role in maintaining the
peace in Kabul. It played a crucial role in assisting the Bonn process by providing
security during the emergency Loya Jirga in June 2002. Following the emergency
Loya Jirga, the United Kingdom handed over the lead to Turkey for six months,
whose command was followed by a joint command of Germany and the
Netherlands. In August 2003, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
assumed command of ISAF indefinitely.

69. Since 2002, the Afghanistan authorities and the United Nations have been
calling for the expansion of ISAF beyond Kabul to other urban areas. In early 2003,
members of the international coalition in Afghanistan began to deploy provincial
reconstruction teams outside of Kabul. These teams assisted in establishing security
in the areas of their deployment to facilitate the establishment and work of
provincial administrations and development organizations and to promote the rule of

70. While welcoming the innovation of the deployment of provincial
reconstruction teams, the Government of Afghanistan and the United Nations
continued to view them as an insufficient response to the enduring problem of
insecurity beyond Kabul. In October 2003, by its resolution 1510 (2003) of
13 October 2003, the Security Council authorized the expansion of ISAF beyond
Kabul. This expansion took the form of ISAF assuming control over provincial
reconstruction teams, beginning with the German-led team in Kondoz, in northeastern
Afghanistan. ISAF committed itself to taking over provincial reconstruction
teams in a counter-clockwise direction, beginning in the north-east.

71. A number of provincial reconstruction teams were established in southern
Afghanistan. These teams remain under coalition control and are located in areas
where combat operations continue against anti-government elements. Under the
NATO plan, ISAF would assume control of these teams in 2006, on the assumption
that the need for combat operations in the south would diminish.

72. During the reporting period, Turkey handed over ISAF command to Italy on
4 August 2005. In accordance with the agreed schedule, ISAF began the second
stage of its expansion with the establishment on 31 May 2005 of ISAF Regional
Command West, under Italian command. This is the first of three planned ISAF
regional commands and will include four provincial reconstruction teams (Herat,
Farah, Chaghcharan and Qal’eh-ye Now). Once the expansion to the west is
completed, the ISAF area of operations will cover 50 per cent of the country.

73. As the expansion of ISAF proceeds, NATO troop-contributing countries are
strongly encouraged to adopt common and robust rules of engagement which will
make possible the optimum utilization of resources and enhance ability to respond
to situations as they arise. This capability is vital.

74. The decision by NATO to deploy additional troops and assets for the
forthcoming elections is most encouraging. I trust that they will be deployed well
ahead and well beyond the elections.

IV. Post-electoral agenda

75. The implementation of the political processes enshrined in the Bonn
Agreement and the significant presence and backing of the international community
since the beginning of 2002 have not resulted in an even, country-wide
improvement of security and stability. Parts of the country are still severely affected
by open violence and an aggressive insurgency, hampering the establishment of
governance structures and the implementation of reconstruction work. These
achievements and shortcomings provide the background for discussion of the future
role of the international community, and that of the United Nations, in the
reconstruction of Afghanistan.

76. In June 2005, the Government of Afghanistan and UNAMA initiated
discussions regarding cooperation between Afghanistan and the international
community after the holding of the parliamentary election in September. They
reiterated that the close partnership between Afghanistan and the international
community which has characterized the past three and a half years should continue.
In particular, the Government and UNAMA recognized that sustained international
support was required over the coming years with a view to the achievement of security, full disarmament, justice and a competent civilian administration in all
provinces. They also recognized that the support of the international community was
essential for the implementation of a robust development strategy that could benefit
all Afghans and help rid the country of narcotic drugs; for the full implementation
of the Afghan Constitution; and for the promotion of the human rights of the men
and women of Afghanistan.

77. The Government of Afghanistan and the United Nations also stressed that,
based on the experience of the past three years, the implementation of some key
principles would contribute to enhancing further the cooperation between the
Government and the international community. These key principles include:

(a) The leadership role that the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan must play in
all aspects of the reconstruction process;

(b) The need for a just allocation of domestic and international
reconstruction resources across the country;

(c) The critical contribution that countries of the region can make; and the
value of the peace process in Afghanistan for strengthening relationships within the

(d) The need to ensure that international efforts serve to build lasting
capacity and sustainable institutions;

(e) The importance of combating corruption and ensuring public
transparency and accountability in the allocation of resources;

(f) The value of public information and participation in order for the goals
of the post-election agenda to be fully understood and achieved;

(g) The continued role of the United Nations in the consolidation of peace in

78. The Government of Afghanistan and the United Nations agreed that the
discussion of the post-election agenda offered a unique opportunity for a broad
dialogue between Afghanistan and the international community, and in particular the
countries of the region. It also offers an opportunity for a broad dialogue within the
country, which would pave the way for the endorsement of the post-electoral agenda
by the National Assembly.

V. Observations

79. The Bonn process has enjoyed some remarkable achievements, in particular
the transition to elected political institutions which is to be completed in a few
weeks with the holding of parliamentary and local elections. These achievements
are a credit to the steadfastness of the Afghan people as they struggle to emerge
from the devastation of more than two decades of war. It is also a tribute to the
partnership between the Government of Afghanistan and the international
community, including the military forces, in which there has been a high degree of
cooperation and support.

80. As Afghanistan continues to prepare for the September elections, I trust that its
people will once again show their keen interest in the democratic process and will
participate massively in the polls. Over 5,000 registered candidates and a million
and a half newly registered voters are positive indications in this respect.
Nevertheless, the Government and the international security forces must remain
extremely vigilant with regard to all sources of intimidation and violence against
voters and candidates.

81. The completion of the political transition is a vital step, but this alone will not
be sufficient for the establishment of lasting peace in Afghanistan. Security,
effective institutions and development will require time and concerted efforts, to
build upon the political achievements of the past three and a half years. In fact,
failure to make rapid progress in these fields can only undermine the newly created
political institutions. The objective — to restore peace and stability in Afghanistan
in very difficult circumstances, internal and external, inherited from the past —
remains to be met.

82. In this respect, and as I have done throughout the past three years, I want to
underline once again the issue of insecurity. It is impossible to overestimate the
importance of restoring security in Afghanistan as a condition for the sustainability
of the peace process. Significant progress has been made in a variety of areas. In
particular, factional clashes — a prominent feature of insecurity three years ago —
have become a localized issue and are no longer a threat to national security. The
success thus far of the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programme
has made an important contribution to the future stability of the country. By
contrast, regrettably, extremist violence has not diminished. It has, in fact, increased
and it continues to thwart the basic aspirations of Afghans who seek peace, stability
and a normal life after decades of war. For too long, the Afghan people have
patiently waited for a “peace dividend”. It is time for the security situation to be
addressed resolutely. This requires military action, carefully calibrated to ensure that
it does not add to the population’s suffering. The insurgency’s sources of funding,
training and safe havens must also be effectively addressed.

83. There is no simple answer to the problems of extremist violence and terrorism.
The Government of Afghanistan must do its share to address them, in particular by
tackling forcefully official corruption and ineffectiveness, which undermine the
population’s confidence in Government institutions. Domestic and international
agencies involved in reconstruction must continue to do their best in what are, in
several provinces, difficult security conditions. But this will not suffice to curb
extremists whose internal political isolation, demonstrated time and again since the
beginning of the Bonn process, has not prevented them from finding, year after year,
financial resources and facilities to mount increasingly violent attacks against
Afghan Government officials and communities. The Taliban and Hezb-Islami-
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar are not autonomous operations; their external sources of
support must be tackled if Afghanistan is to be spared the prospect of a lasting
insurgency with unpredictable consequences, for the country and for the region as a

84. Even without the burden of violent insurgency, the reconstruction of
Afghanistan faces a truly formidable combination of challenges, including the
pervasive drug economy, some of the worst social and economic indicators in the
world and the consequences of what was one of the deadliest confrontations of the
Cold War. It will no doubt require long-term commitment on the part of the
international community to see this process to a successful conclusion. The
international donor community must resist the temptation to move on after the holding of the elections. The international security partners of Afghanistan must
continue their assistance until, as mentioned in the Bonn Agreement, Afghan
security institutions are fully established and functional. The countries of the region,
and beyond, should keep in mind that a stable Afghanistan, free of extremist
violence in what is still a volatile environment, remains vital to international peace
and security. Having established a transitional government, adopted a new
constitution and held their first democratic elections, the Afghan people have proved
wrong those who deemed them unable to put behind them the destructive divisions
of the past. With our help, they can still surprise public opinion with their
determination to embrace opportunities offered to them for the first time in decades.
It is our duty to do everything in our power to make this possible.

85. With the holding of September’s parliamentary elections, the United Nations
mandate in support of the Bonn political process will have been completed.
Following the elections, I intend to initiate a process of consultations with the
Government of Afghanistan and all concerned international actors to determine the
post-electoral agenda. It will require, at a minimum, the unity of purpose
demonstrated by Afghanistan and the international community at the signing of the
Bonn Agreement on 5 December 2001. It will also require enhanced coordination of
efforts in support of an increasingly Afghan-led process. Once the process of
consultation is concluded, and prior to the expiration of the UNAMA mandate in
March 2006, I intend to revert to the Council with specific proposals for the future
role of the United Nations in Afghanistan.

86. In conclusion, I would like to convey my sincere appreciation to the Security
Council and other Member States for their continued support to Afghanistan. I
would also like to pay tribute to the dedicated efforts of my Special Representative,
and to the men and women of UNAMA and its partner organizations for their
outstanding efforts, under difficult and often dangerous conditions.

references: A/60/224