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UN envoy arrives to help Afghanistan through new period of development

17 January 2012 – The new United Nations envoy to Afghanistan arrived in the capital, Kabul, today to take the helm of the world body’s presence there and assist the country amid a period of transition.

Ján Kubiš, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, will lead the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) in what he said would be “a new period” in the Central Asian country’s development.

“I am looking forward to be here in this period of transition, to be a good partner of the Government of Afghanistan,” he told reporters upon his arrival at Kabul airport.

“I am looking forward to my work in this partnership when the country is moving to a new period of its development and the United Nations, as always, will stand by and is ready to help as much as we are able to do,” he added.

The UN, which has been providing assistance in Afghanistan for more than half a century, is currently examining how it can best help the country as it proceeds with the transfer of security responsibilities and takes greater ownership of its development.

Mr. Kubiš succeeds Staffan de Mistura, who headed UNAMA from March 2010 through December 2011.

Prior to taking up his new position, he served as Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).

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