UN not evacuating from Afghanistan despite dangers: Ban

10:24, November 07, 2009      

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed on Friday that the world body is not evacuating staff from Afghanistan despite the dangerous security situation there.

Ban, who has just returned from an overseas tour that included Afghanistan, briefed the UN Security Council on the recent developments in the Central Asian country.

The UN is taking immediate steps to bolster security for all UN staff in the country, including the short-term relocating of some international staff, he told reporters.

He refuted some media reports that had "inaccurately characterized this as withdrawal or evacuation."

"We are not moving any international staff in the provinces out of the country," he stressed.

"But let me be crystal clear: we are not evacuating," he said. "We will not, cannot and must not be deterred. Our work will continue."

The secretary-general went on saying that "no critical staff will be moved, and our work on humanitarian development needs will continue as before."

"Our colleagues will simply have to manage, temporarily, with less administrative support," he said.

The temporary relocation of some of its staff, as the world body has announced, came as part of increased security measures following the deadly attack in the Afghan capital last week that killed five UN staff members and injured several others.

Ban said he told the Security Council that the security situation in Afghanistan remained "dangerous" and that "we cannot procrastinate."

He said he will soon bring forward specific proposals regarding additional resources to the General Assembly and other relevant UN bodies.

While highlighting the urgency to establish a fund for the families of killed UN employees, the secretary-general said the Security Council is likely to issue a press statement on it soon.

Source: Xinhua
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