NATO urges better cooperation for success in Afghanistan

13:36, January 14, 2010      

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International efforts to secure peace and stability in Afghanistan are still too fragmented, the deputy secretary-general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) said here Wednesday.

Troops gathered from around the world still do not train together, military operations are not always planned together, and are often not joined up in the field, Claudio Bisogniero told the UN Security Council during an open debate on cooperation between the United Nations and regional and sub-regional organizations.

The 15-nation Security Council kicked off the open debate on the cooperation between the world body and regional and sub-regional organizations in maintaining the international peace and security.

Ending this fragmentation, said Bisogniero, will require a "profound cultural change," which must include a strategy of complementation and reinforcement.

NATO leads some 83,500 troops serving with the UN-mandated International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). Fighting beside the men and women from the NATO Alliance's own 28 members, 16 additional countries contribute troops, some from halfway around the world.

This truly international effort requires a scale of military and civilian cooperation if the global effort to secure Afghanistan from radical forces is to succeed, said Bisogniero.

"Ultimately, the key to success will be an increased interaction between military efforts, civilian interventions and improved governance," said Bisogniero, who stressed cooperation between the United Nations, the World Bank, the European Union, nongovernmental organizations and the private sector.

Bisogniero suggested a few initial steps that could lead to an integrated approach, such as liaison officers to smoothen day-to-day operations between the various institutions, and staff exchanges, particularly of senior staff who work in the field or at headquarters.

"In the past, a lack of strategic dialogue has often prevented us from examining common challenges and formulating common responses, leaving this to the working level to sort out," he said." We all know it will not be easy to end the fragmentation between our institutions. We each have different structures, procedures and working cultures."

But, added Bisogniero, in meeting at the Security Council on Wednesday to discuss closer cooperation, the international community is "rising to the challenge."

Source: Xinhua
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