The Head of the UN Mission in Afghanistan Tadamichi Yamamoto on Sunday said that the upcoming presidential elections of Afghanistan and the Afghan peace process are top priorities for the United Nations.
“Considering the various media reports speculating about the position of the United Nations on these two fundamental issues, let me be clear: Neither process should be harmed or held back by the other; both processes must move forward with the full force and commitment of all stakeholders,” Yamamoto said in a statement.
He added that there are clear links between these critical processes and both are important for the future of Afghanistan.
“As I told the United Nations Security Council less than two weeks ago, the presidential elections scheduled for 28 September will be a key moment to reaffirm the legitimacy of Afghanistan’s democratic political structure,” he added.
The top UN envoy urges all electoral stakeholders to ensure the credibility and transparency of the process.
“Afghanistan cannot afford a contentious and protracted post-election crisis that could result in a president with brittle democratic and domestic legitimacy, as this would harm the new president’s ability to bring the Afghan people together in a meaningful and representative peace process,” he further stated.
Meanwhile, Yamamoto says he is cautiously optimistic about the Afghan peace process and Afghanistan should have the full ownership of the process.
“I am cautiously optimistic that we are moving in the right direction,” he concluded.