UNAMA considered the move “an important step towards elections seen as credible, transparent, and inclusive in the eyes of the Afghan people”.
The forum is intended as a series of regular and meaningful consultations to build consensus on the way forward for elections, UN said in a released statement Wednesday.
The event which was held in Kabul, brought together electoral commissioners with political stakeholders, civil society and others.
“A credible election is not simply a technically well-organized election, but one in which citizens have confidence that the results represent their will,” Pernille Kardel, the Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan, said in opening remarks at the forum.
“Broad consultations, transparency, and electoral authorities seen to be honest, impartial and capable, are all elements that will enhance trust in the process and confidence in the outcome,” she added.
Kardel, who is also acting-head of UNAMA, pledged the international community’s support as a partner throughout the electoral preparation process. She noted that political leaders and candidates also bear a great responsibility to ensure a credible processes and accepted outcomes.
“We strongly believe that elections must take place in order to uphold the Afghan people’s constitutional right to vote,” said Kardel. “We do this also because we are convinced that credible elections are essential for stability and to progress towards peace.”