UN Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP Director for Asia and the Pacific Visits Afghanistan

6 September 2016 –  Haoliang Xu, UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director for Asia-Pacific and Chair of the Regional UN Development Group, has concluded a five-day visit to Afghanistan where he met with the CEO Abdullah Abdullah, other senior government officials, development partners, UNDP Staff, and ongoing UNDP projects.

In his meeting with the Chief Executive, HE Abdullah Abdullah, discussion focused on the Sustainable Development Goals, the emerging refugee/returnee challenge, and the importance of electoral reform. With the Minister of Interior Affairs, HE Taj Mohammad Jahid, the focus was on building government capacity to take over management of the police payroll.

Meetings with both the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Labour followed. Haoliang Xu discussed UNDP’s support for climate change adaptation, and job creation.

On Sunday, the Ministry of Economy (MoEC) hosted a roundtable discussion on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In front of press and representatives of several UN agencies, the Minister of Economy, HE Abdul Sattar Murad, along with senior representatives from the various government line ministries, spelled out the government’s commitment to achieving the SDG goals, and thanked UN for its ongoing support.

Mr. Xu also met with UNDP staff working in Afghanistan and emphasized the changing global development environment, the need for UNDP to change with changing times, and how UNDP Afghanistan was best poised to respond to challenges of the future.

On his penultimate day, Mr. Xu took time to travel outside the capital, to Panjshir province, where he met with the governor and beneficiaries connected to UNDPs climate change adaptation programmes.

“People outside Afghanistan only hear about the challenges facing Afghanistan. People also need to hear about progress, and successes in bringing about development in the country,” said Mr. Xu.