NATO's Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan

  • Last updated: 10 Oct. 2012 14:47

The Senior Civilian Representative carries forward the Alliance's political-military objectives in Afghanistan, liaising with the Afghan Government, civil society, representatives of the international community and neighbouring countries.

drs. M.R. Maurits Jochems. Tallin Estland.

He represents the political leadership of the Alliance in Kabul officially and publicly.

Who is currently holding this function?

Ambassador Maurits R. Jochems from the Netherlands took office as the NATO Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan on 10 October 2012.

What is his or her authority, tasks and responsibilities?

Working closely with NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), the Senior Civilian Representative provides a direct channel of communication between the theatre, NATO HQ in Brussels, and the North Atlantic Council, the Alliance's principal decision-making body. 

He provides the Council with advice on the most effective means of ensuring the overall coherence of the Alliance’s relations with Afghanistan, which includes responsibilities related to upholding NATO’s public perception.

He liaises with senior members of the Afghan Government and co-ordinates with representatives of the international community and other international organisations engaged in Afghanistan, in particular the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan and the European Union.

The Representative also maintains contacts with representatives of neighbouring countries, as well as with various political actors, representatives of Afghan civil society and representatives of international NGOs.

How is he or she selected and for how long?

The Representative is appointed by the NATO Secretary General on an ad-hoc basis.  His mandate is limited in time and renewable in light of political developments in Afghanistan.

How did it evolve?

NATO created the position of a Senior Civilian Representative in October 2003, to represent the political leadership of the Alliance in Kabul.