14 May 2008

NATO supports Afghan communities’ empowerment

The Director of the Independent Directorate for Local Governance (IDLG), Mr. Jelani Popal, paid a visit to NATO Headquarters on 14 May 2008. He met with NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and with Ambassadors and representatives of the 40 nations contributing to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

The NATO Secretary General said the IDLG had made a “very promising start” in improving local governance, and praised the crucial role it played in the aftermath of the military operation successfully conducted by the Afghan National Army (ANA) in Musa Qala with the support of ISAF.

He highlighted NATO’s long-term commitment to assist the Afghan government in creating the conditions for stabilisation and reconstruction across the country through the 26 ISAF-led Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs).

Mr. Popal stressed the importance of PRTs and Provincial Development Councils (PDCs) working together to ensure that reconstruction and development projects address local priorities. PDCs are chaired by provincial governors and include local representatives from line ministries.

The Afghan government created the IDLG on 30 August 2007, recognising the need to establish an institutional, legal and financial framework to improve the operating capacity of the government at a local level.

The IDLG’s main role is to supervise provincial and district governors, provincial councils and municipalities outside of Kabul, thereby contributing to the achievement of stability, security and development throughout Afghanistan.