Security Council extends Afghan role

March 19, 2013 at 5:54 PM
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UNITED NATIONS, March 19 (UPI) -- The United Nations' Security Council voted unanimously Tuesday to extend the organization's mission in Afghanistan for another year.

The transfer of responsibility for Afghanistan's security is being transferred from the International Security Assistance Force to the Afghan government, and the bulk of the U.S. and NATO troops deployed there are to be withdrawn by the end of 2014.

The Security Council said in a release it "stresses the critical importance of a continued presence of [the U.N. mission] and other United Nations agencies, funds and programs in the [Afghan] provinces, consistent with the transition process, in support of and in cooperation with the Afghan government."

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the United Nations will need to provide "strong support" to the Afghan government beyond the 2014 deadline for assuming security responsibilities.

"Let us work as hard as possible to ensure that this transition leads to the stable, prosperous and safe future that the country's people deserve," Ban told the 15-member council.

"We should continue providing good offices, including support for elections. We should maintain our work for reconciliation and regional cooperation. We must stand firm for human rights. And we must advance development."

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