UNDP HAND OVER NEW BORDER CROSSING POINT TO AFGHANISTAN GOVERNMENT
UNDP Partnership with EU Improves Lives, Secures Border, Promotes Trade
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Tajikistan, UNDP handed over a newly constructed Border Crossing Point to the Afghan Border Police. The event took place near the town of Djomarji Bolo, in Afghanistan's Badakhshan Province, on the Tajikistan-Afghanistan border and is the culmination of one phase in UNDP’s Border Management Badakhshan Afghanistan (EU-BOMNAF) project.
In connection with the hand over, EU Special Representative to Afghanistan and Head of Delegation Ambassador Franz-Michael Skjold Mellbin said “This project will help increase cross border trade. Today, regional trade is far below what it should be. Every day the people of Tajikistan and Afghanistan - indeed of the whole region - are suffering from loss of economic opportunity, jobs and prosperity due to the lack of regional integration. With UNDP as our implementing partner of the BOMNAF project, the EU is investing to change this”.
The focus and priority of BOMNAF on Afghanistan's northern border is to strengthen the capacity of the Afghan authorities to develop and implement a cohesive strategy on cross-border trade and regional security. This project has been implemented in close cooperation with the Afghan Border Police and international partner organisations. During UNDP’s planning and implementation phases of the BOMNAF Project, the significance of international collaboration within this important border region has been continually underlined. UNDP Tajikistan sincerely hopes that we have shown what can be achieved when cooperation is made between all agencies involved. We are particularly grateful for the support and trust of the European Union given to UNDP to manage this Project.
UNDP Country Director in Tajikistan Norimasa Shimomura said: “Integrated border management implies that the borders should be open for legitimate trade and flow of people while at the same time, borders should be protected against criminal and illegal activities jeopardizing stability and security in a particular region. In the case of Afghanistan-Tajikistan, as well as in many other parts of the world, only when borders are both ‘secure’ and ‘open’, can there be prosperity, stability and security and a better integration with the rest of the world. This is why, as a development organization, UNDP has actively promoted integrated border management in Afghanistan, Central Asia and elsewhere in the world. After all border management is about people. Just like I have seen the smiles in the deep wrinkle of Afghan traders in a cross-border market in Ishkashim, I hope that here too, we will bring many smiles to the people as the border crossing point benefits the communities on both sides of the border.”
Border management is most effective if similar strategies and capacities are developed on both sides of international borders. Thus, this current round of EU-funded assistance is a mirror of what has already been provided through EU-UNDP partnership on the Tajikistan side of the border, on the opposite side of the river bank, at each of the bridges that span the Amu Darya River along this border. Cross border cooperation and consultation between law enforcement officials is a vital component in the fight against illegal trafficking of narcotics. These contacts are being fostered through EU-funded assistance and law enforcement agencies in Tajikistan and Afghanistan plan in future to meet regularly to discuss matters of mutual interest and to quickly resolve challenges which may arise.
The BOMNAF project, as implemented by UNDP, is a component of a larger Regional Cooperation Programme of assistance agreed between the European Union and the Government of Afghanistan, and complements other programmes in Afghanistan, in Tajikistan and in Central Asia.
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