UN to back Afghanistan beyond polls: Ban

SHANGHAI: The United Nations will continue to support Afghanistan beyond the elections, the secretary-general has promised.

Ban Ki-moon held out the assurance at a meeting with President Hamid Karzai in Shanghai on Wednesday, according to a statement.

He called the April 5 elections an important process for the country. A successful transition would be a significant accomplishment for the Afghan government.

He added the United Nations would continue to work with international partners to support the Afghan-led election processes and remain committed to Afghanistan after the polls were completed.

Speaking at the Fourth Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), he said: “This continent is a home of economic dynamism, innovation and potential. Asia is on the rise. This is a source of optimism.”

He voiced concern at terrorism and criminal activities, along with the danger of extreme weather and climate change.