Japanese Ambassador Hiroshi Inomata has described effective governance and community development essential for peace. Based on this recognition, Japan has been collaborating with the UN agencies to promote socio-economic development in the region near the Pak-Afghan border, said a press release.
Addressing the concluding ceremony of a three-day training workshop on “Decentralised Governance and Peace-building” here on Wednesday, Inomata said the Japanese assistance to the “Social Cohesion and Peace Building Programme for the Refugee-Affected and Hosting Areas” was aimed at improving livelihoods of the community and building the capacity of local government entities.
It also works towards improvement of public service delivery mechanisms for communities.
The participants prepared plans of action with strategies that promoted localised rule of law solutions and participatory budgeting involving communities.
The participants analysed some of the root causes of conflict and discussed factors that would contribute towards defusing conflict among various groups and enable a peaceful environment. The participants were working in areas that are currently facing a deteriorating security situation. The trainers shared experiences of Nepal and Bolivia which illustrated the link between decentralized governance and peace-building.
The ambassador informed the participants that the two-year programme included interventions ranging from improvement of community infrastructure and livelihoods, and provision of basic social services, to social mobilization. “The programme also gives priority to capacity development of provincial and local government personnel, as can be seen from this training,” he said.
UNDP Deputy Country Director Tracy Vienings, speaking on the occasion, said that the workshop was significant, especially considering that the country was grappling with the implementation of the 18th Constitutional Amendment under which many subjects on the federal and concurrent lists had been devolved to the provincial list.
Aspects of decentralization could be used as an opportunity to bring the government closer to the people; and empower them in participatory decision making in aspects of service delivery which affects their lives directly.
The three-day training workshop was facilitated by a team of trainers from the United Nations System Staff College.
Inomata distributed certificates among the participants, comprising senior officials of provincial governments working for disaster management and rehabilitation.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 29th, 2013.
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