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Government Press Release

Date of Release: 20 September 2006


The Government of Afghanistan Nominates Ashraf Ghani for

Secretary General of the United Nations


New York – The Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, today nominated Ashraf Ghani, former Finance Minister of Afghanistan, to be the next Secretary General of the United Nations.


The Government of Afghanistan believes that Ashraf Ghani is uniquely equipped to lead the United Nations at time when imagination and leadership are required in both security and development.  He has worked at the frontlines of conflict and poverty.  As someone who stands at the intersection of Islam and the West, he has the capacity to bring the world together at a time of growing religious and geopolitical tension.”

Dr. Ghani belongs to a small village in the south of Afghanistan and, like many of us, was a refugee.  He has devoted much of his academic work to analysing the role of religion in democratic public life.  He combines a unique knowledge of poverty and insecurity with modesty and devotion to public service.  He has proven able to build institutions that secure economic development, political participation, and security.

We recall with fondness the innovative leadership that Dr. Ghani brought to the UN-brokered Bonn Agreement that resulted in the first democratic elections in Afghanistan’s history.  As Finance Minister from 2002 to 2004, Dr. Ghani also carried out a series of impressive reforms amid the many challenges of Afghan reconstruction.  Notably, in 2004, he led a team of experts that prepared Securing Afghanistan’s Future, a seven-year, $27.5 billion investment programme presented to an international conference of donors attended by over 65 finance and foreign Ministers.  The international community lauded the plan as the most comprehensive program ever presented by a developing country to the international community.  For his exemplary service in the rebuilding of Afghanistan and in setting a model of international development partnership, in 2003 he was named the best finance Minister of Asia.

In his public service to Afghanistan, Dr. Ghani drew on his extensive World Bank experience in East and South Asia: he spent ten years working in China, India, and Russia.  He is therefore particularly sensitive to the opportunities presented by the world’s emerging economies.  Since leaving office, he has been called upon to apply the state-building frameworks he created and championed in Afghanistan to countries as diverse as Sudan, Nepal, and Lebanon, as well as to several international institutions.

The Government of Afghanistan Karzai was prompted to nominate Ghani by the need for the United Nations to have a Secretary General who was not only good diplomat and manager, but who also understands the unique challenges of a world vexed by growing insecurity.

We requests members of the United Nations to support Dr. Ghani’s nomination to become the next Secretary General.

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