The United Nations representative for Afghanistan, Lakhdar Brahimi, has outlined a program for a transitional government and a multi-national security force.
In a presentation to the U.N. Security Council, Mr. Brahimi said that because of recent military gains by the Northern Alliance, including the withdrawal of Taleban forces from the Afghanistan capital of Kabul, speed in developing an interim Afghan government is essential.
Mr. Brahimi, who has recently conferred with a wide variety of Afghans in Iran and Pakistan, is proposing that Northern Alliance leaders meet with other Afghan representatives under U.N. auspices. He said then a larger provisional council could be established, representing a wide spectrum of Afghan society.
"The provisional council would be composed of a fairly large and representative group of Afghans drawn from all ethnic and regional communities," he said. "The provisional council could be chaired by an individual recognized as a symbol of national unity around which all ethnic, religious and regional groups could rally."
Mr. Brahimi said the provisional council could be enhanced by the participation of men and women who have not been engaged in armed conflict. He said the council would propose the composition of a transitional administration that would exist for no more than two-years.
But Mr. Brahimi observed that without adequate security in Afghanistan no transitional government would be possible. "The pervasive presence of non-Afghan armed and terrorist groups with no interest in a lasting peace will necessitate the introduction of a robust security force able to deter and, if possible, defeat challenges to its authority," he said.
Mr. Brahimi says a multi-national force to maintain security is the best option for Afghanistan.
He reminded the Security Council that, even if all goes well in terms of a transitional government, Afghanistan will need an immense amount of international financial aid and technical support.