The United Nations special representative to Afghanistan has warned the
situation in the country could become unmanageable if what he called
"negative trends" are not reversed soon.
In his final briefing Wednesday to the Security Council before his term ends in March, Kai Eide said a better transition strategy is needed for returning control to Afghans from international military and aid contributors.
He said civilian efforts -- including building strong institutions -- must be taken as seriously as military efforts.
Eide said the conference on Afghanistan in London later this month could lay the groundwork for such an approach.
British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant said the gathering will focus on security, development and governance.
Eide said peace and reconciliation among Afghans is crucial to long term stability and repeated his offer to meet with anyone, including insurgents, if it would lead to peace.
Afghanistan's U.N. Ambassador Zahir Tanin called for easing of U.N. sanctions on Taliban fighters who renounce violence and join the peace process.
He also urged the international community to ensure that all its efforts are in support of helping Afghans take control of their own future.
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Afghanistan is at a "critical juncture" and the Afghan government must fulfill its pledges so that strategies put forward by the international community can be effective.
More than 100,000 foreign troops are in Afghanistan to fight a militant insurgency.