Report: The United Nations should broker Afghan peace

The United Nations is the only impartial party that can broker peace talks in Afghanistan and negotiate a broader solution in the volatile region, according to a report from a European foundation presented to the UN's chief on Tuesday. The two pressing priorities for the international community following the Afghan elections are to transform the current international presence in the country from a heavily militarized one to a civilian one, and to shift its foreign direction to "a locally owned enterprise" led by Afghans, said the report by FRIDE, a Madrid-based think tank that focuses on Europe's role in the international arena. The 205-page report, which examined peacekeeping missions authorized by the UN Security Council in Afghanistan and three other countries, was delivered to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon by FRIDE's Director General Pierre Schori, a former Swedish diplomat who served as UN ambassador and the UN special envoy in Ivory Coast.