UNITED NATIONS - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Wednesday welcomed President Obamas new strategy for Afghanistan, saying the UN remains committed to supporting a transition to increased Afghan ownership, responsibility and leadership for peace and development in the country. The UN chief noted with appreciation the proposed approach to balance military and civilian efforts and the emphasis on strengthening the capacity of Afghan institutions and Afghan security forces in particular, his spokesperson said in a statement. The Secretary-General strongly feels that institution-building is a long-term but necessary process that will ultimately ensure the sustainability of the international communitys joint efforts in Afghanistan, the statement added. Ahead of Obamas speech, the top UN envoy to Afghanistan had stated that the building up of Afghan institutions was vital to a transition strategy and could help ensure that the gains achieved so far are not lost. It really means pushing more and more responsibilities on to the Afghan authorities, allowing them to take more responsibilities, the Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Afghanistan, Kai Eide, told reporters in the capital, Kabul, on Tuesday. If we are to deliver services to the people, it cant be done by international parallel structures. It has to be done by Afghan institutions. Thats going to take time, but the longer we wait the more time it will take, he added.