Thursday, October 23, 2014

Vital for Afghan election results to be certified and accepted by all, says Ban

As Afghanistan and its international partners continue to await the final results of last month’s elections, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has stressed the importance of ensuring that the outcome reflects the will of the people.

Mr. Ban and his top envoy in Afghanistan, Kai Eide, have in recent weeks called on national election authorities to ensure the integrity of the 20 August presidential and provincial council elections, in light of concerns that have arisen over irregularities in voting.

“The level of alleged electoral irregularities has generated significant political turbulence leading to fears of a return to violence when election results are announced,” Mr. Ban wrote in his latest report on the situation in Afghanistan.

He said that serious electoral fraud occurred, made possible primarily, but not exclusively, by the lack of access to parts of the country owing to the ongoing conflict.

Following a decision by the Electoral Complaints Commission to review results from a number of polling stations, a credible audit and recount process is now coming to its conclusion, he said.

“When the entire electoral process is completed, it will be of critical importance for the results to be accepted by all so that the election of Afghanistan’s future president can be certified and a new Government can be formed,” stated Mr. Ban.

Forty-one presidential candidates, including two women, as well as over 3,000 candidates competing for provincial council seats, took part in the elections – the first to be organized by the Independent Election Commission (IEC) and described by Mr. Ban as having been “among the most demanding ever to be organized.”

The Secretary-General also stated that it is “imperative” that the international community maintain a long-term commitment to Afghanistan, while adding that there must be a “decisive shift” in that relationship.

“The Government must be enabled and determined to assume all the responsibilities that belong to a sovereign State,” he said. “The international community, for its part, must play a role that is clearly one of support.

“A new contract between the Government of Afghanistan and its people will be a critical component in this shift of responsibilities,” he added.

Strategic Communication and Spokespersons Unit
United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA)
Kabul, Afghanistan

The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has issued his latest quarterly report on the situation in Afghanistan.

The present report is submitted pursuant to General Assembly resolution 63/18
and Security Council resolution 1868 (2009)

Download the full report

Foreign Minister Spanta in New York for the 64th Session of the UN General Assembly

spantan-unMinister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Rangin Dadfar Spanta has arrived in New York to attend the 64th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. During the five-day visit, Foreign Minister Spanta will address the General Assembly on the situation in Afghanistan, the region and related global issues.

On the first day of his official visit, Foreign Minister addressed the Ministerial Meeting of the “Groups of Friends of Afghanistan.” The meeting was also attended by US Secretary of State; the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Australia, Japan, Netherlands, Denmark; the special representative of the UN Secretary General for Afghanistan and the special envoys of numerous countries for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The Ministerial “Group of Friends Meeting” focused on the situation in Afghanistan, particularly the recent Afghan elections. Addressing the meeting, Foreign Minister Spanta underscored the importance of the recent elections as “it marked an important step in Afghanistan’s democratization” and that “despite a challenging security situation, millions of Afghans went to the polls to cast their vote and determine their political destiny.”

Additionally, Foreign Minister Spanta highlighted the need for the international community’s long-term commitment in Afghanistan for defeating terrorism and achieving the common goals of peace, justice and prosperity. He also said that the new Afghan government would be committed to meet the needs of the Afghan people with the strong support of the international community.

In his remarks at the meeting, the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General for Afghanistan, Mr. Kai Eide, briefed participants on the Afghan elections and noted that the announcement of the final results would be based on the joint assessment of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC). He also stressed the need for both commissions to conclude their work without any unnecessary delay. banki-moon-and-spanta

Also attending the meeting was Afghanistan’s Ambassador to the UN, Dr. Zahir Tanin.

In the same day Foreign Minister also met with his Japanese, Indian and Dutch counterparts. In the meetings, Foreign Minister Spanta expressed his appreciation for the support and assistance of the aforementioned countries to Afghanistan’s democratization and stabilization.

The Foreign Ministers of Japan, India and the Netherlands reiterated their governments’ continued commitment to Afghanistan in the coming years.

Later this evening Foreign Minister Spanta will meet with UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon.