Statement of Delegation of Afghanistan
on UN Pledging Conference for Development Activities
Delivered on behalf of H.E. Dr. Zahir Tanin, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations
At the outset let me congratulate you, for your election as the President of the UN Pledging Conference for Development.
Let me take this opportunity to express my delegations heartfelt gratitude for the dedicated work and sacrifice of the six UN personnel who lost their life in the appalling attack in Kabul on October 28th, and my sincerest condolences to the families and other staff members affected.
We are extremely grateful for the support of the UN agencies present here today. The UNDP, UN Capital Development Fund, United Nations Development Fund for Women, UN Volunteers, the UN Fund for South-South Cooperation all provide essential assistance to further the aspirations of developing countries, least developing countries and post-conflict nations. We further recognize the role of monetary assistance and the no less important roles of technical assistance and capacity building in achieving development objectives.
The UN organizations here today are critical to the fulfillment of the MDGs and establishing equitable and peaceful societies in which people of all races, genders, and religions can achieve their full potential. The partnerships that have been forged between Afghanistan and UNDP, UNIFEM, and UNCDF are vital to our country as we re-build and provide a solid foundation for democracy, sustainable development, and equality.
We appreciate the UNDP’s efforts in Afghanistan for more than 40 years, particularly its pivotal role after 2002 in capacity building of Afghanistan institutions, and its role in poverty eradication and the development of the Afghanistan National Development Strategy (ANDS).
UN Volunteers, which honorably aims to promote volunteerism in achieving peace and development, often work in very challenging and uncertain environments such as Afghanistan. Two of the UN workers killed in the appalling attack on the UN in Kabul were UN Volunteers, striving to promote reconstruction efforts.
The importance of women’s rights in Afghanistan cannot be understated. The government of Afghanistan recognizes that the successful socio-economic development and reconstruction of Afghanistan requires the complete and equal participation of Afghan women in all socio-economic activities. Yet, efforts towards the empowerment and advancement of women in Afghanistan face enormous challenges, and we offer our greatest appreciation to the work that UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) conducts locally in Afghanistan.
We are increasingly seeing the fruits of regional and south-south cooperation amongst developing countries. The UN Fund for South-South Development has played an important role in this regard, and we applaud their efforts.
In recent months there has been much speculation on the effect the global economic and financial crisis will have on development assistance. The crisis poses challenges for all countries, but post-conflict countries, least developed countries and land-locked least developed countries face particular challenges. Afghanistan as a post-conflict, least developed, and land-locked country has been hit severely by this crisis and will find it difficult to implement its National Development Strategy and achieve its MDGs without intensified international support. It has been shown that discontinued or decreased aid flows often hamper development efforts just as they are starting to show fruitful progress.
Further, the recent attack on UN personnel in Kabul highlight the need for increased financial resources for security and aid workers in Afghanistan. We are encouraged by the support of the Secretary General, the Security Council, and the international community. Let us work together to protect UN personnel as they perform critical peace keeping and development efforts.
It is important that the international community and UN agencies work in a coherent and consolidated way. From our experiences, we have found that collective coordinated efforts by funders are more effective than isolated, patched together attempts. This is why it is so essential that UN agencies are working collaboratively on different facets of development. Each agency is essential to our country’s reconstruction efforts, but the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
We hope these financial pledges can strengthen the partnership between the UN system and the Afghan government. The UN agencies here today play a critical role in establishing the groundwork for a peaceful and equitable world, and we thank them for the tangible results that they have produced in our country. We urge donor nations to consider their vital position as they make their pledges.
Afghanistan is among the largest recipients of UN assistance; therefore, as a token of appreciation for the dedicated work of UN in my country, I would like to make the following symbolic pledge:
UNDP: $ 100
UNICEF: $ 100
UNFPA: $ 100
UNIFEM: $ 100
OCHS: $ 100
UNV: $ 100