Saturday, October 25, 2014

UN Security Council Agrees to Gradual Removal of Taliban Names from Black List

A delegation of the United Nations Security Council in a meeting with President Karzai in Kabul announced that the UN agrees to gradually strike off from its blacklist the names of the Taliban who have no links with Alqaeda or other terrorist networks.

Headed by Turkish UN Ambassador, Ertugrul Apakan, the delegation included representatives of the 15 council members, including Afghanistan Ambassador to the United Nations Zahir Tanin. The team reaffirmed the UN Security Council’s long term support to the government and the people of Afghanistan.

The meeting focused on a wide range of issues including the recently concluded Peace Jirga, the Reconciliation and Reintegration Process, as well the coming up Kabul International Conference.

The delegation unanimously agreed to President Karzai’s proposal to remove off the UN’s black list the names of those Taliban with no connection with the terrorist networks including the Alqaeda.

Urging for more training and equipments for the Afghan security forces, the President noted that wider regional cooperation remains an important precondition for a successful anti terrorism campaign .

The President briefed the visiting team on the results of the Peace Jirga as well as plans for reintegration and the progress achieved so far.

On the efforts to curb corruption, the President said part of the problem stems from the projects contracted out by the international community in Afghanistan. The President further said on several occasions the private security firms have turned out to be sources of corruption and insecurity especially in certain parts of the country.

The visiting delegation once again declared support to the efforts led by President Karzai in ensuring security and rebuilding of Afghanistan.

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Security Council Discusses Situation in Afghanistan H.E. Zahir Tanin, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the UN, addresses a Security Council meeting on the situation in his country. United Nations, New York

Security Council arrives in Afghanistan to assess progress, show support

Members of the Security Council arrived today in Kabul to review progress made by the Afghan Government with assistance from the international community, and to demonstrate their continued support for the country’s efforts to ensure a sustainable peace.

The visit by the 15-member body is led by Ambassador Ertugrul Apakan of Turkey, and it comes ahead of the conference to be held in the capital on 20 July and co-chaired by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).  Ambassador Zahir Tanin Permanent Representative of  Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the United Nations  is accompanying the Security Council delegates to Kabul.

Next month’s gathering is a follow-up to the London Conference held in January, during which the Government and its international partners jointly endorsed a strategy of transition to greater Afghan responsibility for the affairs of the country.

The visit is also taking place just weeks after the holding of the Consultative Peace Jirga – which brought together 1,600 delegates from across the country to discuss the way forward in the peace process – and as the country prepares for the parliamentary elections scheduled for 18 September.

While in Afghanistan, the Council members will meet with President Hamid Karzai, senior members of the Government and other Afghan authorities and institutions, as well as with members of civil society.

They will also meet members of the international community and with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in his latest report to the Council, stated that the UN is committed to a continued long-term presence in Afghanistan, noting that this is a “critical” year in the country’s transition.

Source of the News: UN News Centre

UNODC Reports Major Drug Abuse in Afghanistan

KABUL, 21 June 2010 – A survey on Drug Use in Afghanistan, issued today by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, shows that around one million Afghans (age 15-64) suffer from drug addiction. At eight per cent of the population, this rate is twice the global average. “After three decades of war-related trauma, unlimited availability of cheap narcotics and limited access to treatment have created a major, and growing, addiction problem in Afghanistan,” said UNODC Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa.

“The human face of Afghanistan’s drug problem is not only seen on the streets of Moscow, London or Paris. It is in the eyes of its own citizens, dependent on a daily dose of opium and heroin above all – but also cannabis, painkillers and tranquilizers,” said Mr. Costa.

“Many Afghans are taking drugs as a kind of self-medication against the hardships of life. Significantly, many of them began taking drugs as migrants or refugees in camps in Iran and Pakistan,” noted Mr. Costa. Yet, instead of easing pain, opiate use is causing even greater misery: it creates behavioural, social and health problems, crime, accidents, and loss of productivity in the workplace. Injecting drug use, as well as sex traded for drugs or money, spread HIV and other blood-borne diseases.

During the past five years (in 2005 a similar survey was done), in Afghanistan the number of regular opium users has jumped 53 per cent, from 150,000 to 230,000 while the number of heroin users has increased from 50,000 to 120,000, a leap of 140 per cent. “In Afghanistan the growth of addiction to narcotics has followed the same hyperbolic pattern of opium production,” observed Mr. Costa.

One of the most shocking statistics in this report is the number of parents who give opium to their children; as high as 50 per cent of drug users in the north and south of the country. “This risks condemning the next generation of Afghans to a life of addiction, ” said Mr. Costa.

The report reveals a major shortage of drug treatment. Only ten per cent of drug users surveyed had received any form of drug treatment, although 90 per cent of them felt that they were in need of it. “More than 700,000 Afghans have no access to drug treatment. I invite the nations that support Afghanistan’s efforts to curb drug cultivation to help it as well overcome its drug-related health crisis,” said Mr. Costa. He called for much greater resources for drug prevention and treatment in Afghanistan, as part of mainstream healthcare and development programmes.

“Much has been said, and written, about Afghanistan as a leading producer of drugs, causing health havoc in the world. It is time to recognize that the same tragedy is taking place in Afghanistan, that has now become a leading consumer of its own opium,” said Mr. Costa.

For further information contact:

Tara Ali or Jelena Bjelica

External Relations, UNODC

Mobile: (+93) 795 643 820 or (+93) 796 520 857

Email: tara.ali@unodc.org or jelena.bjelica@unodc.org

Strategic Communication and Spokespersons Unit

United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA)

Kabul, Afghanistan

Tel: 079 000 6121; +39 083 124 6121

http://unama.unmissions.org

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