Friday, August 22, 2014

The Rule of Law at the National and International Levels

STATEMENT

BY

Mr. Mohammad Erfani Ayoob, Deputy Permanent Representative

Permanent Mission of Afghanistan to the United Nations

At the Sixth Committee

Of the 65th Session of the United Nations General Assembly

On Agenda  Item 83

“The Rule of Law at the National and International Levels”

Madam Chair,

Afghanistan attaches great importance to advancing the rule of law at both the national and international levels.  We believe this is an issue which is essential for promoting international peace and security, good governance, sustainable development, social progress and human rights for all. The United Nations, in accordance to the provisions of the Charter, must play a central role in leading, promoting and coordinating international efforts towards this purpose.

In this regard, my delegation welcomes the recent dialogue initiated by the Rule of Law Coordination and Resource Group and the Rule of Law Unit with Member States on the topic of “Promotion of the Rule of Law at the International level” and we welcome their efforts in ensuring the overall coordination and coherence on UN engagement in the field of capacity building in post-conflict countries. We call for continuation of dialogue to keep Member States abreast of UN activities that foster the Rule of Law at the national and international and national levels.

Madam Chair,

Two-decades of incessant armed conflicts and violence led to the destruction of our state institutions. Those which continued to operate carried out their duties with minimal capacity and resources. Among those which were severely affected include our rule of law and justice sectors.

Nevertheless, Madame Chair, since 2001 Afghanistan has come a long way in consolidating the rule of law throughout the country. Our constitution, which was adopted in 2001, serves as the supreme law in the country.  It is the very foundation upon which we established our democratic institutions, including the Executive, Legislative and Judiciary bodies, and a vibrant civil society, which is a strong advocate for promoting the rule of law and human rights in the country.

To improve the Rule of Law at the national level, the Government of Afghanistan, supported by the International community, has taken necessary steps to develop the human and institutional capacity of the justice sector, increase access to justice-particularly for women, improve good governance, combat corruption and strengthen our National Security Forces to ensure security and protect the rights of all citizens.

Building on the Kabul Conference commitments, the Government of Afghanistan, with the support of its international partners, is taking additional steps to enhancing the Rule of Law at the national level. We are working to:

  • Improve access to the delivery of justice throughout Afghanistan and enacting the draft Criminal Procedure Code along with preparation commentaries on Civil and Penal Codes.
  • Improve provision of legal aid services.
  • Align the National Priority of Law and Justice with the National Justice Programme and the National Justice Sector Policy.
  • Complete the informal justice strategy in alignment with the National Justice Sector Strategy.
  • Establish the statutory basis for the Major Crimes Task Force (MCTF) and the Anti-Corruption Tribunal (Special Courts).
  • Submit a law audit meeting international standards.
  • Establish a legal review committee to review Afghan laws for compliance with the United Nations Convention including the Convention Against Corruption.
  • Finalize the National Priority Programme for Human Rights and Civic Responsibilities, with the support of AIHRC and civil society.
  • Initiate a strategy for long-term electoral reform.

The International Community, including the United Nations, donor Countries and non-governmental organizations are making important contributions to help the Government of Afghanistan to restore and improve our justice system, and advance the rule of law throughout the country.

By the same token, we require the sustained and coordinated support and assistance of our partners, including relevant UN Agencies and NGOs to strengthen our capacity and further strengthen the Rule of Law at the national level.

Madam Chair,

In conclusion, for this debate to be effective we must address the responsibilities of Member States toward their international obligations. We stress the importance of Rule of Law at the international level, as an effective tool for addressing global challenges in promoting democracy, human rights, sustainable development, peaceful co-existence and cooperation among states, fighting international crime and terrorism, and promoting justice and peace for all.

The promotion of Rule of Law at the international level requires Member States to implement the relevant International laws and Treaties to which they are a party. Afghanistan is committed to its obligations in this regard.

We would like to express our gratitude to our partners in the international community,  relevant UN agencies, NGOs and all who are committed to the plight of the Afghan people and the creation of a world where justice can prevail.

Thank you.