Sunday, August 31, 2014

Statement by President Karzai at NATO Summit in Lisbon

بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم

H.E. Secretary General NATO

H.E. Secretary General United Nations

Excellencies

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Allow me to thank the Government of Portugal and the citizens of Lisbon for the warm welcome and hospitality extended to us all.

It is a privilege to address this Summit at a time when NATO is transforming the Alliance to meet the global security challenges of the 21st Century.  A transformed NATO will be an enduring partner to an Afghan state committed to assuming leadership for its own security and development.

Al Qaeda’s attack in New York and subsequent terrorist attacks around the world made us realize that terrorism is a continuous threat to our collective security. Afghanistan and NATO share common interests and objectives in eliminating this menace.

Nine years ago, the people of Afghanistan joined the United States and our coalition allies to fight international terrorism.  We have come a long way in this shared journey.  I want to express the gratitude of the Afghan people for the valuable role NATO has played, especially the sacrifices of your young men and women, in helping us recover from decades of destruction and terror.

The Afghan people take pride in our sovereignty. Expressing our national consensus I made a commitment a year ago to assume leadership for security in our country by 2014. An effective transition will reduce your burdens and increase the trust of our people in our partnership. Together, we have established a strong foundation, and we now have an agreed upon process to make the transition irreversible and sustainable. President Obama’s principled decision, as supported by your governments, to commit adequate forces and resources to disrupt and defeat Al Qaeda has paved the way for success.  In close partnership with General Petraeus and Ambassador Sedwell we are making progress towards our common objective.

The maturity of our partnership allows us to discuss difficult issues and find agreement. We are in dialogue with ISAF on issues of serious concern to the Afghan people, in particular: civilian causalities, detentions, lawless behavior by some security companies and, at times, the NATO’s posture.   We need the space to discuss these issues and resolve them in a spirit of collaboration and teamwork. The sustainable solution to these issues will, of course, come from the realization of our common objective of replacing international forces with Afghan security forces.

Excellencies,

At a time when your own citizens face economic hardship, we are grateful for your support in helping us build strong and stable institutions. As your citizens are making great sacrifices, we understand their questions regarding our capacity to deal with poor governance and corruption.  The Afghan people also share these concerns. Therefore, today, I reaffirm our resolve to work with you to promote good governance and rule of law, keys to the satisfaction of our people’s quest for peace and prosperity.

Our vision is to consolidate the institutions of an effective state bound by rule of law and capable of fulfilling its duties to its citizens and serving as a respected anchor for regional stability. These institutions will consolidate a democratic order with which Afghan citizens can identify and which they can own and defend.

While fighting terrorism is the main focus of your actions in my country, the Afghan people’s focus today, after three decades of war and violence, is peace and tranquility.   The Afghans need and want a just peace as much as your people want security.

I take this opportunity to thank you for supporting the Afghan peace initiatives, particularly the Consultative Peace Jirga and the establishment of the High Peace Council.

Excellencies,

As we look to establishing an enduring long-term partnership between Afghanistan and NATO, we must commit to reinforcing each other’s capabilities; pursuing shared strategies; adapting and overcoming differences in cultures of defense, diplomacy and development; aligning means to ends; and ensuring more efficient resource utilization, transparency and accountability.

In this regard, we look forward to our international partners fulfilling their commitments of the London and Kabul Conferences to channel 50% of resources through the Afghan government and to aligning the use of all resources around Afghan priorities.

Constitutionally, our State is unitary, so we ask that the resources your governments contribute to our common effort be provided in a manner that strengthens Afghan government, reinforces our sovereignty, and advances the success of our State.

We appreciate NATO’s comprehensive approach in Afghanistan, where the campaign against terrorism goes hand in hand with development assistance. However, parallel aid systems raise significant issues of accountability and efficiency, whereas national programs can build institutions and allow for public participation. We therefore ask our partners to join us in expanding existing national programs and in designing new ones. We must particularly work together to ensure that provincial transitions are guided by a coherent national approach. Our security institutions are still modestly equipped. Ensuring enablers and trainers for our police and armed forces is therefore essential to the success of transition.

We have long been concerned about the unintended adverse consequences of international contracts on our economy, politics and society.  We welcome the review of NATO contracts and commitment to the policy of “Afghan First”.  Giving preference to the Afghan private sector will have major positive effect in harnessing the market as a force of stability.  Providing Afghanistan with market access to ISAF/NATO countries can also boost peace and prosperity. As the transition succeeds, reinvesting the dividend into the creation of opportunity for Afghan citizens will be welcome.

Ladies and Gentlemen

Having spoken to the question of Afghan expectations of our NATO partners, I wish to reaffirm my Government’s commitments to fulfill its responsibilities to provide the Afghan people with security, rule of law and opportunity to develop their potentials. In this context, we will ensure and expand the gains made by Afghan women

Our people have made us keenly aware of the need for reforming state institutions. We are therefore committed to a holistic approach to reform. We will fight corruption as it undermines public trust in government institutions.

We are fully aware that our quest for peace and stability depends on regional cooperation. We therefore ask our allies to build regional confidence in the war against terror. We need your active engagement to promote a security and development framework for regional cooperation that will allow for mutual peace, prosperity and security.

Having articulated and committed to our common goals, we must create and implement relevant milestones. To review our progress on transition towards 2014 and broaden the scope of trade and development activities with our partners, the Afghan government proposes to host a meeting in November 2011 in Bonn, Germany and hopes that the government of Federal Republic of Germany will, as always, graciously make its facilities available.

Excellencies,

Peace and tolerance are the highest values of Islam, and the people of Afghanistan, who played a critical role in the formation of Islamic civilization, are among the heirs of that proud legacy. Over a billion Muslims, not Al Qaeda, speak and embody the values of our tolerant civilization. Islamophoebia, a spreading disease, has no place in our globalised world, and does not serve your interest or our partnership.  It is the cooperation of civilizations, not their clash that is the true pathway to the future. A sovereign Afghanistan, capable of ensuring the security and well-being of its citizens, able to contain and eliminate the threat of terrorism and serve as an anchor of regional stability, is essential to global peace and security. This worthy goal will give us the energy to endure, and the determination to overcome the obstacles we face.

Thank you.

Afghanistan Calls for More Delisting of Former Taliban Members

On 15 November, H.E. Ambassador Zahir Tanin, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations, addressed the UN Security Council during its debate on the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committees.  He said that the main challenge to Afghanistan’s security remains the terrorist activities of the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, and other extremist groups.  “The enemy we face,” he said, “is part of a complex and sophisticated network with safe-havens and sanctuaries in our region from which terrorists still enjoy support.”

Ambassador Tanin also stated that as Afghanistan and the International Community continue their fight against the terrorists, reconciliation efforts and outreach to the armed opposition who would like to join the peace process by renouncing violence are critical.  He welcomed the delisting of ten former Taliban members from the consolidated list of Individuals and Entities Associated with Al-Qaida and the Taliban over the past year.  He urged the Security Council to “give due consideration to Afghanistan’s additional de-listing requests.”

He expressed Afghanistan’s support for the counter-terrorism committees. The 1267 committee was praised for its efforts in keeping the sanctions list current and as a result of this process the de-listing of 10 former Taliban members which will contribute to Afghanistan’s peace and reconciliation initiative.  Additionally, the 1373 committee and the 1540 committee were commended for their ongoing efforts in the Counter Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) and the prevention of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to non-state actors respectively.

Overall, this was an important opportunity to reconfirm the Afghan peoples’ commitment to the fight for the elimination of terrorism with the partnership of the international community.

Briefing by Chairmen of Subsidiary Organs of the Security Council

Statement by H.E. Dr. Zahir Tanin

Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

at the Security Council

on “Briefing by Chairmen of Subsidiary Organs of the Security Council.”

Mr. President,
As this is the first time that I am taking the floor during this month, permit me, at the outset, to congratulate you on assuming the Presidency of the Council during November. And we thank you for holding today’s debate on the work of the subsidiary bodies of the Security Council dealing with terrorism.

My delegation is thankful to Ambassador Harting of Austria, Ambassador Apagan of Turkey and Ambassador Heller of Mexico for their comprehensive briefings on the work of the counter-terrorism committees, established pursuant to Security Council resolutions 1267 (1999), 1373 (2001) and 1540 (2004).

Mr. President,

Afghanistan remains the number one victim of international terrorism.  Nearly a decade ago, Afghanistan and the international community joined hands to end the rule of terrorists and extremists, who used the country as a base for international terrorism. And today, notwithstanding important progress in the political, social and economic fronts, the terrorist campaign of the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and other extremist groups continues to be the main challenge to Afghanistan’s security, reconstruction and development. Terrorists have killed or maimed thousands of innocent men, women and children; and they seek to take Afghanistan back to the days when tyranny and oppression were seen as the rule of law.

Mr. President,

As we have echoed time and again in this very Council, terrorism in Afghanistan and our part of the world is a growing threat to international peace and security. The enemy we face is part of a complex and sophisticated network with safe-havens and sanctuaries in our region from which terrorists still enjoy support. Afghanistan remains alarmed at the presence of these support centers, and reiterates that unless they are addressed, the terrorism which has been raging like wildfire will regrettably continue.

Mr. President,

As the front-line state in combating terrorism, Afghanistan has suffered immensely in terms of loss of human life, and the destruction of our economy and infrastructure. Afghans have made enormous sacrifices in this struggle.  As we speak, our national army and police are engaged in fierce combat against enemy forces in joint military operations with international forces. We have taken the fight to terrorists, and prevented their ability to carry out large-scale conventional attacks. That is why they resort to desperate tactics – suicide bombings, assassinations and abductions.

Further, as we get ready to begin the transition process, we have given new focus on building the size and strength of our national army and police. The detailed plan of the transition strategy will be presented at the upcoming NATO Summit in Lisbon later this week. We are confident that a stronger and more efficient security force will lead to further progress in the fight against terrorism, and to improvement in the security situation.

Mr. President,
As long as terrorism remains a threat, the fight against it will continue. By the same token, it is widely recognized that military efforts alone are not the solution to Afghanistan’s security problem. Reconciliation and reintegration of former combatants with no links to terrorist organizations is critical for achieving lasting peace and security.  In this regard, I want to state clearly that our reintegration and reconciliation initiative will be pursued in conformity with the provisions of the Afghan constitution. Additionally, we give full assurance that the democratic process and respect for human rights, the rights of women in particular, will remain a priority during reconciliation.

Mr. President

Afghanistan commends the Security Council for the able manner in which it is leading international efforts in combating terrorism. In that regard, we highlight the importance of counter-terrorism committees 1267, 1373 and 1540.

Mr. President,

The 1267 Committee remains one of the important instruments of the Security Council in countering terrorism. Consistent with resolution 1904, the Committee has taken a number of important steps to increase transparency and effectiveness in its work. In July of this year, the Committee revised its working guidelines. Another important achievement is the publication of narrative summaries for enlisting. This new practice provides member-states with concise information, such as date and reason for listing. Moreover, in August, the Committee concluded its review of all individuals on the consolidated list, which led to the delisting of additional names.

Mr. President,

We join other speakers in underscoring the importance of a periodic review of the list, so as to ensure its accuracy. In this connection, Afghanistan welcomes the de-listing of 10 former Taliban members during the course of the year. Such measures will benefit Afghanistan’s peace and reconciliation initiative. Having said that, we urge the Committee to also give due consideration to Afghanistan’s additional de-listing requests, and look forward to Monitoring Team’s visit to Kabul at the end of this month.

In regards to the 1373 Committee, we underscore its important work, and welcome the continued efforts of the Committee and its Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) for increased collaboration with member-states.

Mr. President,

Terrorists have proven their readiness to terrorize peoples, societies, and countries as a demonstration of their strength. They will no spare no effort to go to all lengths, including resorting to nuclear, chemical and biological terrorism. In this connection, we commend the ongoing efforts of the 1540 Committee in preventing non-state actors from participating in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Mr. President,

Afghanistan is actively engaged in implementing the relevant resolutions of the Security Council on terrorism, on which we have presented national reports. Needless to say, Afghanistan is party to all 13 conventions on terrorism. Moreover, Afghanistan’s relevant national institutions, the security and judicial sectors in particular, are working diligently to further strengthen our counter-terrorism efforts.

In conclusion, Mr. President, I should like to state that the fight against terrorism is a key component of our partnership with the international community. We look forward to strengthening this partnership in the coming years.  And let me reiterate that the people of Afghanistan are as resolute as ever before to eliminate terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

Thank you Mr. President.