Saturday, August 2, 2014

Successful Transition to Afghan Leadership Through a Comprehensive Approach


The Situation in Afghanistan Reviewed at Japan’s Symposium on Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding

This week Japan hosted a Public Symposium entitled, “A better path to peace: dynamic collaboration between Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding.” The event was opened by Japanese Foreign Minister, H.E. Mr. Seiji Maehara, followed by keynote speaker, the President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency, Ms. Sadako Ogata,

As a part of the review panel of the United Nations discussions on peacekeeping and peacebuilding H.E. Ambassador Zahir Tanin, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations, spoke on a panel with Mr. Alain Le Roy, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, and Mr. Baso Sangqu, Permanent Representative of South Africa to the United Nations.  Ambassador Tanin delivered a statement about peacebuilding in Afghanistan.  He pointed out that in post-conflict societies, peacekeeping, humanitarian aid, and reconstruction are crucial for preventing relapse.  The collaboration between NATO and the UN in Afghanistan is unique in that it is one of only two NATO missions mandated by the UN Security Council.

Ambassador Tanin defined two phases of peacebuilding in Afghanistan, first from 2001-2006 under the Bonn Agreement, and from 2006-2010 under the London Compact.  While progress made through these two events was tremendous, Ambassador Tanin acknowledged that important opportunities to eliminate terrorism, properly resource and reinforce efforts, and empower Afghans “to shoulder the responsibility of their own destinies” were missed.

The Kabul Conference in January 2010 crafted the Kabul Process, which Ambassador Tanin describes, serves as the basis of “change through transition to full responsibility and leadership of the Afghan government.”  He went on to explain that the process formed a compact between the Afghan government, Afghan people, and international community.

Ambassador Tanin stressed the need for a comprehensive, state-building approach for future stabilization efforts.  Beyond military strategies, he explains, “the peace process necessitates national reconciliation, outreach to the people, and sustainable partnerships with the region and international community.”  He expressed that the recent NATO summit in Lisbon have solidified the Afghan government’s commitment to Afghan forces assuming full responsibility of national security by 2014. Through its new Strategic Concept adopted in Lisbon, NATO has affirmed its commitment to Afghanistan as well as collective security. With the support of NATO and the international community, Ambassador Tanin expressed the belief that a “gradual transition to Afghan leadership will be realized sooner than later.”

Throughout the symposium, Ambassador Tanin met with members of the Foreign Ministry and key Japanese Foreign Policy leaders including Mr. Nobukatsu Kanehara, Deputy Director General for Foreign Policies, Mr. Tadamichi Yamamoto, head of Afghanistan and Pakistan Assistance Coordination, and H.E. Mr. Shinichi Kitaoka, former Japanese Ambassador to the United Nations.  He also met with Mr. Koki Tsuruoka, Deputy Vice Minister for Foreign Policy, Mr. Koro Bessho, Deputy Foreign Minister, and Mr. Kenzo Oshima Deputy Director General of  the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

Statement by President Karzai in OSCE Summit in Astana

بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم

Excellency President Nursultan Nazarbayev;

Excellency Secretary General Ban Ki Moon;

Excellencies Heads of State and Government;

Ladies and Gentlemen,

On behalf of the people of Afghanistan, may I extend my cordial gratitude to President Nazarbayev and the brotherly people of Kazakhstan for the very warm hospitality extended to us. I also like to express my gratitude to the chairmanship for assigning Afghanistan a high priority on the OSCE’s agenda over the past one year.

Mr. Chairman,

Under your able chairmanship, the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has made considerable progress and has taken important steps in areas such as security, environmental protection and combating organized crime.

Afghanistan appreciates the increasingly close relationship with the OSCE since being granted the status of partner State in the year 2003. The 2007 Madrid Ministerial Council decision on OSCE engagement with Afghanistan marked a milestone in the extension of our co-operation. Officials from concerned ministries of Afghanistan have benefited from a number of valuable programs. Another good example has been the OSCE contribution in sending observers to Afghanistan’s elections, fighting against organized crimes and helping build the capacity of our border security forces.

Excellences,

After three decades of war and destruction, Afghanistan has entered a new phase of its political, social and economic life where most of the OSCE member states are supporting us in our efforts for reconstruction, capacity building and counter terrorism. Afghanistan has achieved considerable progress in developing a vibrant economy, strengthened state institutions and rebuilding infrastructure, empowering institutions of public service particularly health, education and promotion of rule of law.

We believe all these achievements give us the strength and determination to prepare Afghanistan to gradually take over the responsibility for providing its own security within the next four years.

During the deliberations of the NATO Summit in Lisbon last month, we agreed with NATO and ISAF member states that the process of transition to Afghanistan should be completed by the end of 2014. The agreement with the international community to hand over responsibility to Afghans does not mean an end to our continued cooperation with NATO. We will continue to need support from NATO and regional countries against the common threats we all face.

Mr. Chairman, Excellencies,

International terrorism is a major threat to Afghanistan, our region and the world. Afghanistan is the first and foremost victim of this menace. While the Afghan people are keen participants of the campaign against terrorism, they are suffering the consequences of 30 years of war and instability. It is the utmost wish of the Afghan people to see peace and stability in Afghanistan. To that end, the Afghan Consultative Peace Jirga in July 2010 recommended that a High Council for Peace be formed to pursue peace and reconciliation. We hope that the international community and our neighbors  will support Afghanistan in bringing peace to our people.

Mr. Chairman,

Three decades of war and instability resulting in the destruction of our state institutions and economy have contributed to the growth in the production and trafficking of narcotics. We have made considerable progress over the past nine years in reducing poppy cultivation. While hundreds of traffickers and smugglers have been apprehended and are serving prison terms, hundreds of our security forces and civilians have lost their lives in this cause.

A study carried out by the UNODC indicates over forty percent drop this year in production of narcotics in Afghanistan. It is widely recognized that the present threats and challenges we are facing in Afghanistan are to a great extent symptoms of a much larger malady, widespread in our region and beyond.

An effective fight against the menace of narcotics therefore requires a cohesive international approach to effectively deal with the international drug trafficking, smuggling of precursors and supply and demand networks.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Afghanistan shares common borders with three OSCE member countries. While our region is exposed to international terrorist and criminal networks, we believe that in addition to the bilateral cooperation between Afghanistan and the three OSCE member states in our neighborhood, we need to bolster our regional cooperation in order to reach the OSCE objectives.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

For Afghans, regional cooperation remains a key for effective regional integration. For this purpose, we are focusing on a number of projects of significant importance such as energy, roads and railway networks through Afghanistan to the region. These projects will connect Central Asia through Afghanistan to the Indian Ocean, the Persian Gulf and beyond. Toward this goal, Afghanistan is making strenuous efforts and working on a number of special programs including the transmission of gas and electricity from Central Asia to Afghanistan and the neighboring South Asian Countries.

Regional transit and trade is another key area that we must continue to focus on. We believe that a more vibrant transit and trade environment in our region not only contributes to the economic development of the entire region, but also serves as an important tool for regional integration. Annual imports from the neighboring and regional countries to Afghanistan are worth billions of dollars. Infrastructure development in Afghanistan has facilitated the way for goods to travel through the country and therefore serves as an important element for regional economic growth.

Mr. Chairman,

I want to take this opportunity to thank you and the people of Kazakhstan for the provision of 1000 scholarships for our young Afghan students.

I am confident that Afghanistan will remain a priority on the OSCE’s agenda in 2011. I, once again, would like to thank the people and government of Kazakhstan for their warm reception and for organizing this important event. I conclude my statement by wishing you all a successful meeting.

Thank you

The OSCE Summit Starts in Astana of Kazakhstan


December 01, 2010

The 7th Summit of the heads of state and government of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe opened this morning in Kazakh Capital, Astana.

High level delegations from about 61 countries, representatives from the international and regional organizations as well as heads of state and governments from Partners for Co-operation to the OSCE are attending the two day conference held in the Palace of Independence.

The meeting began with an opening address by the President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev and followed by statements by other leaders of the world. President Hamid Karzai was one of the early speakers who addressed the summit on important issues of regional and global importance.

President Karzai began by thanking the organization for assigning Afghanistan a high priority on the OSCE’s agenda over the past one year and thanked the organization for its contributions and help to Afghanistan especially in areas of sending observers to Afghanistan’s elections, fighting against organized crimes and helping build the capacity of our border security forces.

In reference to the situation in Afghanistan, the President said, “ After three decades of war and destruction, Afghanistan has entered a new phase of its political, social and economic life where most of the OSCE member states are supporting us in our efforts for reconstruction, counter terrorism and providing security for our people. Afghanistan has achieved considerable progress in developing a vibrant economy, strengthened state institutions and rebuilding economic infrastructure, empowering institutions of public service particularly health, education and promotion of rule of law.”

On the issue of Afghanistan taking over responsibility for its own security as agreed in a the last month’s NATO summit in Lisbon, the President underscored that the agreement didn’t mean the end of partnership with the international community. He said, “we agreed with NATO and ISAF member states that the process of transition to Afghanistan should be completed by the end of 2014. The agreement with the international community to hand over responsibility to Afghans does not mean an end to our continued cooperation with NATO.”

The President also spoke of the achievements Afghanistan has gained over the past few years especially in terms of reducing drug cultivation. The President said the three decades of war and instability had resulted in the destruction of Afghanistan’s state institutions and economy thus contributed to the growth in the production and trafficking of narcotics. But, he however, emphasized that Afghanistan has made considerable progress toward this end, as shown in the UN survey.

A study carried out by the UNODC indicates over forty percent drop this year in production of narcotics in Afghanistan.

The President stated, “It is widely recognized that the present threats and challenges we are facing in Afghanistan are to a great extent symptoms of a much larger malady, widespread in our region.”

President Karzai underscored that an effective fight against the menace of narcotics therefore requires a cohesive international approach to effectively deal with the international drug trafficking, smuggling of precursors, supply and demand networks.

In the other part of his speech, the President said regional transit and trade was another key area that we must continue to focus on. He said we believe that a more vibrant transit and trade environment in our region not only contributes to the economic development of the entire region, but also serves as an important tool for regional integration.

The OSCE Summit is the first since the Istanbul Summit in 1999 and the first ever held in Central Asia. More statements and the plenary sessions will continue until 2 December.