Tuesday, July 22, 2014

UN Debates PeaceBuilding: Afghan Ambassador Calls for National Ownership, End to Taliban Violence

On January 21st, the United Nations Security Council debated post-conflict peace-building and Institution building. After opening remarks by the Secretary General, the Vice Prime Minister of Timor Leste, Jose Luis Guterres, spoke on behalf of G7+, a new group of conflict affected and fragile states, providing a unique perspective on the subject.  Ambassador Peter Wittig of Germany then addressed the Council as chair of the Peacebuilding Commission.

Security Council Meeting: Open debate on Post-Conflict peacebuilding.

Ambassador Zahir Tanin, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan, expressed the need for institution building as an essential component for lasting peace in Afghanistan.  He reminded that in the “ubiquitous debate on the current situation in Afghanistan, it is easy to overlook the thirty years of conflict that Afghanistan has overcome.”  While Afghanistan was thought of as the most failed state in the world in 2001, it has made significant progress toward stabilization considering its context, he said.

Afghanistan’s reintegration and reconciliation process was highlighted in Ambassador Tanin’s statement.  He invited members of the armed opposition to put down their arms, renounce violence, and join the peace process.  He addressed the Taliban directly, “Now that we have come halfway, it is the Taliban’s turn to fulfill its responsibility. If the Taliban wants to join the peace talks, it must end violence and terrorist attacks…and sever ties with Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups.”

In keeping with a common theme emphasized by most member states in this debate, national ownership was underscored as vital for sustainable peace in Afghanistan.

Video of Security Council Meeting: Post-conflict peacebuilding

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Security Council Meeting: Post-conflict peacebuilding