I wish to begin by thanking the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for hosting this important event.
Founded in the aftermath of the Second World War, the United Nations set out to achieve an inspiring vision of saving “succeeding generations from the scourge of war,” which included establishing the Security Council as its primary organ for ensuring the maintenance of international peace and security. Since that time the world has changed dramatically. Power balances have shifted with the rise of emerging powers. The need for a more transparent, inclusive, representative and democratic UN is increasingly clear.
Afghanistan understands these changes well, having benefited from the power of international cooperation and being heavily engaged in the global partnerships that it has spawned. Our country has been committed to the process and will remain supportive of a swift reform.
However, despite the dramatic changes that we have seen in the world around us, the Security Council has only changed once in over 65 years, with an increase in its non-permanent members.
Hence, it is our duty to improve this important international institution, a step that we agreed on and committed to at the 2005 World Summit, by making it “more broadly representative, efficient and transparent and thus to further enhance its effectiveness and the legitimacy and implementation of its decisions.”
Toward this end, it is important to note Afghanistan’s contribution to the process through Ambassador Zahir Tanin, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan, chairing the Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council reform since its inception almost three years ago.
Since that momentous decision to transition into Intergovernmental Negotiations, important progress has been made. Views have been elaborated. New ideas have been put forth and clarified. And a historic first negotiating text has been developed and progressively improved through the inputs of Members States and the guidance of the Chair, thus paving the way for the next phase of negotiations to unfold.
This progress, however, cannot be seen as an end, but as a constant encouragement to continue boldly down the road of reform so we can achieve the “early reform” that we have all agreed we desire.
Afghanistan itself will continue to commit to these efforts, and to take great pride in the contribution that we can make to its progress. As Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has stated, we need to “inject renewed confidence into a strengthened United Nations firmly anchored in the twenty-first century, and which is effective, efficient, coherent and accountable.” Afghanistan certainly understands the importance of adapting to a changing world. And we look forward to continuing to contribute to that same process of change as it takes place within a renewed and reformed United Nations.
Thank you very much.