Thursday, December 18, 2014

Statement by H.E. Dr. Zahir Tanin Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations At the Sixth Committee on Agenda Item 109: “Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism.”

Mr. Chairman,

I begin my congratulating you and the members of the Bureau on your elections, and assuming the Chairmanship of the Sixth Committee. We are convinced that you and your team will steer the work of the Committee successfully. And we assure you of our full support and cooperation.

We also thank the Secretary General for his comprehensive report, outlining recent national and international efforts in the fight against terrorism; and the Chairman of the Ad-Hoc Committee, established pursuant to GA resolution 51/210, on the work of its 15th Session.

Mr. Chairman,

Less than a month ago, the United Nations General Assembly observed the 10th Anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The event was a grim reminder of the loss of life of men, women and children of distinct backgrounds and nationalities on that dark day in history.

The horrific attacks of September the 11th culminated in a robust international partnership to help rid Afghanistan from terrorists and extremists; and to defeat terrorism effectively and resolutely, wherever it existed.  Ten years on, with support from our international partners, the Afghanistan of today is different than that of a decade ago.  The collapse of the tyrannical Taliban regime, supported by their Al-Qaeda allies and other associates, gave way to successive democratic elections, in which Afghans from all walks of life exercised their right to self-determination. We have registered important progress in all spheres of society, social, political and economic, included.  And with the start of Transition in July of this year, we are now on the path towards Afghan ownership and leadership.

Nevertheless, Mr. Chairman, despite our achievements, terrorism has not gone away from the lives of our people. Terrorists are still bent on preventing peace and stability to take root.  The past months have seen a rise in the level of violence; terrorists continue to kill and maim ours school children; our security forces; our tribal and religious elders; our international partners; and our patriotic national figures.

Early this month, the world heard the tragic news of the assassination of Professor Burhanuddin Rabbani, Chairman of the Afghan High Peace Council (HPC), who was killed in a cowardly suicide attack that was planned and orchestrated from outside Afghanistan.

Mr. Chairman,

In the context of a viable solution to the problem of terrorism, we echo, yet again, our long-standing position that the terrorism which has engulfed Afghanistan and our region will not go away without eliminating sanctuaries and safe-havens that are, in fact, the umbilical cord from which the forces of evil are feed and nurtured.

In this connection, it is essential that countries comply with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council, calling on States to prevent their territories to be utilized for the planning or preparation of terrorist acts. These include the Declaration on Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism, adopted by UNGA resolution 49/60; as well as SC resolution 1373 of (2001).

Mr. Chairman,

Terrorism has proven its reach across borders and continents, affecting peoples of all nationalities, religions and backgrounds. This is evident by acts of terror committed around the world, including my own country Afghanistan, as well as Nigeria, Indonesia, India, Norway and Russia. And it remains crystal clear that a successful fight against terrorism requires a concerted and robust effort, characterized by effective regional and international cooperation.

In this respect, we underscore enhanced measures to implement the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy of September 2006, which remains the overall strategic and operational international framework for combating terrorism.
Further, we in Afghanistan attach great importance to the work of counter-terrorism committees, established pursuant to Security Council Resolutions 1267, 1988, 1989, 1373 and 1540 in combating terrorism.  As an active participant in counter-terrorism cooperation, we have submitted our national reports on the implementation of relevant SC resolutions, including resolution 1373.  In the same vein, we acknowledge with appreciation the important work being done by the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF) and Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED).

As a country which remains forefront in the fight against terrorism, Afghanistan is ever more resilient in our resolve to help defeat this scourge in all its forms and manifestations.   We are party to 13 international conventions and protocols dealing with terrorism; and we remain fully committed to meeting our obligations under these conventions.

Afghanistan welcomes the successful outcome of the Symposium on Combating International Terrorism, which took place on the 19th of September, at the initiative of the UN Secretary General.

Mr. Chairman,

We are convinced that the signing of the agreement between the United Nations and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the creation of an International Center for Countering Terrorism will go a long way in helping to consolidate cooperation and building capacity of in relevant State institutions and agencies dealing with terrorism. We look forward to seeing the new center become operational in the near future.

Furthermore, we believe it is of paramount importance to conclude the Comprehensive Convention for Combating International Terrorism. While commending the work of the Ad Hoc Committee established by GA Resolution 51/210 of 17 December 1996, we join other speakers in stressing increased cooperation to resolve the outstanding issues.

Afghanistan further underscores the importance of convening a High-level Conference on countering terrorism, under the auspices of the United Nations.  Such an initiative will help formulate a joint and effective response to the global fight against terrorism.

In conclusion, I wish to reiterate our steadfast commitment to undertake all necessary measures to defeat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and to achieve international peace and security.

I Thank You.