Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Closing Remarks by H.E. Dr. Zahir Tanin Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations

Closing Remarks by

H.E. Dr. Zahir Tanin

Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations

Chair of the Intergovernmental Negotiation on the question of equitable representation and increase in the membership of the Security Council and other matters related to the Council

At an Informal Plenary Session of the General Assembly, 8th round of IGN

26th of January, 2012

 

Excellencies,

Distinguished delegates,

Let me close today’s meeting by thanking all Member States for not only their attendance but for their participation and willingness to engage in an interactive manner. Our progress today adds to the encouraging momentum of the 8th round and advances our work on the five key issues as outlined in 62/557. I look forward to continuing on this path in the remaining meetings.

In this regard, I will circulate a letter in the near future announcing the date of our next meeting, to discuss the initiative of UFC. In the mean time I will continue to hold consultations with all interested parties and am open to your thoughts, reactions and ideas which help guide the process forward in a truly comprehensive and cohesive, member state driven manner.

I thank you.

 

 

Opening Remarks by H.E. Dr. Zahir Tanin Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations

 

Chair of the Intergovernmental Negotiation on the question of equitable representation and increase in the membership of the Security Council and other matters related to the Council

At an Informal Plenary Session of the General Assembly, 8th round of IGN

26th of January, 2012

 

Excellencies,

Distinguished delegates,

It is a pleasure to gather you all here again. As I outlined in my letter dated the 29th of December, I have arranged this series of meetings in order to give each Member State initiative the in-depth discussion and evaluation it deserves. In line with the membership driven nature of this process, these meetings will aim to allow for greater interactivity and ensure that the process can forge ahead in an open, transparent, inclusive and comprehensive manner.

As I mentioned in my 29th December and 10th January letters, at the beginning of each meeting the authors of the initiative on which we are focused will be given an opportunity to speak about their proposal from the floor. They are encouraged to not just introduce their proposal, but also to indicate how it can be further operationalized. Other Member States will then have the opportunity to weigh in on the merits of the initiative and indicate whether they support it. At the end of the exchange, I will ask the authors to answer any questions and to reflect on the discussion. I trust that Member States will uphold decision 62/557 and consider each initiative in light of all the five key issues as well as their interconnectedness.

Upholding decision 62/557 also means working towards results. In my humble opinion, since the launch of the intergovernmental negotiations, this eighth round is the closest to a real give and take we have ever gotten. With concrete Member State initiatives on our agenda and Rev3, which I continue to work on, in our back pocket, we have a better chance than ever to find a solution that can garner the widest possible political acceptance by Member States.

As per my most recent letter, today we discuss the 6 September 2011 letter from the Representatives of Brazil, Germany, India and Japan. I understand that Brazil will introduce this initiative on behalf of the group. You have the floor.

 

Columbia University hosts The Power Struggle Over Afghanistan: A Book Event featuring author, Ambassador Kai Eidi and Afghan Ambassador to the UN, Zahir Tanin

On January 24, The Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies and the Center for International Conflict Resolution, at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs, presented an event entitled, “Power Struggle Over Afghanistan: An Inside Look at What Went Wrong – and What We Can Do to Repair the Damage”

 Ambassador Kai Eide, former United Nations Special Representative to Afghanistan and former Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), presented his book along with a reflection on his time as SRSG from 2008 – 2010. Ambassador Zahir Tanin, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations provided a unique perspective, offering both an Afghan view and an account of his inside experience at the United Nations.  The discussion was moderated by Jean-Marie Guéhenno, Director of the Center for International Conflict Resolution (CICR) and Arnold A. Saltzman Professor of Professional Practice in International and Public Affairs. Mr. Guéhenno is no stranger to Afghanistan himself, he was central in shaping the UN’s work there as Under Secretary-General for Peace Keeping Operations from 2000 until 2008.

He started his presentation with a captivating exclamation, “I was accused of hiding votes! It’s hard to live with that in your reputation…”  Through his book however, Ambassador Eide was able to confront the controversies over the elections in Afghanistan with real facts and details. By the end of his remarks at Columbia, it became clear that Ambassador Eide kept the best interest of Afghanistan – a sustainable peace and a functioning Afghan-led state – as the guiding light for all his work. It is for this reason that Afghan leadership so admired his efforts.

As Ambassador Tanin explained, “Kai’s book is offering, most importantly, a striking insight into the role of the UN and the SRSG in relation with both the government of Afghanistan and the international community in a critical time.”

During Ambassador Tanin’s remarks he discusses the UN’s long involvement in Afghanistan.  He gave a brief but detailed glimpse into the interworking of the UN, SRSG and UNAMA in Afghanistan. “In 2001,” he said, “soon after the US-led military intervention and the breaking of the Taliban command in Afghanistan, the UN became central for hammering out a new internal arrangement, which essentially informed the Bonn process.”  Ambassador Tanin goes on to describe UNAMA’s role over the last decade, noting that at times “it practically filled a vacuum created by the steady disintegration of state as a result of long decades of war and crisis. From 2001, it worked not only on behalf of the international community but also on behalf of the state that it was sanctioned to support.”

Speaking about the SRSG, Ambassador Tanin describes how in late 2007 it became apparent that, “a new paradigm emerged among some international players, emphasizing a strong role for the SRSG.”  This is where Ambassador Kai Eide emerges and was appointed as the new SRSG.  Ambassador Tanin described his candid advice upon his initial meeting with Mr. Eide: “it is essential to understand the Government of Afghanistan and work with it, it is important to balance relationships with all actors, and it’s necessary to bring order to the UN house.” Those words helped forge the partnership that lasted until the end of his tenure and always reinforced the messages they shared in Security Council debates and their talks together.

Mr. Eide’s book as Ambassador Tanin says, “is a real guide for understanding many un-speaks.  There are no better warnings than the accounts and assessments that Kai offers us in this book, if we don’t want to lose this struggle or the necessary support of the Afghan people.”