On Tuesday March 20th, the Security Council held a debate on the Situation in Afghanistan. The debate was in advance of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) Mandate adoption on Thursday the 22nd, which will renew the mandate for 12 months. Mr. Jan Kubis, Special Representative of the Secretary General and Head of UNAMA, briefed the Security Council on the challenges the country continues to face, as well as the progress that has been made thus far. H.E. Ambassador Zahir Tanin, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Afghanistan along with Council members and other Representatives spoke on the Situation in Afghanistan.
Mr. Kubis stressed that a continued UNAMA presence is needed for future gains and success of the country. He made it clear that the transition is “on track and on target,” and “the ANSF have so far proven that they are up to the tasks”. In addition, he expressed the hope that the upcoming International Conferences will be a strong platform for international and governmental, noting that “the Chicago summit should firm up developments and plans by specific and solid commitments”. He discussed the UN’s support role for human rights protections, improvements to the election system, and the fight against the drug production and trade, as well as the importance of non-violent protests by Afghan citizens.
H.E. Ambassador Zahir Tanin, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan agreed that the transition process is continuing apace. “A paradigm shift is under way; the aim is sovereignty — empowering Afghanistan to take charge of its own destiny and turning the direct military and civilian function of the international community into a supporting role,” he declared, adding that a successful transition required renewed parameters of partnership between Afghanistan and the international community, with the guaranteed commitment of the continuation of military, political and financial support during the transition and the “decade of transformation” from 2015-2024. “This is what we, Afghanistan and the international community, set out to do last December in Bonn. This commitment will be supported concretely in Tokyo,” he said.
He stressed that an effective transition is also contingent upon the successful outcome of an Afghan-led reconciliation, outreach and reintegration process. The dynamics of peace talks have shifted with the announcement of the opening of the Taliban office in Qatar, and national efforts have made progress with nearly 3,500 anti-Government elements now enrolled in the Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Programme. According to Ambassador Tanin, regional and international support for the peace process is crucial, expressing the importance of regional cooperation through the Istanbul Process.
He said that it was imperative to bring to an end to such incidents as the brutal killing of civilians in Kandahar and the burning of the Quran north of Kabul and that the perpetrators be held accountable.
Council members and other speakers welcomed the progress of the transition to Afghan leadership as described by Mr. Kubiš and Ambassador Tanin, and affirmed the importance of the upcoming meetings in Chicago and Tokyo in strengthening the mutual commitments of Afghanistan and the international community.
Photos of the Meeting: