Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Statement By H.E. Dr. Zahir Tanin Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations General Debate of the Second Committee 67th Session of the United Nations General Assembly

Mr. Chairman,

Excellencies and Colleagues,

 

At the outset, let me congratulate you on your election as the Chairman of the Second Committee during the 67th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. I am confident that your proven leadership will ensure the success of the Second Committee’s work. I also would like to extend congratulations to all newly elected members of the Bureau. I take this opportunity to express our thanks to your predecessor, His Excellency Mr. Abulkalam Abdul Momen, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh for his excellent leadership during the sixty-sixth General Assembly of the UN.

 

I associate myself with the statement delivered by the Representative of Algeria to the United Nations on behalf of the G-77 and China. I would also like to affiliate myself with statements delivered by the delegations of the Republic of Benin on behalf of LDCs and Lao People’s Democratic Republic on behalf of LLDCs.

 

Mr. Chairman,

 

Recovery from the world financial crisis of 2008 remains uncertain, and the damage caused by that crisis still plagues developed and developing countries, and has a particularly harmful effect on the LDCs. Issues of poverty, hunger, climate change, natural disasters, energy and food insecurity, market volatility and insurmountable debt persist. These problems undermine the efforts by the developing countries especially least developed countries to achieve internationally agreed development goals. The second committee must continue to address these challenges, which seriously threaten the well-being of hundreds of thousands of people all over the world.

 

The Government of Afghanistan is of the firm belief that such challenges can be eliminated only through effective, coordinated, and coherent action on the part of all stakeholders. In order to overcome our challenges, Northern countries must honour their commitment to cooperate with developing countries in their development efforts. In that regard, Afghanistan underscores the need for continued international support in the form of financial and technical assistance for developing countries.

 

Mr. Chairman,

 

Since the overthrow of the Taliban in 2001, Afghanistan has begun to rebuild its political, economic, and social structures and work to ensure that citizens of Afghanistan have access to basic services.  Afghanistan has made enormous strides in the past decade in the areas of healthcare, education, gender equality, and economic infrastructure. The challenging security situation and the threat of terrorism still impede the implementation of the Afghan Government’s development policies. Therefore, the Government of Afghanistan remains convinced that issues related to security and their impact on the development of post conflict countries should be given due consideration by the Second Committee.

 

In 2004, Afghanistan joined the rest of the international community in committing to the Millennium Development Goals, setting 2020 as a target date for their completion. Despite the ongoing challenges Afghanistan faces, we are committed to achieving these goals with the support of the international community.

 

Afghanistan welcomes the outcome document of United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Conference was a historic event in garnering a renewed commitment for effective strategies to promote global prosperity, reduce poverty, advance social equity and protect our environment.  The Rio+20 Conference has called on the International community to develop the Post-2015 United Nations development agenda and Sustainable Development Goals. Discussions and consultations regarding this post- 2015 framework should not distract efforts toward the achievement of the current MDGs. The formation of the SDGs and the Post-2015 development agenda should proceed in a coherent and coordinated manner.

 

Mr. Chairman,

 

Agriculture, which is the primary source of income for the large majority of our people, is threatened by desertification, drought, and climate change. Conflict over the last several decades, combined with high population growth and the resultant overuse of natural resources, has caused widespread damage to Afghanistan’s farmland and infrastructure. We call upon our international partners to help the Agricultural sector of Afghanistan by providing technical and financial support.

 

Climate change affects all countries equally – poor, rich, small or big – and therefore, serious cooperation by all countries is required to tackle this challenge. In this regard, my delegation strongly supports the position of the G77 and China that the UNFCCC (UN Framework Convention on Climate Change) and the Kyoto Protocol should remain the central multilateral framework for cooperative action to address climate change issues.

 

Mr. Chairman,

 

Afghanistan also supports closer collaboration between developing countries and development partners as well as all other relevant actors to implement the Istanbul Programme of Action and the Almaty Programme of Action in order to ensure enhanced, predictable and targeted support for the least developed countries and the landlocked developing countries.

 

In conclusion, my delegation is firmly convinced that your wisdom and effective leadership of our Committee will go a long way in helping us achieve important progress on the issues under our consideration. I assure you of my delegation’s full support and cooperation!

I thank you.