At the outset, let me congratulate you on your election to the Chairmanship of the Sixth Committee. We look forward to working closely with you, and assure you of our full support and cooperation.
Afghanistan aligns itself with the statements delivered on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and the Non-Aligned Movement.
We are grateful for the Secretary General for his report, contained in document A/67/162, providing a comprehensive updates on recent counter-terrorism measures, at the national and international levels.
Our discussion today comes against the backdrop of a harsh and grim reality; that the menace of terrorism, threatening mankind as a whole, has yet to be eliminated. We are all subject to the horror and brutality of terrorists, no matter where we come from; or what our nationality or religion. This in itself makes clear that it is our joint responsibility to protect our present and future generations from the demons of terrorism. In this connection, more must be done to translate political commitments to reality – within the context of increased and result-oriented regional and international cooperation.
My country Afghanistan offers a clear example of a state, which is struggling vehemently to defeat terrorism. Our struggle against this global peril has lasted for more than two-decades, extending back to the dark era of the Taliban regime, where citizens were deprived of fundamental rights and freedoms, and subject to oppression. Eleven years since the start of a new beginning, we have come a long way in transforming our society for the better. We’ve made important progress in consolidating democracy, in promoting and protecting human rights for all citizens; enabling millions of boys, girls, men and women to enroll in primary and higher education; and in progressing towards an Afghanistan which is fully in charge of its future.
Having said that, the Afghan people have yet to realize their number one demand – the chance to live in peace and security. Our fight against terrorism, which has had important results, continues. The terrorism plaguing our country and region continues with no end in sight. Funded and equipped from sanctuaries outside Afghanistan, terrorists are still carrying out attacks against Afghans from all walks of life: our clergy and tribal elders, public and government officials, our security forces, and even our young children.
I wish to underscore, here, yet again, full compliance with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council related to counter-terrorism. These include the Declaration on Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism, adopted by UNGA resolution 49/60; as well as SC resolution 1373 of (2001).
The people of Afghanistan are ever more resilient to defeat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. We have sacrifice immensely, in terms of human and material loss. We have lost thousands of our soldiers and officers as result of terrorist attacks, and during counter-terrorism operations. Many more have been maimed and wounded.
Our counter-terrorism efforts are a key component of our national security strategy. Each and every day, our security forces are working diligently to prevent another act of terrorism for occurring. Thousands of terrorist plots have been averted. Yet, the severity of the challenges we face is such that Afghanistan’s enemies are still able to conduct attacks, and prevent the stabilization of the situation in the country.
We are continuously strengthening our counterterrorism legal framework. A multitude of measures are being taken to implement the 13 international conventions and protocols dealing with terrorism, two which are party.
We welcome the 3rd biennial review of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy this past June. It provided a clear picture of how far we have come in our joint efforts, and the challenges we still face. We concur with the assessment that appropriate focus must be given to all 4 pillars of the Strategy: preventing and combating terrorism; addressing conditions conducive to terrorism; strengthening capacity of States; and ensuring full respect for human rights as the fundamental basis for combating terrorism.
The work of the counter-terrorism committees 1267/1989, 1373 and 1540 are at the core of the international architecture against terrorism. We attach great importance to, and fully support the work of these Committees. In this regard, we have submitted our national reports on implementation, the most recent of which was our 2nd report on the 1540 Committee, earlier this year. 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).
We welcome the creation of an International Center for Countering Terrorism, which, we feel, will go a long way in helping to consolidate cooperation and building State capacity. The success of the Center requires a clear effort on the part of States for collaboration and cooperation.
We join previous speakers in calling for an early conclusion of 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 stress 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.