Tuesday, September 30, 2014

UN General Assembly Considers Situation in Afghanistan

H.E. Dr. Zahir Tanin, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the UN, addresses the General Assembly meeting on the situation in Afghanistan.

UN General Assembly Debates Afghanistan

General Assembly Resolution on “The Situation in Afghanistan”

Agenda Item 38

This Tuesday, 27 November, the UN General Assembly held a debate on its annual resolution on “The Situation in Afghanistan.” The resolution was adopted by consensus, reaffirming the body’s commitment to Afghanistan’s peace, stability, and prosperity and welcoming the phased security transition that has been mapped out between Afghanistan and the international community. Introducing the draft resolution was Ambassador Peter Wittig of Germany, who said, “the resolution sends, yet again, a positive signal of sustained support to Afghanistan, its Government and its people.”

 

H.E. Ambassador Tanin, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations, focused his statement on the current climate in Afghanistan, noting achievements such as the improvements to infrastructure, healthcare, and education, the advancement of women’s rights, economic growth, and the strengthening of the ANSF so that they will fulfill their commitment to protecting the Afghan people following the withdrawal of the International Security Assistance Force in 2014. He also touched on the upcoming elections in Afghanistan, the conferences that have been convened with regional and international partners, and the post-2014 military partnership with the United States.

 

“Afghanistan is approaching the end of a period, with the end of the existing framework of international military engagement and with all focus on transition to Afghan-led security, governance and development,” said H.E. Dr. Tanin. This transition includes the transfer of responsibilities from international to Afghan forces, but also requires a strong focus on “fair, free and democratic elections that can regenerate new energies for consolidating peace and stability.” Ultimately, the elections “should be seen in connection with the ongoing major effort aimed at bringing stability and an end to violence, that of a search for a political solution.”

 

Looking forward, Ambassador Tanin made it clear that, though some talk about a “coming disaster as the international forces leave,” this does not have to be. Though “the future of Afghanistan hangs on many ‘ifs’…it is our responsibility, together with the international community, to reduce uncertainties. We do not see the transition as a cliff that could be fallen from with just one false step.”

 

 

In total, the Assembly heard statements from Afghanistan, Germany, the European Union, the U.S., the United Kingdom, the People’s Republic of China, the Kyrgyz Republic on behalf of the Shanghai Cooperation, and 16 others. All speakers highlighted the major points of the draft resolution, which noted the commitments made at the Bonn Conference, the Chicago Summit, the Tokyo Conference, and the Heart of Asia Kabul Ministerial Meeting, which redefined and reinvigorated the long-term partnership between the country and its regional and international partners.

 

The draft resolution was co-sponsored by 84 delegations, and adopted by consensus. The Resolution and corresponding Secretary-General’s Report on the Situation in Afghanistan are available as A/67/L.16 and A/67/354-S/2012/703 respectively.