Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Security Council Debate on the Situation in Afghanistan

Today, 19 September 2013, Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan H.E. Ambassador Zahir Tanin delivered a statement at the Security Council on the occasion of the debate convened on the situation of Afghanistan. The debate focused on Afghanistan’s upcoming elections, security transition, human rights and the peace and reconciliation process.

During the open debate, members of the Security Council along with representatives of Italy, India, Estonia, Japan, Germany, Turkey, Slovakia, Canada, Islamic Republic of Iran and the European Union took the floor.

Mr. Jan Kubiš, the Special Representative of the Secretary General and Head of UNAMA, participated in the discussions highlighting the vital importance of regional cooperation to Afghanistan’s stability and the necessity of ensuring justice and human rights in the region. He also welcomed the significant progress made in technical preparations for the upcoming elections, as well as the increased capability of the Afghan army and police in facing the challenges of security transition.

In his remarks, H.E. Ambassador Tanin stated that since the launch of the final phase of security transition on 18 June this year, Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) have been at the forefront of combat, defending the country and providing security.

He emphasized that the transition will take Afghanistan into a “decade of transformation characterized by strengthening sovereignty and normalization of the situation.” It will bring security to the region and allow Afghanistan’s economy to move “from aid-independency to self-sufficiency.” In this regard, the elections are seen as crucial to the success of the transformation period. “This is why Afghans from all walks of life are actively engaged in the process and debate before the elections,” he stated.

Moreover, the Ambassador stressed that neighboring countries play a vital role in securing prosperity and peace in Afghanistan and in the region, noting that “our vision is not simply to better Afghanistan’s future, but also enable us to be a constructive, friendly and dependable partner to our neighbors and to countries in the region.”

Speaking about the increasing number of terrorist attacks and civilian casualties in Afghanistan, the Ambassador noted, “as Afghanistan looks towards a brighter future, the enemies of Afghanistan- the enemies of peace- continue their violent campaigns against civilians, soldiers, civil servants, men, women, children and foreign forces. If they see brutality as the measure of their power, they are wrong; it is a measure of their weakness.”

Speaking of a recent increase in attacks on women officials, the Ambassador was emphatic: “It is not brave to kill a police officer, particularly if she is a woman protecting and serving her country,” he said. “It is time for the Taliban to stop the killing, renounce the violence, and to heed the call to peace.”

Several Council members and other speakers welcomed the appointment of new members of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) and of the Independent Electoral Complaint Commission (IECC), underlining the key role these institutions play in ensuring an effective democratic process. Also, they noted the adoption of the electoral legal framework as a significant step towards credible, inclusive and transparent elections.