Permanent Representative of Afghanistan, Dr. Zahir Tanin, has been re-appointed as Chair of the Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council reform. Â This is the sixth consecutive session of the General Assembly for which Ambassador Tanin will assume this position, following his initial appointment as Chair in 2008. The appointment was announced by H.E. Dr. John Ashe, President of the 68th Session of the General Assembly, in a letter to all Permanent Representatives to the United Nations in New York.
The President of the General Assembly also appointed an advisory group comprised of the Permanent Representatives of Belgium, Brazil, Liechtenstein, Papua New Guinea, San Marino and Sierra Leone who have been tasked with producing a basis to further the Intergovernmental Negotiations.
The Intergovernmental Negotiations, which were launched in February 2009, have included eight rounds of discussions and other meetings chaired by Ambassador Tanin. Since their inception, the negotiations have produced notable achievements, including a move to text-based negotiations.Â This established a foundation for more fruitful interactions aimed at reaching an outcome that could garner the widest possible political acceptance. Although Member States are not yet united in their approaches to reform the Council, the eighth round of negotiations showed real prospect for greater give and take within the process.
With his re-appointment, Ambassador Tanin hopes to generate a greater impetus towards the convergence of member state positions, in furtherance of the agreed goal to achieve early reform of the Security Council.
In addition to his chairmanship of the Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council reform, Ambassador Tanin will also serve as Chair-Designate to the Fifth Biennial Meeting of States to consider the Implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects (BMS5), scheduled for June 2014. This issue has far reaching consequences across the globe and is of great importance to many Member States. In his capacity as Chair-Designate, Ambassador Tanin will engage in active consultations with all Member States to ensure a successful outcome of BMS5, building on the progress made in recent years on the implementation of the Programme of Action.
Appointment to these important positions highlights the strengthened position of Afghanistan within the international community and re-enforces its role as an active and respected member of the United Nations.