H.E. Ambassador Dr. Zahir Tanin, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan, delivered a statement on the 20 November 2013, at the General Assembly’s 55th plenary meeting on the situation in Afghanistan. In the meeting, draft resolution A/68/L.11 was introduced by the Permanent Representative of Germany, H.E. Ambassador Peter Wittig, as the Permanent Mission of Germany facilitated this resolution, like it has done since the resolution’s inception. The General Assembly adopted the resolution by consensus.
At the beginning, Ambassador Wittig stressed that the resolution is “about the long-term commitment of the international community throughout the Transformation Decade.” By adopting the resolution once again by consensus, “the General Assembly will reaffirm its commitment to a prosperous and peaceful future of Afghanistan and send a strong message of support to the Afghan Government and its people,” he said.
Following the introduction of the resolution, Ambassador Tanin noted that over the past 12 years “Afghanistan’s progress has been huge, and, to a larger extent, unprecedented for a country that is still struggling to leave conflict and violence behind.” Since 2001, he said, with the help of the international community, a new state was founded on the basis of a democratic constitution and the will of the Afghan people. Afghanistan has “regained its historical place as a responsible member of the international community…home to all Afghans, all ethnic groups, men and women,” he said.
Following a decade of extraordinary engagement by the international community in reconstruction and stabilization efforts, Afghanistan is moving towards a new beginning, “characterized and guided by the principles of national ownership, leadership and strengthened sovereignty,” he said. He noted several milestone events that were upcoming for the country including the convening of a Consultative Loya Jirgah to discuss the Bilateral Security Agreement that is “at the core of strategic relations between Afghanistan and the United States.” He also mentioned upcoming presidential and provincial council elections, which will mark the first peaceful, democratic transfer of power from one elected president to another.
Ambassador Tanin described a number of immediate priorities in the future, “key to the success of transition and to achieving lasting peace and stability in the country.” These developments include the peace and reconciliation process, regional cooperation, economic development, good governance and rule of law, and the protection and promotion of “the rights of all Afghan people, including those of women and girls.” “The coming year for Afghanistan is crucial. We are embracing the challenges of the future with full confidence. Our commitment to building on the achievements of the past is as strong as ever,” the Ambassador concluded.
Ambassadors of the European Union, China, Australia, the Russian Federation, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Republic of Korea, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, Japan, the United States, India, Italy, Iran, Malaysia, Slovakia, Tajikistan, Czech Republic, Turkey and Romania expressed support for the resolution. Representatives commended the major achievements and political, security, economic and developmental progress made by Afghanistan in the past decade. They reiterated the vital role of an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace- and reconciliation process and underlined the significant step forward that will be made with the upcoming democratic elections in 2014.