On 25 – 27 March 2014 Ambassador Zahir Tanin, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations and Vice-Chair of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP), attended the United Nations International Meeting on the Question of Palestine in Quito, Ecuador at the Swissótel Quito. The theme of the meeting was “Engaging for Peace: the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.”
Ahead of the conference, the CEIRPP delegation attended a meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with H.E. Mr. Ricardo Patiño, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ecuador. There, Minister Patiño welcomed the Committee expressed his support for and solidarity with the people of Palestine.
At the official opening of the International Meeting, the Deputy Foreign Minister of Ecuador, H.E. Leonardo Arizaga spoke in his capacity as representative of the host government. H.E. Mr. Abdou Salam Diallo, Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, delivered opening remarks and H.E. Mr. Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations, delivered a statement in his capacity as representative of the State of Palestine.
Mr. Oscar Ferdnanez-Taranco, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, delivered remarks on behalf of the Secretary-General of the United Nations and delivered the keynote speech. Speaking on behalf of the Secretary-General, Oscar Ferdnanez-Taranco remarked, “the current renewed round of peace negotiations has presented a rare and important opening to advance the two-State solution. I call on both parties to act to reach an agreement, even if it requires painful concessions.”
The meeting took place in the context of the ongoing renewed round of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations with the aim of reviewing challenges and opportunities in advancing peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians. It also focused on support by Latin American and Caribbean countries related to the question of Palestine, as well as support by non-governmental actors, civil society initiatives, and South-South cooperation in support of Palestinian socioeconomic development.
The meeting consisted of three plenary sessions, with Ambassador Tanin chairing the first meeting of the second day. Sessions featured keynote presentations and statements by Governments, international organizations, academic experts, and UN agencies as well as a showing of Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi’s award-winning documentary, “5 Broken Cameras”. The meeting closed with a United Nations Meeting of Civil Society in Support of Israeli-Palestinian Peace.
In his remarks to the Security Council yesterday at the debate on the Situation in Afghanistan, H.E. Ambassador Zahir Tanin, Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to United Nations, described the government’s position on ongoing cooperation with the international community, including the prospect of signing the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with the United States.
Speaking today, the Ambassador further clarified the government’s position. “Let me be clear,” he said, “the BSA will be signed only if Afghanistan’s conditions are met, including the beginning of official peace talks.” There is no change in Afghanistan’s position on the Bilateral Security Agreement; the preconditions for signing the BSA remain, he explained.
Afghanistan’s position has been reiterated by H.E. Hamid Karzai, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, including most recently at the opening session of Parliament. As the President remarked, “The people of Afghanistan recognize peace as the main base of life like any country in the world and any other nation in the world. So if a country wants a security agreement, relations and a military base, that presence must bring peace in Afghanistan.”