Saturday, August 1, 2015

Press Release

Press Release

July 29, 2015

 

Arg- Kabul. The government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, based on credible information, confirms that Mullah Mohammad Omar, leader of the Taliban died in April 2013 in Pakistan.

The government of Afghanistan believes that the grounds for the Afghan peace talks are more paved now than before, and thus calls on all armed opposition groups to seize the opportunity and join the peace process.

 

For further information, please contact:

Office of the Spokesperson to the President of Afghanistan,

 

Tel.:   +93 (20) 210 2853

 

+93 (20) 210 3705

 

president.pressofficee@gmail.com

 

www.president.gov.af

 

Press Release

On July 22nd, 2015, Save the Children, Center for American Progress and Saferworld organized a roundtable co-hosted by the Permanent Mission of Afghanistan to the United Nations on “Delivering the Post-2015 Development Agenda in Countries affected by Conflict, Insecurity and Conflict”. On this occasion, a report titled “Fragile Progress: The Record of the Millennium Development Goals in States Affected by Conflict, Fragility, and Crisis” was released by Save the Children and Center for American Progress. This roundtable discussion was very timely since it was convened during the final intergovernmental negotiations to adopt the Post 2015 Development Agenda.

Ms. Carolyn Miles, CEO of Save the Children welcomed all speakers, introduced H.E Ambassador Zahir Tanin, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations, and requested him to make the opening remarks. Ambassador Tanin spoke about the process of implementing Millennium Development Goals in Afghanistan in the backdrop of successes and challenges the country is facing today. He reiterated the successes of the past fourteen years by putting forth figures on human development indices that have shown improvement across the board— “more women have access to pre-natal care, life expectancy has increased, child mortality and malnourishment rates are going down, education for both male and female students have gone up significantly, more people are food secure and have access to clean drinking water and sanitation.” He emphasized on the efforts undertaken by the Government of Afghanistan to achieve not only the post-2015 development goals and targets but counter security challenges from radical extremist groups like the Taliban and other foreign fighters to stabilize the country and maintain and improve on existing achievements. However despite the successes, Ambassador Tanin stressed about the challenges that persist, in the form of endemic poverty that continues to plague most Afghans, the highest rates of maternal mortality that leads to deaths of many Afghan women during childbirth despite the gains in healthcare, and struggles in enrolling and preventing drop outs, especially for girl students– which is further complicated by worsening security situation in some parts of the country. He also reiterated Afghanistan’s full support for goal 16 of SDGs which talks about promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development and he called on the support of international partners for providing means of implementation for this goal, which is especially important in countries affected by conflict, like Afghanistan.

Following Ambassador Tanin’s speech, the Deputy Permanent Representative of Rwanda, H.E Mrs. Jeanne d’Arc Byaje and the Deputy Permanent Representative of Nigeria, H.E Ambassador Usman Sarki spoke about their countries efforts in adopting the post 2015 development agenda and the challenges faced in their respective countries. Ms. Zubeida Akhtar, Senior Advocacy Manager of Save the Children Afghanistan made her comments over skype where she mentioned the challenges faced by women and children in Afghanistan and how Save the Children has been working for the betterment of these vulnerable groups. Her speech was a somber reminder of the challenges faced by aid workers in countries affected by conflict, like Afghanistan. Also, the memorial arena in the roundtable, commemorating their memories of five aid workers from Save the Children who were killed in Uruzgon province in Afghanistan also served as a reminder of the monumental challenges presented by societies affected by conflict.  Civil society members like Mr. John Norris from Center for American Progress discussed the report on the “Record of the Millennium Development Goals in States Affected by Conflict, Fragility, and Crisis” and spoke about the role of data in evaluating performances of fragile societies. Additionally, Mr. Tony Pipa, Special Coordinator for Post-2015 Development Agenda, USA, and Mr. Hamish Young, Chief, Humanitarian Action and Transitions Section, Programme Division at UNICEF, made remarks on the report and their experiences in working on MDGs and countries affected by conflict. The meeting ended with all participants reiterating the importance of the post-2015 development agenda and the importance of full support from UN to support Member States by providing evidence-based inputs, analytical thinking and field experience.

 

Delivering the Post-2015 Development Agenda in Countries affected by Conflict, Insecurity & Crisis

Statement by H.E. Zahir Tanin Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the United Nations Roundtable Discussion

Delivering the Post-2015 Development Agenda in Countries affected by Conflict, Insecurity & Crisis

22 Ju

NEW YORK

Ms. Miles, thank you for organizing this roundtable. I would like to thank Save the Children who has been a long partner in promoting children’s rights in Afghanistan and we are very grateful for their efforts. Also I would like to thank Save the Children, Center for American Progress and Saferworld for inviting the Permanent Mission of Afghanistan to the United Nations to co-host today’s roundtable discussion on Delivering the Post-2015 Development Agenda in Countries affected by Conflict, Insecurity and Crisis. I welcome all distinguished guests to this important discussion.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This discussion is very timely since it coincides with inter-governmental negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda; hopefully by the end of this month we will have a final document to be endorsed by the Post-2015 Summit in September. The post 2015 development strategies are very important for those countries that are lagging behind in implementations of the Millennium Development goals. This agenda should build on the progress made so far and complete the unfinished business of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). MDGs are time bound and quantified targets for addressing extreme poverty in multiple dimensions– hunger, disease, and lack of adequate shelter– while promoting gender equality, universal education, and environmental sustainability. At the time of signing of the Millennium Declaration in September 2000, Afghanistan was in the midst of a bloody war. It signed the Millennium Declaration in March 2004, thereby making it a late-entrant to global development efforts.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Afghanistan has faced conflict, foreign interventions, and threats from violent extremist and terrorist groups for decades; since 2001, the country has undergone tremendous changes. In the fourteen years that followed, the Government of Afghanistan, along with its international partners, including NGOs like the ones organizing this roundtable discussion, have made tremendous strides in post-war reconstruction, infrastructure development, and progress across development indicators like education, healthcare, and livelihood. Despite challenges faced from the continuing violent campaign by the Taliban, foreign fighters, and other extremist groups, who have increasingly carried out numerous attacks against the Afghan people as well as critical infrastructure and development projects, one that we witnessed today in northern Afghanistan that led to the killing and injuring of many Afghans, thereby creating an impediment to development and stability, the Government of Afghanistan has not only dealt with these security threats but strengthened the path for development goals to be implemented. Thus Afghanistan’s development process is intrinsically related to its security situation, and faced with numerous complexities our goal is not just to implement the MDGs but transform the country and create a peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan, one where Afghans can live without the fear of death and destruction while having access to basic necessities like food, clean water, and education.

As a result of the tireless efforts of the Government of Afghanistan in cooperation with our international partners, human development indices across the board have shown improvement—more women have access to pre-natal care, life expectancy has increased, child mortality and malnourishment rates are going down, education for both male and female students have gone up significantly, more people are food secure and have access to clean drinking water and sanitation. However despite the successes, the challenges persist; endemic poverty continues to plague many in Afghanistan, the country still has one of the highest rates of maternal mortality despite the gains in healthcare, and enrolling and preventing drop outs, especially for girl students remains an issue– which is further complicated by worsening security situation in some parts of the country.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

2015 is a crucial year for my country since Afghanistan is embarking on its transformation decade which would be vital for achieving not only the post-2015 development goals and targets but deal with security challenges to stabilize the country and maintain and improve on existing achievements. Once the post 2015 development goals and targets are adopted, Afghanistan will align its National Priority Programs and National Development Strategy to implement the post 2015 Development agenda. In addition to the Post-2015 Development agenda, the Government of Afghanistan has reaffirmed its commitment to development and build a better future for the country through the Self-Reliance strategy adopted at the London Conference in 2014 which reiterates the Government’s intentions to ensure peace, stability and security in the country; enhance productivity, growth and revenues; improve the welfare and well-being of the people by proving better opportunities, good governance and respect for human rights; and to deepen democracy by taking up electoral reforms, institutional restructuring, and organizing periodic elections.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Afghanistan is also a part of the ongoing collective effort of all nations in achieving sustainable development goals that can guide our efforts for lasting change, not only in Afghanistan but in other conflict affected countries. While reiterating our full support for goal 16 of SDGs which talks about promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, we call on the support of international partners for providing means of implementation for this goal, which is especially important in countries affected by conflict, like Afghanistan. Considering the progress made by the country despite the complexities and challenges, I would like to emphasize the violent destructive campaign of the enemies of Afghanistan will not deter the country from its difficult but determined journey to ensure security and development for its people, as well as protect the environment, vulnerable groups, and promote human rights and good governance.

Thank you.