Friday, February 12, 2016

Ambassador Saikal addresses students at New York University

On Wednesday, January 27, Ambassador Mahmoud Saikal was invited to address students at New York University as part of the UN Initiative on “Discussion with a Global Leader” series to celebrate the 70th session of the UNGA.

Screenshot_2016-01-28-11-53-53-1Ambassador Saikal appreciated the initiative by NYU to engage global leaders in conversations with the youth, who are at the forefront of shaping global policy in the future. He noted that this initiative also provided students with an excellent opportunity to grapple with multifaceted problems challenging global peace and unity today.

Ambassador Saikal gave the students an overview of the current situation in Afghanistan and the region. This was followed by a question and answer session on topics ranging from the ongoing resistance against extremist groups (Taliban, Haqqani network, ISIS, and others), role of the region in Afghanistan’s affairs, presence of US & NATO troops, constitutional reform, National Unity Government and political framework in the coming years, and economic issues, anti-corruption measures and the role of foreign aid. The evening provided the students with a better idea of Afghanistan and its challenges and progress, and fostered dialogue on what can be done for Afghanistan to continue on its path of transformation.

Security Council Press Statement on Terrorist Attack in Kabul

SECURITY COUNCIL
PRESS RELEASE

The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Elbio Rosselli (Uruguay):

The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the terrorist attack in Kabul on 20 January, against a minibus transporting workers of a local media organization, for which the Taliban has claimed responsibility.  The attack resulted in at least seven deaths, as well as more than 20 wounded persons.

The members of the Security Council expressed their deep sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims and to the people and Government of Afghanistan, and they wished the injured a speedy recovery.

tolonews1The members of the Security Council strongly condemned the fact that this heinous crime, beyond attacking the lives of civilians, also aims at the right of all Afghans to freedom of expression.

The members of the Security Council reiterated their serious concern at the threats posed by the Taliban, Al-Qaida, Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh) affiliates, illegal and armed groups to the local population, national defence and security forces, and international presence in Afghanistan.

The members of the Security Council underlined the need to bring perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism to justice, and urged all States, in accordance with their obligations under international law and relevant Security Council resolutions, to cooperate actively with the Afghan authorities in this regard.

The members of the Security Council reiterated that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations is criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of its motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed, and should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group.

The members of the Security Council reaffirmed the need for all States to combat by all means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and other obligations under international law, in particular international human rights law, international refugee law and international humanitarian law, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts.

The members of the Security Council reiterated that no violent or terrorist acts can reverse the path towards Afghan-led peace, democracy and stability in Afghanistan, which is supported by the people and the Government of Afghanistan and by the international community.

International community reaffirms long-term partnership with Afghanistan

9 December 2015, New York: Today the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted the resolution titled “The situation in Afghanistan”. This resolution reaffirms the long-term partnership of the international community with Afghanistan based on refreshed mutual commitments.

Mahmoud Saikal, Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the United Nations thanked member states for the unanimous adoption of the resolution and said, “Quite rightly this time, the resolution emphasizes on the regional aspects of the peace and security in Afghanistan.” He added, “We hope this important resolution will guide all member states in addressing the difficult challenges facing Afghanistan.”

Members of the General Assembly reiterated the fact that there is an urgent need to tackle the challenges in Afghanistan, in particular the region-based violent extremist activities by the Taliban, including the Haqqani Network, Al‑Qaida and other violent and extremist groups and criminals.

General assembly was also deeply concerned about the continuous and high level of violence in Afghanistan, especially the number of civilian casualties; it further expressed serious concern regarding the increasing presence of ISIL (Daish) in Afghanistan and their brutal acts, including killings of Afghan nationals.

Addressing the General Assembly plenary session, Mahmoud Saikal, said, “External support to the Taliban and other terrorist groups is primarily motivated by regional rivalry, with excessive and unnecessary anxiety and suspicion of one state over its rival’s otherwise ordinary relations with Afghanistan. He added, “This has resulted in an unsavoury policy of using violent proxies in pursuit of political objectives, which has created a significant trust deficit between Pakistan and Afghanistan and provides oxygen for terror to breath.”

Members of the UN General Assembly recognize that an Afghan-led inclusive peace process backed by regional actors, in particular Pakistan, and supported by the international community, is essential for achieving long-term peace and stability in Afghanistan. Hence the members encourage Afghanistan and Pakistan to enhance their relationship that could lead to cooperation to effectively combat terrorism and move the Afghan-led Peace Process forward.

The resolution stresses on the important and impartial role of the United Nations in promoting peace and stability in Afghanistan.

The resolution recognizes the importance of the continued international commitment to support the training, equipping, financing and development of the capacity of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces throughout the Transformation Decade.

The resolution welcomes the start of the second year of the National Unity Government and its achievements in political, economic, governance and social reforms, underlining the need to preserve past achievements, urges further improvements in this regard in particular to address poverty, delivery of services, stimulate economic growth, create employment opportunities, increase domestic revenue, and human rights, especially women’s rights and persons belonging to minorities.

The resolution encourages all partners of Afghanistan to support constructively the Government of Afghanistan’s reform agenda as envisaged in the Self-Reliance Mutual Accountability Framework.

Notes to Editors:

  • The Resolution is on the agenda of the General Assembly since 1980
  • This resolution, adopted on annual basis, is a series of political commitments of the international community through General Assembly.
  • Germany is the pen-holder to this resolution.