Thursday, April 24, 2014

Permanent Mission of Afghanistan hosts Ambassadors and academic experts in a workshop on “Building Stable Societies as part of the post-2015 Development Framework”

 

The Permanent Missions of Afghanistan and Timor Leste along with the Center on International Cooperation (CIC) at New York University co-hosted a workshop on 24 October 2012 entitled “Building Stable Societies as part of the post-2015 Development Framework.” This productive meeting was co-chaired by H.E. Dr. Zahir Tanin, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan and H.E. Ms. Sofia Mesquita Borges, Permanent Representative of Timor Leste.  Dr. Bruce Jones, Director and Senior Fellow of CIC, framed the conversation.

 

Ambassador Tanin opened the discussion, remarking that in order for the post-2015 framework to be universal and inclusive, it must consider the special circumstances of states in and coming out of conflict.  He shared Afghanistan’s experience, highlighting the successes the country has made over the past twelve years as well as the challenges it still faces in advancing its development agenda, namely terrorism and risks posed by armed anti-government elements.  “A sad fact remains,” he said, “that a school built in six months can be burned down in six minutes.”

 

Following Ambassador Tanin, Ambassador Borges commented on her country’s position, explaining, “Timor-Leste recognizes that peace and effective institutions are necessary to reach the goals of eradicating extreme poverty and bringing about sustainable development.  These are not issues that are pertinent only to a group of countries affected by conflict or fragility.”  In his remarks, Dr. Jones added, “The reality is that there’s no way of achieving the goals of ‘leave no one behind’ or getting to zero on absolute poverty without grappling with the fact that a plurality of the world’s poorest live in countries affected by conflict.”

 

Workshop discussions were enriched by insightful remarks from Mr. Eric Kashambuzi, Advisor on the Post-2015 Development Agenda from CIC and Ms. Karina Gerlach, a Member of the High Level Panel Secretariat. A number of participants shared their views.  Issues discussed included the links between development and peace, the individual experiences of states, and potential political roadblocks in the post-2015 planning process.  As the session came to a close, speakers welcomed the existence of a broad coalition of member states characterized by optimism for the ongoing process to consolidate the post-2015 development agenda.

Press Release: Permanent Representative of Afghanistan Dr. Zahir Tanin is re-appointed as Chair of the Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council reform

Permanent Representative of Afghanistan, Dr. Zahir Tanin, has been re-appointed as Chair of the Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council reform.  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.  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.

Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism

Statement of The Islamic of Republic of Afghanistan Delivered by Mohammad Taqi Khalili Deputy Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the UN
At the Sixth Committee (68th UNGA) on Agenda Item:110  Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism

Mohammad Taqi KhaliliThank you Mr. Chairman,

We join other delegations in congratulating you on your election to the Chairmanship of the Sixth Committee. We look forward to working closely with you in the way forward, and assure you of our full support and cooperation.

We align ourselves with the statements delivered on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation, and the Non-Aligned Movement.

Afghanistan condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. By now, we all are convinced this evil phenomenon is global in nature, and to be defeated, requires a concerted and unified approach.

Mr. Chairman,

Afghanistan continues to be one of the main victims of terrorism. Despite the major transformation in Afghan society towards democratization, substantial improvements in the health and education sectors, the building of our infrastructure, and advances in fundamental freedoms and liberties, our people still suffer from the horror of terrorism. The evil desire of terrorists to prevent our success, a peaceful and stable Afghanistan, has yet to be abandoned.

Nevertheless, our commitment to defeating this scourge at the national, regional and international level is as strong as ever. Our counter-terrorism approach constitutes a core pillar of our national security strategy. Through the security transition, our security forces have taken charge of security responsibilities throughout the country. Our national army and police are in the front line of all counter-terrorism operations. In this respect, scores of terrorists and enemy combatants have been killed, captured and brought to justice. Moreover, hundreds of terrorist plots were averted in various parts of the country.

Our people have suffered immensely in terms of human and material loss. We have lost thousands of our soldiers and officers in our struggle against terrorism. And many more were maimed and wounded. In our pursuit of a lasting peace in our country, our counter-terrorism efforts will continue unabated.

Having said that, we hope to see concrete efforts for the elimination of terrorist sanctuaries and support centers located outside Afghanistan, which represent the main source of the violence and terror in our country.

Experience has shown that our region is particularly prone to the menace of terrorism. We in Afghanistan see regional cooperation to be a necessity to rooting out terrorism in our part of the world. In this respect, we are working closely with our immediate and distant neighbors, bilaterally, trilaterally and through other initiatives, such as the Istanbul Process.

We are encouraged by the outcome of President Karzai’s recent visit to Pakistan, where detailed discussions were held on enhancing joint efforts to defeat terrorism, and advance our Afghan-led peace and reconciliation process.

Mr. Chairman,

The dangerous link between terrorism and organized crime remains a serious concern to Afghanistan. These two perils are mutually reinforcing, and must be given equal attention. In this regard, we emphasize that the problem of narcotic drugs can only be effectively addressed through a comprehensive and holistic approach, dealing with all aspects of the problem – production, trafficking and consumption. We highlight, in this respect, enhanced efforts at the regional level to curtail trafficking. This will be essential to defeating the drug problem.

Mr. Chairman,

All States are obligated to fulfill their responsibility to combat international terrorism. In this respect, we underscore full compliance with, and implementation of relevant General Assembly and Security Council resolutions. These include the Declaration on Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism, adopted by UN General Assembly resolution 49/60, and Security Council resolution 1373, which call on states to refrain from providing support and assistance to terrorists.

We continue to adjust our national counter-terrorism legislation, to correspond with international legal frameworks to combat terrorism. We commend the important work being done by the Counter-Terrorism Prevention Branch of UNODC. Our national counter-terrorism practitioners are taking part in a number of counter-terrorism workshops and seminars, focusing on capacity-building. We are steadily strengthening our capacity, and working to implement the 13 international conventions and protocols dealing with terrorism, to which we are party.

Mr. Chairman,

We fully support the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, representing the overall framework for international efforts to defeat terrorism. We welcome the outcome of the 3rd Review in June of last year, and look forward to the 4th review. We concur with the assessment that the Strategy should be implemented in a balanced manner, with due consideration to all 4 pillars.

The work of the counter-terrorism committees 1267/1989, 1373 and 1540 are at the center of the Security Council counter-terrorism focus. For our part, we have increased inter-agency coordination, to ensure consistent reporting on implementation to relevant Security Council committees.

Mr. Chairman,

The creation of the International Center for Countering Terrorism was a milestone, helping to enhance counter-terrorism cooperation, and strengthen capacity in States, both of which are essential for the implementation of Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. We are of the view the UN will best be able to lead international counter-terrorism efforts by way of increased coordination and coherence among relevant UN agencies. In this respect, we applaud the work being done by the Counter-terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF).

We echo the call of other speakers in highlighting the need to achieve the early conclusion of the Comprehensive Convention for Combating International Terrorism. We commend the work being done by the Ad-Hoc Committee established by General Assembly Resolution 51/210 of 17

December 1996. We must look forward, and work to resolve, outstanding issues causing the impasse in negotiations.

I Thank You.