Thursday, March 5, 2015

Palestinian Leader Briefs United Nations Committee on Rights of the Palestinian People


On 2 September 2014, Ms. Hanan Ashwari, Member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization and Member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, briefed the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian people on current political developments and the situation on the ground in Palestine. H.E. Ambassador Zahir Tanin, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations, chaired the meeting in his capacity as Acting Chair of the Committee.

Opening the meeting, Ambassador Tanin briefed the Committee on recent developments, mentioning the Committee’s latest meetings and seminars, such as a statement delivered by the Committee Chairman at the Security Council debate on the Situation in the Middle East including the Palestinian Question. Ambassador Tanin then introduced Ms. Ashwari as a noted Palestinian legislator, activist and scholar with a long and wide-ranging career working for the rights of Palestinians.

Taking the floor, Ms. Ashrawi thanked the Committee for its courage, persistence, and energy particularly at this critical time in the Middle East. She described the situation in Palestine, noting that Palestinians are “still coming to grips” with the events of the last few months in Gaza.   Warning the Committee that “a two state solution is disappearing before our eyes,” Ms. Ashwari noted Palestine’s attempts to accede to United Nations Conventions and Agreements to become further entrenched within the international system in order to further engage, seek support, and prevent victimization. The Palestinian leadership, she said, believes a political course of action and joint effort towards meaningful negotiations are essential for long term peace.

Concluding her statement, Ms. Ashrawi expressed appreciation for all expressions of support from the international community, and called on member states to offer assistance for emergency relief and reconstruction in Gaza.

Following Ms. Ashrawi’s statement, the Permanent Representative of Indonesia to the United Nations, H.E. Ambassador Desra Percaya presented a report on the United Nations Seminar on Assistance to the Palestinian People (UNON). Ambassador Tanin then closed the meeting, noting other business and thanking participants for their attendance.



363rd Meeting of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.

363rd Meeting of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.

Security Council Press Statement: Attacks in Paktika and Kabul, Afghanistan


The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the suicide attack on 15 July 2014 in Paktika, Afghanistan, which caused many deaths and injuries to civilians, including children, as well as the attack in Kabul on 15 July 2014, which caused a number of deaths and injuries to civilians, for which the Taliban has claimed responsibility.

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. They wished the injured a speedy recovery.

The members of the Security Council reiterated their serious concern at the threats posed by the Taliban, Al-Qaida and other terrorist and extremist groups, and illegal armed groups to the local population, national security forces and international military and international assistance efforts in Afghanistan, particularly in light of recent terrorist attacks elsewhere in the country.

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 reaffirmed 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 and reiterated their determination to combat by all means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and all obligations under international law, in particular international human rights, refugee and international humanitarian law, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts.

The members of the Security Council reiterated that no terrorist act 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.

15 July 2014

H.E. Ambassador Tanin Highlights the Importance of Peaceful Transition at the Security Council Debate on the Situation in Afghanistan

On 25th June, H.E. Ambassador Zahir Tanin, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations, delivered a statement at the Security Council’s quarterly debate on the situation in Afghanistan.
Special Representative of the Secretary General, Mr. Jan Kubis, opened the debate. A timely political transition with a stable unifying outcome, he said, is the wish of the Afghan people and the necessary foundation for Afghanistan’s political, security and development challenges.

Referring to one Presidential candidate’s decision to disengage from the electoral process, citing alleged fraud, Mr. Kubis urged the candidates to immediately engage with one another and the mandated electoral institutions to define solutions to help move the process forward. Rising tensions, he warned, risk sliding into protracted confrontation and violence. To this end, he appealed to the candidates to exhibit “statesmanship, not brinkmanship” at this crucial stage.

Mr. Yuri Fedotov, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), also delivered a statement. He noted the willingness of UNODC to support Afghanistan’s efforts to engage with its neighbors and “promote regional and interregional cooperation in an integrated, comprehensive response to illicit drugs.”
Taking the floor, Ambassador Tanin declared this moment as “pivotal…for Afghanistan,” as the country arrived at the last stage of its historic presidential elections. This democratic transition is the cornerstone of the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned progression to peace, stability, and prosperity, he said.

The Presidential elections on 5 April and on 14 June, he continued, generated an unprecedented surge of democratic spirit in Afghanistan. “In an exceptional show of faith in democracy, Afghans cast their ballots despite intimidation by the Taliban and other extremist and terrorist groups so that they could have a say in the country’s political destiny,” he remarked.
Ambassador Tanin pointed out the dozens of national institutions that ensured the administration, integrity, and legitimacy of the first entirely Afghan-managed electoral process, highlighting the thousands of independent domestic and international observers and candidate monitors who covered the polling stations and continue to oversee the entire electoral cycle. Electoral institutions, he added, are managing issues related to the electoral process in the second round, attempting to avoid potential crises and to protect “the legitimacy of our historic elections.”
He noted with appreciation the United Nations’ readiness to stand up for the interests of the Afghan people by supporting the integrity of the Afghan-led, Afghan-managed electoral process, and noted that their support is “a positive step towards addressing the political concerns of the second round.”

Following Ambassador Tanin’s statement, members of the Security Council including representatives of Australia, Chile, Rwanda, Lithuania, Nigeria, United States, Luxembourg, Jordan, Republic of Korea, China, Chad, Argentina, United Kingdom, France, and the Russian Federation delivered remarks, as did representatives of India, Canada, Pakistan, Japan, Italy, European Union, Germany, Spain, Latvia, Kyrgystan and Turkey. Statements focused on the historic nature of the recent Presidential elections, as well as the necessity of adherence to Afghanistan’s constitutional and electoral laws at this important time. In addition, the Security Council adopted two Presidential Statements on elections and illicit drugs in Afghanistan, respectively.