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.