Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The United Nations adopts Country Program for Development in Afghanistan 2015-2019

On 3 September, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) adopted its 2015-2019 country program document for Afghanistan.  The document was approved by the Executive Board of the UNDP at a meeting at the United Nations.

H.E. Ambassador Zahir Tanin, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations, delivered a statement at the meeting.  “The new country programme lays the foundation for a fresh and reinvigorated partnership between Afghanistan and the UNDP,” he said.  He noted with appreciation the extensive consultations between the Government of Afghanistan and the UNDP country team in drafting the country programme, and highlighted the flexible nature of a document that the government of Afghanistan is able to revisit after the inauguration of the new government.

Ambassador Tanin noted that the new country program comes at a critical time in the country, when Afghanistan is undergoing a political transition and awaiting the results of a democratic election. “As we move into the Transformation Decade (which starts in 2015 and lasts until 2024),” he explained, “it is crucial that we learn from the past, that development assistance supports enhanced Afghan leadership and ownership, and that it enables the country to move from aid dependency to self-sufficiency.” He emphasized the importance of this approach to ending fragility, achieving greater Afghan sovereignty and coming to a more normalized relationship with the international community in the future.

 

Following Ambassador Tanin’s remarks, the Deputy Assistant Administrator and Deputy Regional Director of the Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific for UNDP, Mr. Nicholas Rossellini, took the floor.  Introducing the Afghanistan country program, Mr. Rossellini noted that “Afghanistan has undergone fundamental transitions in its political, security, and socio-economic spheres over the last decade.”  In the decade ahead, he said, the country would continue its journey to self-reliance.  He noted that as Afghanistan transitions towards the Transformation Decade, UNDP will also transition to meet emerging priorities and challenges in the country.

 

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