Friday, October 31, 2014

United Nations International Meeting on the Question of Jerusalem in Turkey

 

On 12 and 13 May 2014 Ambassador Zahir Tanin, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations and Vice-Chair of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP), attended the United Nations International Meeting on the Question of Jerusalem in Ankara, Turkey. The meeting focused on strengthening international support for a just and lasting solution of the question of Jerusalem.

The meeting took place at the Sheraton Anakra Hotel. It was organized by the United Nations CEIRPP, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Government of Turkey. The organizers timed the meeting to coincide with current international efforts to achieve a lasting settlement on the question of Palestine, and the meeting emphasized the need for the establishment of an independent and sovereign State of Palestine within the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The opening session of the meeting was attended by Ahmet Davutoğlu, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Turkey; Iyad bin Amin Madani, Secretary-General of the OIC; Permanent Representatives to the United Nations including Abdou Salam Diallo Permanent Representative of Senegal to the United Nations and Chairman of the CEIRPP; and Ministers of the State of Palestine including Mahmoud Al-Habbash, Minister for Waqf and Religious Affairs and Adnan Al-Husseini, Minister for Jerusalem Affairs.

The meeting consisted of an opening, three plenaries entitled “The status of Jerusalem in international law,” “The current situation in Jerusalem,” “The current situation in Jerusalem,” and a closing. Ambassador Zahir Tanin, in his capacity as Vice-Chair of CEIRPP, chaired the 2nd plenary of the conference.

Ahmet Davutoğlu, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Turkey, delivered opening remarks at the first session. Jerusalem is not just a political issue or an area of conflict, he said, but an area of peace, representing the humanitarian conscience as a whole. There is “no need to become politicians, diplomats or experts on the issue, but to become humans, he told participants.
The Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon, in a message read out by Mr. Robert Serry, United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, sent his greetings to all participants. He urged parties to “realize that not making a choice in favour of peace and co-existence within the two-State framework is the most detrimental choice of all. Failing to continue meaningful negotiations towards the two-State solution will lead further down the path of a one-state reality on the ground” he said.
At the meeting’s close, Deputy Prime Minister Emrullah İşler of Turkey expressed his appreciation to the United Nations and the OIC for organizing the Meeting. Jerusalem is special, he said, because it is a “capital of all mankind… [and] does not belong to one people or one religion.” Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer for the State of Palestine to the United Nations, also took the floor. He expressed the Palestinian people and its leadership’s appreciation and gratitude to the Governments, organizations and individuals who made the Meeting a success, including the experts who had made presentations on Jerusalem. “The international community and all our friends must step up to the plate” and end the occupation, including of East Jerusalem, he said.

Statement Attributable to the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Afghanistan

Kabul, 2 May 2014 – A series of heavy rain induced landslides struck in the Argo district of Badakhshan in northeastern Afghanistan causing significant loss of life and widespread damage to homes and agriculture. Provincial authorities report that more than 350 Afghans have been killed, more are still missing and many families have been displaced.
Mark Bowden, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Afghanistan, said, “On behalf of the UN humanitarian agencies, I wish to extend our condolences to all those families who have lost loved ones as a result of these landslides. There have now been more Afghans killed through natural disasters in the past seven days than all of 2013.”
The Afghan Government’s Provincial Disaster Management Committees (PDMC) is leading the coordination of operational response within Badakhshan, with support from humanitarian agencies.
Whilst search and rescue operations remain the immediate priority, assessments have been initiated to determine the full extent of the damage caused, as well as responding to the immediate needs of the population. With some areas still difficult to access, it may be some time yet until a clear picture of the full extent of the damage is known.
“The foremost priority at the moment is saving as many lives as possible of those still beneath the rubble,” Mr. Bowden said. “The UN system is fully engaged in the ongoing effort and is mobilizing more capacity and resources to bolster the response.”
The Northern Region of Afghanistan continues to be susceptible to recurring natural disasters, where seasonal rains and spring snow melt regularly result in life-threatening flash floods and landslides. The National Disaster Management Commission, supported by the international humanitarian community, regularly prepares contingency plans to help better prepare and respond to such disasters, as well as mitigating the impact.
“Given these ongoing risks and vulnerabilities, the critical importance of investing in disaster risk reduction and enhanced mitigation measures must remain a key priority in those communities most prone to hazards,” Mr. Bowden added.

SECURITY COUNCIL PRESS STATEMENT ON AFGHANISTAN ELECTIONS

 

The members of the Security Council welcome the holding of the presidential and provincial council elections on 5 April 2014 in Afghanistan. The members of the Council reiterate the importance of these historic elections to Afghanistan’s transition and democratic development. Members commend the participation and courage of the Afghan people to cast their ballot despite the threat and intimidation by the Taliban and other extremist and terrorist groups.

The members of the Security Council applaud the Afghan-led efforts to prepare for and hold these elections and recognize the important role of the Afghan electoral institutions, including the Independent Election Commission and the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission, as well as the support provided by international partners.

The members of the Security Council welcome the level of public debate during the campaign, through the media and in communities, which has enabled the people of Afghanistan to discuss the issues that are important to them.

The members of the Security Council commend the performance of the Afghan National Security Forces in leading security arrangements for the elections, and call on the Afghan Government, with the assistance of the international community, to continue to address the threat to the security and stability of Afghanistan.

The members of the Security Council condemn the actions of those who attempted to disrupt the elections, such as terrorist attacks against civilians, including election personnel and candidates, as well as attacks against election infrastructure. The members of the Council condemn violent and terrorist activities by the Taliban, Al-Qaida and other violent and extremist groups and illegal armed groups aimed at destabilizing the situation in the country. The members of the Security Council recognize the sacrifices of the Afghan people and Afghan National Security Forces during the election period, and reiterate that no terrorist act can reverse the path towards Afghan-led peace, democracy and stability.

The members of the Security Council urge all stakeholders, including the candidates and their supporters, to be patient and respect the electoral institutions and processes. The members look forward to the announcement of the final results of the elections by the Independent Election Commission and look forward to working with the newly elected representatives of the people of Afghanistan.