Friday, September 19, 2014

The Annual Coordination Meeting of Ministers Foreign Affairs of Member States of the Organization of the Islamic Conference

Statement by H.E. Dr. Zahir Tanin
Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the UN Before the Annual Coordination Meeting of Ministers Foreign Affairs of Member States of the Organizatioin of the Islamic Conference.

Hon. Sam Kutesa, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uganda.

Hon. OIC SG,

Dear Colleagues,

Mr. Chairman, my delegation and I congratulate you on your assumption of the Chairmanship of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of the Islamic Conference. I would like to seize this opportunity to extend my gratitude to the Permanent Mission of Uganda as well as the OIC Secretariat for their able leadership with regard to the Final Communiqué of the Annual Coordination Meeting (ACM) of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers.
The Government of Afghanistan welcomes and supports the adoption of the amended Charter of the Organization of the Islamic Conference by the 11th Summit in Dakar, in March of this year and is fully committed to fulfilling its obligations to implement the OIC Ten-Year Plan of Action.
As a founding member of the OIC, Afghanistan has always attached great importance to the Organization of the Islamic Conference. We have always enjoyed tremendous support from the organization and its members. In this regard, I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to the people and governments of our fellow Muslim nations that have contributed to the reconstruction of Afghanistan, whether directly or through the OIC Trust Fund for the Assistance of the Afghan people.

Mr. Chairman,

We come together to address the most challenging issues we face today. Difficult economic conditions, food and energy crises, poverty, terrorism, and conflict and Islamophobia threaten the short and long term stability of the Muslim world perhaps even more than other parts of the world. My delegation is confident that our organization, as the largest international organization after the United Nations, can play a significant role in identifying ways and means of mobilizing our efforts to deal with all these challenges.
In order to deal with global food crisis effectively, in particular within Islamic countries, the OIC should unite its efforts and coordinate its actions to address the issue. By pooling our efforts across the Muslim world, we will be able to arrive at a sustainable solution that incorporates a short-term solution while developing a long term vision of food security.
The Government of Afghanistan expresses its solidarity with the Islamic peoples in addressing their political, economic and social problems. Today’s globalized world requires our unity and collective and complementary endeavors to tackle the complex issues we face.

Mr. Chairman,

Terrorism and extremism continue to be a threat to peace, security and progress in Afghanistan as well as the region. Terrorists attack and commit crimes against all sectors of Afghan society: women, children, clergies, aid workers, government employees, tribal and political leaders and 2
ordinary innocent people. Two thirds of the victims of all suicide bombings are civilians. The Taliban and Al-Qaeda act as a force of butchery and destruction: burning new schools and clinics, and destroying what we build. It is a painful truth that the brutality is no longer limited to the Afghan people, as it has been in the past, but also against our Muslim brothers in Pakistan.
Terrorists and extremist groups are trying to give their skewed political aspirations a religious justification. This justification is one of the greatest lies of our time, defaming the name of our people and our religion, and we cannot and should not remain silent. The OIC as an organization that embodies the collective will of all Islamic countries has a significant role and a great responsibility to embark on a strong campaign against those who try to justify their hideous actions against Muslim people in the name of Islam.
While international terrorism is the major threat to international peace and security, as well as to fundamental freedoms such as human rights, democracy, prosperity and territorial integrity in each country, we Muslims have the joint responsibility to redouble our efforts on all dimensions of the war against terrorism, to go after terrorists and their sources of training, inspiration and financing.

Mr. Chairman,

Terrorist campaign and continuing brutality, by Al-Qaeda and the Taliban and like minded groups, have led a misguided few to further stereotypes and fears of Islam or Muslims. Islamophobia, discrimination against Muslims and defamation of Islam, as we are witnessing in some parts of the world, has become an issue of serious concern for all of us. My delegation condemns the growing trend of Islamophobia, and we express our support for the organization’s observatory on Islamophobia.
Our efforts at combating Islamophobia will be half-hearted if they consist solely of denouncing false representations of Islam. The other half of our work must be to present the real image of Islam to the world. We must show the world Islam is indeed a religion of peace, love, justice, and tolerance and also draw a line between genuine Islam and the claim of those terrorist groups which attempt to project their deeds and actions as Islamic.
At the same time it is important to help all efforts that facilitate harmony and dialogue among different cultures and religions. In this regard, Afghanistan strongly supports the Alliance of Civilizations initiative which is co-sponsored by Turkey and Spain under the aegis of the UN Secretary-General.

Mr. Chairman,

As President Karzai said in his statement at the GA “We deeply sympathize with our Palestinian brothers and sisters on their struggle and suffering.” The Afghan people have long recognized the deep suffering of the Palestinian people, and we fully support the peace process negotiations between the two sides and the full implementation of the Road Map towards ending the occupation of the Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem and we believe in the necessity of realizing the two-state solution for peace in accordance with relevant U.N. resolutions.

Mr. Chairman,

The people of Afghanistan and our Iraqi brothers and sisters are all too familiar with the pains and challenges of national reconstruction while face the scourge of international terrorism. We are glad to see and welcome the recent improvements in the security situation in Iraq, and wish them continued success in their endeavors.

Mr. Chairman,

My delegation supports the inalienable rights of Member States to develop nuclear energy for peaceful uses as enshrined in the NPT and the Statute of the IAEA and hopes for the urgent and peaceful solution to the discussions regarding the peaceful and scientific nuclear activity of our brotherly country of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Mr. Chairman,

Afghanistan remains convinced of the central role of the United Nations as the only universal multilateral organization, and strongly and the OIC as the largest Islamic organization in the world, will contribute to promotion of international peace, security and development.
Finally, as the end of Ramadan and Eid are just a few days away, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you continued success and in the coming months.
Thank you Mr. Chairman.

Security Council Debate on Children and Armed Conflict

Statement by H.E. Dr. Zahir Tanin

Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the United Nations

At the Security Council Debate on Children and Armed Conflict

Mr. President

Allow me to begin by expressing my delegation’s gratitude to Viet Nam’s Presidency for convening today’s meeting on Children and Armed Conflict. This meeting provides an opportunity to renew our strong commitment in ensuring the protection and rights of children in armed conflict as well as reviewing progress made in this respect.

We would also like to express our appreciation to Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy, Special Representative of the Secretary General for children and armed conflict, for her visit to Afghanistan and comprehensive statement.

Mr. President,

All children have the same needs and share the same dreams; they represent the future of our societies and mirror the state they live in. The Government of Afghanistan is still making efforts to rebuild its country devastated by 30 years of war which dramatically affected the lives of our children, particularly girls. The major victims of the war in Afghanistan are our children; years of conflict in our country have destroyed basic necessities of life such as schools, health care, adequate shelter, water and food, as well as disrupted family relationships. It has also created stigma and post traumatic distress, generated a spirit of pessimistic outlook about their future.

Afghanistan is strongly committed to reversing the impact of war on children and fulfilling its obligation towards the protection of children. The improvement of the situation of Afghan children and comprehensive protection of their rights is an essential precondition for the sustainable development of our state. It will also lay a solid foundation for our next generation to live in peace, prosperity and enjoy their human rights. Our vision for ensuring the protection and well being of our children is to develop an environment which provides security, guarantee economic and social opportunities and respect the rule of law.

We have achieved considerable progress towards improving the status of children since 2001. Nevertheless today we are facing critical security challenges that jeopardize the gains made in the past 7 years and undermine our collective efforts in improving the living conditions of our children towards a promising and bright future.

Mr. President,

Terrorism constitutes a major threat and drastically affects the daily lives of our people particularly children. The deterioration of the security situation in Afghanistan is the product of the surge of terrorist activities carried out by Al Qaida, Taliban and other associated armed groups. Terrorists have increased attacks in our territory, using barbaric acts and methods including the use of car bombs, suicide attacks and improvised explosive devices directed at national and international forces. These attacks deliberately target densely populated areas where children are the prime victims.

Mr. President,

The Taliban are using the most atrocious practice conceivable to conduct their subversive operations. Terrorists are recruiting, training, exploiting children as combatants and sending them to operate as suicide bombers. As Afghan and international security forces become more alerted at recognizing suicide attackers, children are used because they are not generally suspected. It also forms an effective instrument of psychological warfare as the specter of the “child attacker” is as terrifying as it incomprehensible.

The intensification of Taliban intimidation campaign through burning of schools and clinics, disseminating of threatening night notes, attacking of teachers, and school-children has created an atmosphere of terror and traumatizes children from going to schools and ruin their future. Furthermore, it undermines our efforts in achieving development goals aimed at improving the living conditions of our citizens including children and provides a gloomy future for our people.

The state of hopelessness resulting from years of living in conflict and from poor socio – economical conditions, supported by the brainwash indoctrination provided in madrasas across our borders are creating favorable conditions for recruitment and training of innocent children to target a wide spectrum of Afghan and international civilian and military personnel. We are deeply concerned about the loss of rising number of children killed and injured by the Taliban and other terrorist foreign groups.

We would also like to express our grave concern about the loss of lives and injuries of children during counter-terrorism operations, In that regard, we call on our international partners to exercise maximum caution and enhance coordination with Afghan security forces during operations to avoid the loss of civilian life and ensure the safety and physical integrity of children.

Mr. President,

The protection of children in armed conflict is one of the most daunting humanitarian and security challenges facing the International Community today. Addressing the socio economic needs of children in armed conflict and ensuring their rights requires an integrated strategy with a special focus on poverty alleviation especially among the most vulnerable segment of our society including widows and orphans. Successful implementation of such a strategy requires full cooperation and coordination between the Government of Afghanistan and development partners as well as the United Nations agencies. We would like to call on all donor countries and development agencies to assist us achieve sustainable development, poverty eradication, and good governance.

Thank you Mr. President.

ECOSOC Annual Ministerial Review

Kazakhstan’s National Voluntary Presentation:
National Report on the Achievement of Kazakhstan’s strategic priorities to 2030
in the light of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
Statement made by H.E. Dr. Zahir Tanin,
Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations
Mr. President,
Let me begin by congratulating H.E. Deputy Foreign Minister, Nurlan Danenov, for his presentation and for sharing Kazakhstan’s experiences and progress made towards the implementation of its national development strategy with a view to achieving the MDGs. This presentation is especially interesting and opportune for Afghanistan which has launched its own National Development Strategy (ANDS) during the recent Paris Conference of June 12.
Mr. President,
We are pleased that Kazakhstan has developed a national development strategy -“Kazakhstan-2030. Prosperity, security and improved living standards for all Kazaks – This strategy identifies its development priorities and outlines sectoral programmes to achieve them. We are impressed by the progress made by Kazakhstan since the adoption of their National Development Strategy towards eradicating poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education as well as in the field of sustainable development.
Through its National Development Strategy, Kazakhstan nurtured a favorable environment for investment, stimulating high rates of economic growth which have increased the income of the citizens of Kazakhstan 6.5 times and enabled the government to meet MDG1. Kazakhstan is transforming these economic resources into social development and equitable advancement of its human potential. Kazakhstan has achieved MDG2 by providing primary education for all children, and we welcome its efforts in further guaranteeing free secondary education in State schools and moving towards more sustainable development.
Mr. President,
We would like to draw your attention on the importance of regional cooperation, especially among landlocked countries, as a core strategy for achieving the MDGs.
Permanent Mission of Afghanistan to the United Nations
Document prepared by the Permanent Mission of Afghanistan to the United Nations

Afghanistan and Kazakhstan are both landlocked countries facing common challenges in terms of trade opportunities. In our shared aim to achieve the MDGs, the need for an integrated and coherent approach to development must include regional initiatives such as development of transport infrastructure, regional energy cooperation, trade facilitation and border cooperation. These initiatives will provide wider development options through greater access to resources and markets, address shared problem that stretch across borders and take advantage of opportunities for sharing knowledge.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Government of Kazakhstan for its involvement in infrastructure, energy, trade, investment and humanitarian projects in Afghanistan, specifically the construction of the Terrmez – Kabul rail road that would contribute to excellent trade opportunities in the region.
Afghanistan occupies a key strategic location linking Central Asia with South Asia, providing China and the Far East with a direct trade route with the Middles East and Europe. The Regional Economic Cooperation Conference held in Delhi in 2006 recognized the strategically important location of Afghanistan as playing an eminent vital role to the growth prospects of the region as well as increased investment and trade opportunities. It has also acknowledge the importance of a strategy of development specifically for Afghanistan based on cooperation with its neighbors, as a tool to reduce poverty and achieving the MDGs in the whole region. The Delhi Conference further noted the crucial role of Afghanistan in providing a focal point for facilitating greater economic cooperation and integration.
The Afghan Government’s vision is to contribute to regional stability and prosperity and facilitate the enabling conditions for Afghanistan to translate its historic role of land bridge between global and regional actors which will serve mutual interests and benefit from increased trade and export opportunities and create a “win-win” situation for all.
Our free market oriented economy and non protectionist policy environment for global and regional partners contribute to create an environment favorable for attracting investment and empowering Afghanistan to become an integral part of the regional economy. Afghanistan aims to continue to pursue dialogue with neighboring states to enhance and sustain its integration into the regional economy and markets.
Mr. President,
Kazakhstan has progressed significantly and we hope to use their lesson learned in development to achieve our development goals. Kazakhstan sets up a role model for LLDcs on how the national development strategy empowered by prudent and efficient use of natural resources could make great impact on the lives of ordinary citizens.
Thank you for your attention