Friday, November 28, 2014

Debate on Agenda Item 99: Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism

Statement by Mr. Mohammad Erfani Ayoob Minister Counselor, Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the United Nations
At the Sixth Committee Debate on Agenda Item 99: Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism

Mr. Chairman,

At the outset , I would like to congratulate you and other members of the Bureau on your election and wish you a successful conclusion of our work in the Sixth Committee.

Afghanistan allies itself with   the statements made on behalf of, OIC and NAM and given the importance we attach to the Agenda Item under consideration; we would like to add some points from our national prospective and highlight our views on some aspects of this Item.

Mr. Chairman,

Terrorism as an undeniable global challenge continues to threat peace, stability and development process in my country.  The Terrorist elements including Al-Qaeda, Tainan, extremists and other criminal groups are responsible for the death of thousands of innocent civilians, burning school, health clinics and hospitals, destruction of roads, poisoning drinking waters and other unlimited criminal activities. Terrorist and extremist circles in our region are focused on destabilizing Afghanistan and trying to deprive our populations from their social – economic and basic human rights.

The Government and people of Afghanistan reject terrorism as a criminal act and strongly condemn all its practices and remain convinced that terrorism, irrespective of its motivation, objectives, forms and manifestations, committed by whoever and wherever, can never be justified.

Terrorism is a serious global threat to international peace and security and fighting this menace requires serious and sincere global and coordinated actions to combat this menace. To this end my delegation would like to call on all parties to overcome the pending issue to conclude the Draft Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism. And create an effective instrument to fight against this global challenge.

Afghanistan gives great importance to the UN Counter-Terrorism Strategy and supports the full implementation of all its pillars. Furthermore, my delegation believes that the pillar of capacity-building is an essential element to help the countries like Afghanistan and strengthen their efforts in the fight against terrorism.

Afghanistan supports the proposal of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud to establish an international centre, under the United Nations, to combat international terrorism.

Mr. Chairman!

Afghanistan is an active partner of the International Community in the war against Terrorism. We are committed to fight terror and secure peace and stability in Afghanistan and in our region. In this context, Afghanistan has been taking concrete step in National as well as regional and International level.

On the international level, Afghanistan has joined all existing international conventions and protocols against terrorism, and strongly committed itself to the implementation of the General Assembly and Security Council resolutions relating to international terrorism.  Afghanistan is taking necessary steps to join the SAARC Regional Convention on Suppressing of Terrorism and also its Additional Protocol to this Convention. We are closely working with the 1267 committee and other bodies established pursuant to UN Security Council resolutions to strengthen the effectiveness of the United Nations sanctions regime against Al-Qaida and the Taliban Groups. Afghanistan on the Regular basis provides with updated information and proposals to the Committee of 1267 and Counter Terrorism Committee ( CTC), on new listing, delisting and freezing of banking accounts of Taliban and Al-Qaida members. Afghanistan provided its national report to the secretariat of the 1540 UN SC Committee. The Government of Afghanistan has signed bilateral agreement with some countries on anti drug and counter terrorism activities.

On the national level, Afghanistan has instituted several counter-terrorism and anti-narcotic legislative, administrative and security measures including:

  • Adoption of the Law of Combating Financing of Terrorism,
  • Adoption of the law of Combating Terrorist Criminalities,
  • Adoption of the Law against money laundry and criminally originated incomes,
  • Establishment of “Financial Transaction and report Analysis Center of Afghanistan, as a new anti money laundry units within the Central Bank of Afghanistan,
  • Ratification of the UN Convention against Corruption,
  • Establishment of National Peace Consolidation Commission of Afghanistan,
  • Establishment of Council of Scholars and Religious Leaders to advocate terrorism as anti Peace and anti Islamic action
  • Establishment of an Inter Ministerial Working Group (IMWG) within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to follow-up and coordinate the implementation of all international conventions and protocols, as well as the General Assembly and Security Council resolutions relating to international terrorism. This Inter Ministerial Working Group (IMWG) needs the legal and technical support of UN and other relevant international organizations.

Afghan national security forces including the Army and the Police, alongside the international military forces, are actively fighting terrorism to provide stability and  protect the afghan people.

Mr. Chairman,

Terrorism is a global threat and needs a global and sincere coordinated approach. Only through an effective, sincere and coordinated approach the international community’s fight against terrorism will yield effective results. To achieve this objective, all member States that are not done yet, to become parties to the existing international conventions and protocols against terrorism and fulfill their obligation with regard to the implementation of the General Assembly and Security Council resolutions relating to international terrorism in particular the 1267 sanction committee against Taliban and Al-Qaeda groups and denying any kind of supports to terrorist, destroying their sanctuaries and eliminating their institutional support.

Thank you Mr. Chairman.

General Debate of the 2nd Committee of the 63rd Session of the UNGA

Statement presented by Mr. M. W.Naeemi, Counsellor  of the Permanent Mission of Afghanistan to the United Nations at the General Debate of the 2nd Committee of the 63rd Session of the UNGA

Madam Chair,
Distinguished Delegates
Ladies and Gentlemen
Let me like others before me, congratulate you and members of the bureau on your election as chair of this committee and we look forward to working on crucially important agenda of the committee during the 63rd Session of the General Assembly.
Afghanistan associates itself with the statement delivered by Antigua and Barbuda on behalf the g77 and China as well as the statement made by Bangladesh on behalf of the LDC group.
Let me also extend my appreciation to the keynote speakers of the opening session of the second committee, Dr. Asha-Rose Migiro, Deputy Secretary-General of her incisive remarks regarding consequences of delayed actions in addressing climate changes and current financial crisis, Mr. Sha Zukang Under Secretary-General for the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of his comprehensive and comprehensive analysis of the global economic trends and prospects, as well as Professor Ricardo Hausmann’s informative presentation on importance of growth and its linkages,
Madam Chair
At the opening session of the committee many concerns have been raised by many delegates over shortfalls in MDGs, current financial crisis, drastic increase of food costs, and their impacts on LDCs, LLDCs and Post Conflict Countries. These current risen problems pose additional challenges for developing countries, specifically Least Developing and Post-conflict Countries. This crisis reinforces the case for decisive efforts to unleash the latent economic potential of the developing countries. The generation of economic growth in the developing countries will induce further growth and prosperity in the global market, therefore the partnership for development indeed has reciprocal remuneration.
The challenges we face today are complex and daunting. The situation, clearly calls on intensifying our efforts to further highlight the inextricable linkages between security and development. We strongly believe that security and development are interdependent which necessitates sheer attention at the global, regional and sub regional levels.

As we see, the United Nations has a three dimensional role in the promotion of economic and social development: (1) policy formulation and negotiation of international norms, agreements, goals and commitments; (2) development cooperation to facilitate the realization of the policy goals and commitments; and (3) monitoring the implementation of these commitments. These internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals, have been well identified and their achievements can be readily monitored and pursued further.
Today, further analysis and policy formulation is required in at least seven important areas: finance, trade, technology, energy, climate change, food crisis and global economic growth. We need to strengthen the machinery for the monitoring and implementation of the MDGs and the IADGs.
If appropriately developed, the two mechanisms can usefully contribute to monitoring the implementation of the Internationally Agreed Development Goals, including MDGs. We expect that the developed countries will also inform us about progress on their MDGs strategies, particularly on MDG 8, (partnership). It would help us to understand how far their policies are in conformity with the guidelines of aid effectiveness as well as status of implementation of the commitments undertaken under the IADGs, including MDGs.
Madam Chair,
In advancing the global agenda, the international community will also have to be particularly mindful of the special needs and challenges faced by Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and the countries emerging from conflict. The international community and the UN should address in a coherent manner the national development plans and strategies of the developing countries.
In conclusion, the international community has long been aware of the specific problems and needs of the LDCs, LLDCs and Post-conflict Countries. However what is lacking is a inductive global response to ameliorate the conditions. Concerted global efforts with a sense of genuine partnership can make a sea-change. We are calling for materialization of such partnership.
I thank you Mr. President.

High-Level Plenary on the Almaty Programme of Action

Statement by H.E. Dr. Zahir Tanin

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

At the High-Level Plenary on the Almaty Programme of Action

H.E President of the General Assembly,

Honorable Ministers,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am pleased to address the High level Meeting of the General Assembly devoted to the Mid-Term Review of the Almaty Programme of Action. I would like to convey my thanks to H.E. Mr. Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, President of the General Assembly, for his efforts to ensure the continuing support of the international community for the land locked countries, commend H.E. Secretary General H.E. Mr. Ban Ki- moon for his strong leadership and focus towards implementation of the Programme and express my appreciation to the High Representative Cheik Diarra and his office for the excellent preparatory work for this meeting.

Since the adoption of the Programme of Action five years ago, many landlocked and transit countries, with the help of their development partners, have achieved certain progress towards realizations of this document. However, due to a variety of impediments facing the landlocked countries, many of them, including Afghanistan, have not been able to use trade as an effective instrument to achieve their development goals.

Among the many areas of progress in Afghanistan, the Government of Afghanistan has:

1. Expanded the role of the private sector in investing in the transport and transit infrastructure. We have established the Afghan National Trade and Transit Facilitation Committee.   In this Committee, public and private  representatives deliberate on major trade, transit and transport policies and procedures and together decide on a course of action;

2. Simplified and standardized the documents and forms used at border transactions;

3. Taken steps towards modernization of border crossings by applying automation, purchasing of modern equipment and construction of new facilities;

4. Conducted surveys in 2007 and 2008 with the assistance of UNCTAD to identify transit challenges at the boarders and in cross-border control zones and adopted procedures to address them;

5. Begun negotiation with neighboring countries to address the shared challenges which increase the cost of goods and services to the detriment of traders and consumers.  As a result we resolved our long-standing problem with Pakistan of transit/trans-shipment of Afghan fresh products through the Wagah border to India;

In the Almaty priority area of infrastructure development and maintenance, Afghanistan is:

1. Building new roads. During the past seven years, Afghanistan repaired and/or built nearly 7,000 kilometers of existing and new roads, including the ring road and secondary roads. By 2010 we hope to complete the national ring road and connect it to our neighbors in the North, South, West and East;

2. Building new railroads. As part of the Copper Mine Contract with a Chinese Consortium, a railway system that connects Central Asia to South Asia through Afghanistan is planned. Afghanistan is also working on joining the Trans Asia Railway. In addition, the 7th Ministerial Meeting on Transport and Communication of the ECO confirms that the Istanbul- Tehran- Islamabad railway will pass through Afghanistan;

3. Improving our air infrastructure. In the last few years, three private passenger and two Afghan air cargo companies have begun operation in Afghanistan. We have also just completed the construction of the Kabul New International Terminal and the upgrading of its runway. We are also working to renovate and upgrade seven airports in other parts of the country.

4. Improving communications. Communications are repeatedly referred to as one of the big success stories of Afghanistan. In 2002, there were an estimated 38,000 landlines. Today, there are almost 6,000,000 phone subscribers in the country, which includes 4 providers and an investment of nearly $1 billion dollars. By the end of 2009, we will complete the national fiber optic line and connect it to two neighboring countries. The improvement in communication services will allow better tracking information of import and transit cargo and connectivity to the

region and the world;

5. Constructing pipelines and transfer of electric energy. The agreement of transfer of natural gas from Turkmenistan to Pakistan and India through Afghanistan has been finalized. In addition, last month, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan and Pakistan agreed to establish the secretariat of the CASA 1000 project in Kabul to expedite the transfer of over 1300 MW of electric energy from the two Central Asian countries to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

In the Almaty priority area of monitoring and follow-up on agreements, Afghanistan is rejoining conventions such as the TIR Customs Convention to meet standards and accomplish reform of transit and freight sectors, as well as following up with Afghanistan’s membership in FIATA (International Federation of Freight Forwarders Association).

Despite these areas of progress, Afghanistan has been facing many challenges in meeting Almaty Programme objectives, notably with the international and regional community. First, while we appreciate the financial support of the international community towards improving our transport and transit infrastructure, a significant portion of the donor pledges has not yet been delivered. Much of this aid is also delivered without full regard for the goals of the Afghan government and the Almaty Programme.

We therefore urge the international community to increase their assistance to Afghanistan in the following Almaty priority areas:

1. Extension of our roads to complete the “missing links” regional network

2. Upgrading of our roads and improving its maintenance capabilities

3. Improving our existing ports and establishing new dry ports, to build railway system and modernize our airports.

These priority areas will enable Afghanistan to meet London Compact benchmarks and achieve the goals set forth by the Afghanistan National Development Strategy.

Second, since 2002, Afghanistan has concluded a significant number of bilateral and tri-lateral agreements with most of our neighbors. Afghanistan has joined most of the major regional organizations and will continue to work towards meeting the Almaty Program objectives on regional cooperation. Unfortunately, only a few of these treaties have been implemented due to lack of political confidence among countries in the region and / or lack of capacity and infrastructure. In short, we have yet to reap the benefit of these agreements.

To move forward, Afghanistan recommends renewed attention on these international and regional partnerships. The Almaty Programme can only be implemented through these partnerships; this spirit is clearly stated in the Declaration.  The Almaty Programme calls upon both bilateral and multilateral donors to increase finance and technical assistance to landlocked developing countries.  It also contains comprehensive directions for donors and international community to assist the landlocked and transit countries. Moreover, the Programme encourages developing and developed countries to enhance cooperation on the basis of mutual interest.   Any improvement in trade with Afghanistan promises great benefits to partnering countries as well.

Mr. Chairman, regional economic cooperation is becoming an integral part of the globalization strategies of almost all neighboring countries of Afghanistan. As a result, Afghanistan now has a unique opportunity to realize its potential as a “land bridge” country between Central Asia, South Asia and the West Asian region. We are aware of our responsibilities to work with our neighbors towards policies and institutional mechanisms to translate this potential into concrete regional projects. But, we would like to encourage others to work with us with similar pace and the same spirit.

Mr. Chairman,

My delegation carefully reviewed the Draft Outcome Document for the Midterm Review of the Almaty Programme of Action. This document contains important recommendations and strongly appeals to the international community and donors to increase their level of support, particularly Official Development Assistance (ODA), to the landlocked and developing transit countries. It encourages the landlocked and developing transit countries to take a proactive approach towards bilateral and multilateral cooperation. If the recommendations remain only as words and on paper, we might not witness a qualitative change. But, if undertaken in an honest, serious, effective and constructive manner, these recommendations can improve the nature of trade and transit and fully realize the objectives of the Almaty Programme of Action.

Thank you for your attention.