Monday, October 20, 2014

Debate on the ACABQ Budget Report, including UNAMA

Statement by Mr. Wahidullah AminSecond Secretary, Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the United Nations
At the Fifth Committee debate on the ACABQ Budget Report, including UNAMA

Mr. Chairman,

At the outset, since my delegation is taking the floor for the first time during a formal meeting, let me congratulate you Mr. Chairman and the members of the bureau on your election. I would also like to thank Ms Susan McLurg, Chair of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) for introducing the report of the ACABQ on United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

Mr. Chairman,

Afghanistan, after twenty-five years of war and conflict imposed from outside the country, and six years of the Taliban regime, faced heavily damaged physical infrastructure, and a significant loss of human life. Afghanistan was hijacked by Al Qaida, who used Afghan territory to organize and lead their global terrorist acts and supported the Taliban in installing a regime of fear that brutally repressed the population. With the assistance of the UN and the international community, great progress has been made since 2001.

The Afghan Government has, as its primary goal, the creation of a stable constitutional, democratic state with effective institutions that can help our people rebuild their lives and their country after decades of war. This cannot be accomplished without the help and support of the international community. UNAMA plays an integral coordinating role by streamlining the efforts of the international community and supporting the ownership of the Afghan Government. National ownership of the reconstruction process is necessary to ensure the stability and sustainability of the results. UNAMA has done an admirable job thus far, and we look forward to working with them further as their new mandate is enacted.

UNAMA has grown since its creation precisely because it serves such an essential coordinating and advising role. The Special Representative of the Secretary General, Mr. Kai Eide, has become a trusted presence in this process, and we are grateful to him for his efforts. In order to effectively discharge its responsibilities, UNAMA needs increased staff and support, and more specialized expertise. It is in this regard that we fully support the proposed increased budget for UNAMA in the coming year.

Mr. Chairman,

The next elections, scheduled to be held in 2009 and 2010, will be the first to be administered by Afghan authorities since the 1970s. UNAMA is providing essential assistance for the Afghan Independent Electoral Commission in the voter registration process. Successful elections in 2009 and 2010 will reaffirm the legitimacy of the Afghan Government, and will form a necessary step towards creating a prosperous and peaceful society for all Afghans.

As the Afghan Government puts all of its energy towards the Afghan National Development Strategy, we look forward to the increased coordinating capacity of UNAMA to help ensure the success of the ANDS.

Mr. Chairman,

The harshest winter in 30 years, combined with lack of capacity of the Afghan government, has aggravated the existing humanitarian challenges in the country. Poverty and lack of access to food, medical care and education remain major obstacles to equitable and sustainable development. There has been significant progress in some areas, but Afghanistan still faces the second highest maternal mortality rate in the world, and 42 percent of the country still lives in extreme poverty.

In addition, with almost 2000 NGO’s, 20 international organizations, and 41 troop contributing countries all trying to work together in Afghanistan, it is essential that someone coordinate all of these efforts, to ensure the ownership of the Afghan people and its elected government, and the growth of national capacity. UNAMA has proven itself capable of a larger role in the stabilization process, and we will support them in the coming year.

Thank you Mr. Chairman.

Security Council debate On Threats to International Peace and Security Caused by Terrorist Acts

Statement of H.E. Dr. Zahir Tanin

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

At the Security Council debate

On Threats to International Peace and Security Caused by Terrorist Acts

Mr. President,

Let me begin by congratulating you for assuming the presidency of the Security Council for the month of December, and thanking you for initiating this important debate today. Thank you also for your open paper on “Global Security and International Terrorism” that identified with clarity the goals of our debate.

Mr. President,

We are gathered here today to address a great common threat: terrorism.

Our focus on this issue has wavered at times, particularly as the worldwide financial crisis drew our attention. But the tragedy that took place two weeks ago in Mumbai is a dark reminder that terrorism is still alive and still threatening the security and peace of all nations.

I stand with my government and my people in firmly condemning the atrocities that occurred in Mumbai almost two weeks ago. Afghanistan extends greatest sympathies to and solidarity with our brothers and sisters in India, because we feel and understand their suffering. A few hours after the first attack in Mumbai, there was a terrorist attack in Kabul, killing and injuring tens of civilians.

And it is even more sobering to understand that Mumbai is only one example. For terrorists, the theatre of destruction is ever widening: Mumbai, Kabul, Islamabad, New York, London Madrid.

In Afghanistan, the scars and the burns of terrorism stare us in the face every day.

In Afghanistan spectacular terrorism has become everyday terrorism. Terrorism undermines daily efforts on the part of our government to provide a sense of safety for families, to provide education for our children, to create conditions for free and fair elections for our citizens. Afghans, at all levels, bear the day-to-day burdens of terrorism. Because of our own experience, Afghanistan participates in this debate with great urgency.

And so Mr. President,

Today Afghanistan would like to call the world’s attention to the over-arching ideals terrorism is seeking to destroy: moderation, coexistence and peace.

For terror has an end goal: by murdering humans, it hopes to murder moderation. It hopes to provoke the leaders of the world to be careless with anger. It aspires to create rifts between countries and drive wedges between us. It plans to murder peace and incite us to war.

We cannot play out this script the terrorists have written for us, for that is how they win.

Today we can strike a great blow against terror by affirming our honest collaboration and cooperation. We can only fight terror by standing together, shoulder-to-shoulder.

Cooperation is our key. Cooperation is how we win.

Mr. President,

We should commend the recent steps forward we have taken together. The Governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan are embarking on the first real steps towards cooperation against the common threat. We hope this new atmosphere will lead to the end of sanctuaries for Al-Qaeda, the Taliban and other terrorist groups and to more mutually beneficial relations between our two countries.

In addition, the recent joint strategy that Afghanistan and Pakistan forged in Turkey is a critical step forward. We should also commend and fully support the cooperative work between India and Pakistan to investigate the persecutors of the Mumbai attacks. The UN, and all of its member states, must recognize the necessity of international support for regional cooperation in the pursuit of peace and security and the fight against terrorism.

Mr. President,

When we speak of cooperation, we must be aware that a cooperative strategy will be strongest if it is consistent and comprehensive.

First, our inconsistent approach towards terrorism in the past has already strengthened terrorist groups around the world. We have to understand: these groups did not drop from the sky. The funding of terrorist groups served short-term, short-sighted policies to promote certain political agendas. However, we have seen these terrorist groups hit back, wreaking more destruction than any benefit we could have gained.

We must learn from the consequences of our past and be aware of our current actions. We must uniformly, consistently work towards the eradication of terrorist groups. There should be zero tolerance for terrorism, zero support for terrorism.

In Afghanistan, our recent initiative to pursue peace talks will also abide by this principle of consistency. We believe that it is necessary to act upon what we know-that there are many elements of terrorist groups who are ready to join the peace process. We must re-engage these elements in peace negotiations and bring them back to work with us constructively. Our peace strategy also aims to deprive terrorist groups of support among Afghan communities by increasing engagement with community members.

Second, a successful cooperation strategy should address terrorism comprehensively-from its root causes upward. Terrorism gains its converts from those who suffer from societal economic imbalances, social handicaps, wrenching poverty, and it hides behind popular political discontent. Terrorism tries to indoctrinate the young and innocent. We need to engage in preventive measures and policies that address the social and economic inequity upon which terrorist elements prey.  Our cooperative strategy against terrorism should not be only about decapitating individual terrorist groups; our strategy must also be about bringing security, development and good governance.

In Afghanistan, we are fighting against terrorism on a daily basis by building schools for our children, by ending the narcotics industry that feeds terrorism, by locating rural enterprises for our people to improve their livelihoods and by providing water and sanitation to our people. We are fighting corruption by renewing the leadership of our Ministries and local administrations. We are training our security forces so that our people can live without fear.

This consistent and comprehensive approach will improve our cooperation and fight terrorism effectively.

Mr. President,

We cannot wait for the next terrorist attack to renew our energies towards such a cooperative strategy. We cannot wait for another attack to join together. We have to be as committed to our cooperative measures after a hundred days of peace as we are after an attack as bloody as the ones in Mumbai.  Organizations such as this noble Council should further aid cooperation by calling for new sanctions against terrorist groups and those elements and entities who would sponsor and support terrorism.

Without this consistent and comprehensive commitment to cooperation, we will walk into the traps the terrorists have laid out for us. Reckless anger, further fighting and war are how terrorism wins.

At a time when the world is celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights, it is appropriate that we should reassert that all people, regardless of religion, ethnicity, nationality, class or gender, deserve a life free of fear, free of oppression, and free of war. Cooperation and unity is how we forge a world that will be just, peaceful, and strong against terror.

Cooperation is how we win.

Thank you Mr. President.

Cooperation between the United Nations and the Economic Cooperation Organization

Statement by Mr. Mohammad Erfani Ayoob

Acting Deputy Permanent Representative and Charge d’Affairs

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

At the GA Plenary on Agenda Item 114 (i)

Cooperation between the United Nations and the Economic Cooperation Organization

Mr. President,

Distinguished Colleagues,

My delegation, it its capacity as the Chairman of the ECO group in New York, has the honour to introduce the draft resolution contained in document A/63/L.39, entitled “Cooperation between the United Nations and the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO)”, sponsored by the 10 States Members of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), namely, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Islamic Republic of Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Mr. Chairman,

The Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) is an intergovernmental regional organization established for the purpose of promoting economic, technical and cultural cooperation among the Member States and stands on the same principles as those that guide the United Nations.

The ECO region is full of bright trading prospects and opportunities. Despite its young age, the lack of appropriate infrastructure and institutions in its region, ECO has developed into a successful regional organization. Today ECO seeks to develop its infrastructure and institutions, on a prioritized basis, that make full use of the available resources in the region. Specifically, ECO has embarked on several projects in priority sectors of its cooperation including energy, trade, transportation, agriculture, and drug control.

In addition Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) has established relations and signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with regional and international organizations including the United Nations specialized agencies and international financial institutions. Consequently, ECO’s international stature is growing.

Mr. Chairman,

This draft resolution invites the various specialized agencies , organizations and programmes of the United Nations system , as well as other relevant international financial institutions to join the efforts of ECO towards realizing the shared goals and objectives of the United Nations, and the Economic Cooperation Organization, through regional cooperation, to achieve internationally agreed development goals, including those contained in the United Nations Millennium Declaration,  stresses the importance of continuation and the expansion of the areas of cooperation between the United Nations and the Economic Cooperation Organization, appreciates the technical and financial assistance extended by the UN and its specialized agencies and  calls for a  further increase of  this  technical assistance of  UN agencies to the Member States  of the Economic Cooperation Organization.

In conclusion Mr. Chairman, on behalf of all ECO members, I would like to express my deep gratitude to countries who have signed up as co-sponsors of the draft resolution on “Cooperation between the United Nations and the Economic Cooperation Organization” and hope that this draft resolution will be adopted by consensus, as was the previous one during the 61st GA session.

Thank you Mr. President.