Thursday, October 2, 2014

Statement By Mr. M .Wali Naeemi Minister Counsellor and Reporter of the 4th Committee, UNGA-65 At the 4th Committee Meeting on UNRWA

Mr. Chairman,

Allow me to thank you for organizing this meeting and I also wish to thank the Commissioner-General for his self-explanatory and informative briefing on the situation and activities of the UNRWA.

It is a great honor for me to speak on behalf of my delegation on this very important issue.

My delegation aligns its statement with the statement delivered on behalf of NAM and welcomes with appreciation the report of the Secretary-General on UNRWA, which pointed out very important issues on the financial situation faced by the Agency.

Mr. Chairman,

In November 2010, the Commission-general of UNRWA presented a comprehensive report to the General Assembly, explaining in detail the challenges and constraints that UNRWA is facing at the present time.

Furthermore, he elaborated upon recommendations on necessary steps for the improvement of the Agency’s work at the regional and global-level.

UNRWA has been working for more than 60 years and providing humanitarian assistance and technical support to over 4.7 million Palestinian refugees in the Middle East.

The Agency is running education programs for young Palestinian girls and boys in more than 58 recognized refugee camps; delivering vital medical services throughout the refugee camps; and providing food and immediate assistance, in particular for disabled people, in the refugee camps.

Mr. Chair,

A real improvement in the lives of Palestinian refugees across the region requires a permanent solution with justice and the establishment of two independent states living side by side within the 1967 borders.

The international community’s support to UNRWA is of the utmost importance and must continue until a permanent solution for the long lasting conflict between Palestinians and Israelis is achieved.

In conclusion, while the humanitarian and advocacy character of UNRWA has played a decisive role since its establishment in 1949, it is now more than ever crucial for it to continue its efforts dedicated to the implementation of relief programs and services to all Palestinian refugees.

The continued successful implementation of the Agency’s programs requires the strengthening of its management capacities, an increase in the number of employees, improvement in the quality of work and expansion of the Agency in the areas of education, health, water sanitation, and strengthening the rules and assistance for Palestinians in refugee camps as well as for IDP’s.

In this regard, the grave financial situation of UNRWA, due to 12 % underfunding for the last four biennium and rising costs with refugee numbers approaching 5 million, requires many measures for improving the outlook facing the Agency, including its capacity to utilize voluntary funds more effectively and in a long perspective.

As the Secretary-General already emphasized in his report of 1 February 2011,

“UNRAW needs access to a greater share of predictable, secure funding”.

While the support of traditional donors must be sustained and increased, at the same time the income from non-traditional donors including the public and private sector needs to be enhanced and strengthened.

Hence, the international community and special-financing institutions and other entities must redouble their contribution and assist the agency’s services and programs.

I thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Statement by Mr. Mohammad Erfani Ayoob, Deputy Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations Before The Meeting of the Group of Friends of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations

Statement by Mr. Mohammad Erfani Ayoob, Deputy Permanent Representative

of Afghanistan to the United Nations

Before The Meeting of the Group of Friends of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations


Your Excellency, President Sampaio,

Thank you for leadership and continued efforts to advance the goals of UNAOC.

I would like to welcome the presence of HE. Dr. Khalid Muhammad Al-Attiayah, Minister of State for International Cooperation of the State of Qatar and thank him for a comprehensive presentation on the upcoming Doha Forum.

Mr President,

My delegation gives high importance to the work of AoC to serve the common aspiration of the International Community to peaceful co-existence, security, development and global governance. Given the highly integrated nature of our world today, promoting and fostering diversity as well as cultural and religious understandings is the only path to reducing polarisation and extremism and creating a cooperative global community. Creating networks and partnerships with governments, international organisations, civil society and the private sector in an inclusive and consultative manner is the key to achieving these important goals.

Mr. President,

Afghanistan historically being a connecting pointt beween different cultures and civilizations and a country where people from various cultures and believes lived side by side in peace and solidarity during centuries, is fully committed to the goals and objectives of UNAOC.  Afghanistan is taking necessary steps toward the implementation of Alliance’s goals, among them to build a national consensus on how to promote national reconciliation and reintegration for peace, security, development and human rights. As well as through using its Millennium Development Goals as a paradigm for achieving UNAOC objectives in the key fields of education, youth, media, gender equality and reintegration of returnees and IDPs.

We welcome the thematic approach of leading discussions in the area of religious diversity and inter-religious dialogue, and appreciate the Alliance’s attention to this important topic in various regional and international forums. We believe that fostering diversity, awareness and understanding about religion and religious diversity through inter-religious dialogues and forums is a first and constructive step towards decreasing religious extremism, polarisation and guarantees the social cohesion in today’s globalized world.

Finally Mr. President, we fully support the proposed Replenishment Mechanism and believe that in order for UNAOC to continue its invaluable work, a funding structure, based on country contributions, is much needed. Afghanistan, considering its financial and developmental challenges, just recently made its symbolic contributions to UNAOC trust fund, to show our support and commitment to the work and objectives of the Alliance.

In conclusion, we look forward to engaging in the important discussions, ideas and suggestions today as well as participating in the Doha Forum. Taking this opportunity, my delegation would like to thank the State of Qatar and in particular Her Highness Sheikha Moza for the commitments to the Alliance’s goals and wish the State of Qatar every success in hosting the 4th Forum of UNAOC. We believe that the Doha Forum, will create a fresh momentum for us in furthering the instrumental objectives of the Alliance in creating a more understanding and cohesive global community.

Thank you.

Report of the Secretary General on children and armed conflict in Afghanistan At the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict

Statement by Mr. Mohammad Erfani Ayoob

Deputy Permanent Representative,Charge d’ Affaires of Afghanistan to the United Nations

On the report of the Secretary General on children and armed conflict in Afghanistan

At the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict


Mr. Chairman,

Members of the Working Group,

Let me thank you for convening today’s meeting and inviting my delegation to discuss the report of the Secretary General on Children and Armed Conflict in Afghanistan.

I thank the Secretary General and the Security Council Working Group, for their efforts to report cases of violations of children’s rights and to monitor the implementation of Resolution 1612 in countries affected by conflict.

We strongly believe in the vital role of the Security Council in protecting the rights of Children during armed conflict. The Government of Afghanistan is committed to implement all relevant   Security Council Resolutions concerning the protection of children, including 1612.

I welcome Mrs. Radhika Coomaraswamy the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict who is among us, and thank her for her insightful briefing on her recent visit to Afghanistan.

Mr. Chairman,

Every child in every country has a dream for a brighter future and as well as a common ambition to achieve their goals. Today’s children are our future generation and they deserve our best care and protection. Unfortunately, the 3 decade old war and conflict in Afghanistan destroyed our infrastructure, damaged our values and deprived our people from their basic rights including: education, health, and social – economic wellbeing. As a result, our children have become the primary victims of these conflicts.

For the last 10 years, despite facing many challenges, the Government of Afghanistan with its partners in the International community, has made significant progress in promoting and safeguarding the rights of children in all areas, including education, health and other key areas

Afghanistan is proud to have ratified human rights related conventions and protocols including, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its two Optional Protocols; adopted the National Strategy on Children at Risk to prevent violence and exploitation of children; participated in Paris process “Free Children from War.”  Further, we support the establishment of the Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism (MRM) based on the Security Council resolution 1612, and have joined the Convention on the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour of the ILO.  Additionally, we are a party to the Rome Statute of the ICC.

Mr. Chairman

Nevertheless, despite our efforts to improve security, terrorism remains a serious threat in the daily lives of our people, particularly our younger generation.  Children remain the prime victims of terrorism in Afghanistan.

As part of their intimidation campaign, the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and their allies, commit crimes through recruiting and training children across Afghanistan’s border and exploiting them as combatants in our country . They urge children to operate as suicide bombers, attack female teachers and girl students, burn schools, attack civilians and international workers. Their very presence creates an environment where humanitarian aid is unable to access those who most desperately need it.

It is the Taliban and other terrorists groups that remain the main violators of our people’s human rights, including children’s rights in Afghanistan. Therefore, it is our duty to concentrate our common efforts in finding ways and means to protect Afghan children from the atrocities perpetrated by the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, and other terrorist groups.

Additionally, for a successful implementation of 1612 in Afghanistan, it is essential to recognize and address the overriding socio-economic and political challenges in Afghanistan and in the region.

Mr Chairman

We are strongly committed to the promotion and protection of the rights of our children and it is our responsibility to provide them opportunities  for education;  combating violence, prosecute those who commit crimes against children and guarantee economic and social opportunities .The Government of Afghanistan with the continued support by our international partners will spare no effort to improve the plight of our children,  through implementing our  Millennium Development Goals; National Development Strategy (ANDS); and our National Priority Programs adopted during Kabul Conference (2010).

Mr. Chairman,

My delegation appreciates the efforts lent to the publication of the Secretary General on the issue of Children and Armed Conflict in Afghanistan and have studied it closely.

This second country-specific report on Afghanistan is a comprehensive one which illustrates great improvement since the first report. However it also highlights that, unfortunately due to continued terrorist attacks by Taliban, Al Qaeda and other anti government elements, the grave violence against children and civilian casualties have increased during reporting period.

We appreciate the concerns of International Community toward the plight of Afghan Children and welcome the recommendation contained at the end of this report.  I would like to make the following comments on this report:

My delegation has a well reasoned reservation with the terminology of “all parties to the conflict” by the use of this terminology it has unjustly placed the ANSF on the same line with terrorist groups. We stress to all present today that there needs to be a clear differentiation between the Government of Afghanistan and International security forces  from the terrorist and Anti-governmental elements.

We hold concerns that the report should not rely on isolated cases. Isolated cases cannot constitute a solid basis and must not identify the Government of Afghanistan as a violator of children’s rights.

Afghanistan has taken numerous measures to prevent child recruitment in our national security forces, and punish those who commit sexual violence against children. According to existing laws, recruitment of any solider under the age of 18 is illegal.  Moreover, any form of sexual violence against children is a crime punishable by law.

Since Taliban , Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups use children to conduct military operations and terrorist activates in Afghanistan , subsequently some of those children has been obtained by Afghan authorities . These children are kept in the Juvenile Rehabilitation Centres and treated in the line of Afghan Law for Juvenile Justice .

Let me also reiterate that the Government of Afghanistan is taking necessary steps to bring to justice perpetrators of the practice of Baccha Baazi, or “Boy Play ” as an immoral and anti Islamic practice.  We are firmly committed to bringing this practice to an end.  In short, let me state that all forms of sexual violence against children, including paedophilia is considered a crime.  At the same time, I would like to make clear that there exists no law in Afghanistan which will grant immunity to perpetrators of sexual violence.

Afghanistan looks forward to working closely with the Country Task Force on Monitoring and Reporting to ensure the successful implementation of Security Council Resolution 1612. In the context of the overall efforts of the UN improve the plight of Afghan children; we urge the relevant agencies, including the UNDP and UNICEF to give special focus on addressing the broader socio-economic, governance and security issues. Doing so will offer an important contribution in the effort to safeguard and empower our children.

Collateral damage during international military operations has also negatively affected the well-being of our children. In this regard, we welcome recent measures by international partners to prevent such harm to all our citizens, including our children.  These include a review of tactics and procedures, as well as enhanced coordination with Afghan security forces.

Mr Chairman,

In April 2010 , the ANP was listed in the 9th report of the Secretary-General on Children in Armed Conflict for the recruitment and use of children  and the Working Group has the record of strong  rejection by the Government of Afghanistan on this listing . The ANSF, which have been extensively trained by the international community and scarifying their lives to fight the enemies of Afghan people , should not be included on this list of shame, along with terrorist organizations , because of some isolated incidents.

In October 2009, the Government of Afghanistan appointed a high-level focal point at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to work closely with the Country Task Force for Monitoring and Reporting.

On 24th of April 2010, the Ministry of Interior issued an executive order for the prevention of recruitment of children into the Afghan National Police. This prohibits children from being recruited or employed within the Afghan National Police; requires children found within the Afghan National Police to be separated in 30 days.  It also calls for measures aimed at reintegration, and investigations and disciplinary action against those found to be recruiting or employing children.

Acting upon the conclusion and recommendation of SC working Group on Children and Armed Conflict , the Government of Afghanistan established the Inter Ministerial  Steering Committee on the 18th of July 2010, to finalize an Action Plan to prevent the recruitment of children in our national security forces.

On the 30th of January 2011, the Action Plan to prevent the recruitment and use of children in Afghan National Security Forces, and the annexes to the Plan on the prevention of sexual violence against children and the killing and maiming of children was signed by H.E. Dr. Zalmai Rasul , MoFA of Afghanistan , SRSF Steffan DeMistura, and Mrs. Radhika Coomaraswamy, the Special Representative of SG for Children and Armed Conflict and officially was launched for implementation .

The Government of Afghanistan is working  closely with the Country Task Force for Monitoring and Reporting to do its part  to implement  and strengthen reporting  mechanism under Security Council resolutions including 1882 (2009) .

Mr. Chairman

I would like to reiterate the Government of Afghanistan’s commitment to ensure the promotion and protection of the rights of children in Afghanistan, and express our readiness to fully cooperate with the SC Working Group and relevant UN bodies to implement the Action Plan.

I Thank You.