Thursday, October 30, 2014

Intergovernmental Preparatory Committee for the Fourth United Nations Conference on the least Developed Countries

Statement by M Wali Naeemi Minister Counsellor,

Permanent Mission of Afghanistan to the UN,

at the Intergovernmental Preparatory Committee for the Fourth United Nations Conference on the least Developed Countries,

New York,


Excellency Ambassador Jarmo Viinanen,

Chairman of the Intergovernmental Preparatory Committee:

Excellency Ambassador Cheick Sidi Diarra,

High Representative and the Secretary General of the Conference:

Excellencies:

Distinguished Delegates:

I would like to align my statement with the statements put forth by the distinguished representatives of Sudan on behalf of the G77 and China and Nepal on behalf of the Least Developed Countries.

On behalf of my delegation, I warmly congratulate you, Ambassador Viinanen, on your unanimous election as Chair of the Intergovernmental Preparatory Committee for the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to be held in May this year in Istanbul, Turkey. I would also like to congratulate the other members of the Bureau on their election. I assure you, Mr. Chairman, that my delegation will be constructively engaged throughout the intergovernmental negotiations and will extend full cooperation in order to ensure the successful outcome of the Conference.

I thank the High Representative and his team in OHRLLS for their continued support and hard work on the preparation of the Conference.

I also would like to thank the government of Turkey for generously hosting the 4th UN Conference on LDCs.

Mr. Chairman,

The LDCs represent the poorest countries in the world, which face severe and numerous challenges. Since the adoption of the Brussels Program of Action in 2001, progress has certainly been made, but it is becoming increasing clear that some LDCs, including Afghanistan, will be unable to reach the MDGs within the projected time frame of 2015. According to the Afghanistan National Development Strategy (ANDS), Afghanistan, an LDC, LLDC, and a post-conflict nation, has reassessed its situation and given the current context has designated 2020 as its target year to reach the MDGs.

Mr. Chair,

The Brussels Program of Action was adopted in 2001, and draws a comprehensive strategy for the LDCs to achieve the MDGs by 2015. Key challenges and constraints persist; the seven goals of BPoA have not yet been achieved. Going forward, we should focus on analysis of the main elements of existing challenges and constraints.

We all know that LDC-IV, which is taking place a decade after Brussels, will be dedicated to development issues of 49 LDCs; it is among the most important events in the year 2011. LDCs, particularly those emerging from conflicts have high expectations with a result-oriented outcome for this conference. The Conference will benefit and derive its sustenance from the strong political commitment of the international community.

It is equally important to note that the Conference is being held at a time when the international community continues to struggle with the impacts of economic and financial, as well as food and fuel crises, and climate change.

It is well-documented that LDCs, particularly countries emerging from conflicts, continue to face structural constraints and extreme vulnerability. While some progress has been achieved in some areas over the years, progress has been slow and uneven and whatever has been achieved is now reversed as a result of the combined effects of all these crises.  LDCs also starkly lag behind in meeting the internationally agreed development goals, including those contained in the Millennium Declaration. Despite their best efforts and support from the international community, LDCs continue to get caught in the vicious trap of poverty and hunger.

LDC–IV needs to be seen in this wider perspective. We have stressed earlier and I will reiterate here today the LDC’s overall approach to the Conference:

Ø  Istanbul should produce an outcome that is ambitious, comprehensive, forward-looking and result-oriented so that desired socio-economic transformation is achieved in LDCs in the next decade, enabling them to graduate from the LDC status. The progress that they will make has to be sustainable and comprehensive to have a desired impact on reducing poverty and accelerating economic growth. Past experiences amply demonstrate that the ‘business-as-usual-approach’ will not yield substantial results. What is required is an enhanced, effective and consolidated package of international support measures in line with GA resolution 63/227. We want an Action Agenda that is implemented in its entirety with stronger results on the ground. The Istanbul outcome should have a robust mechanism for monitoring and follow up of the implementation of the next Programme of Action with a clearly defined and shared accountability of LDCs and their development partners.

Finally, as mentioned in by previous speakers, in view of limited time available from now until Istanbul, the preparatory process must be expeditiously and intensely conducted in a constructive manner with the involvement of all stakeholders.

Thank you!

Agriculture Development and Food Security

Statement delivered by, Mr. Enayet Madani, Counsellor
At the 2nd Committee Debate on Agriculture Development and Food Security:

Mr. Chairperson,

I wish to take this opportunity to thank you for convening this meeting, and align myself with the statement delivered by distinguished representatives of Yemen on behalf of the G77 and China, Nepal on behalf of LDCs and China on behalf of Asia Group. My delegation expresses its appreciation to the Secretary-General for his Report on Agriculture Development and Food Security which will certainly play an important role for our deliberations.

Mr. Chairperson,

We agree and welcome the recent reforms made to the Committee on World Food Security within the Food and Agriculture Organization, which renewed their commitment towards coordination of food security on the international scale, as well as formalize the involvement of an expert panel towards this cause. We recognize the leadership and efforts of those who have kept food security challenges of developing countries on top of the global agenda, and will continue to work with them in improving food security in Afghanistan.

Mr. Chairperson,

Prior to the conflicts that disrupted the way of life in the country, Afghanistan had a healthy and self-sufficient agricultural economy, which produced both food as well as economic crops. Current agricultural productivity, however, is not as optimistic given the vast damage done to the physical infrastructure as well as higher dependence on rain-fed agriculture.  As such, millions of Afghans are either starving or threatened with starvation on a daily basis, depending on food assistance for survival. Henceforth, it is critical for us to rapidly revive our agricultural sector through restructuring and investment, while also paying attention to issues of long-term environmental sustainability.

Although crop productivity has improved in the last year from ample and well-distributed rainfall, the droughts of 2008, 2009 still reminds us of our vulnerability. Besides supporting the livelihood of the large rural population (which is 80% of the total population), agriculture also constitutes 53% of our national economy and hence is of vital importance to the reconstruction of Afghanistan. As much as we appreciate international humanitarian assistance in tiding us through our recovery period, we also seek partnerships in building improved and accessible irrigation systems, technology and better agricultural practices.

Mr. Chairperson,

The large fluctuations in crop productivity over the past years highlight the key challenges we face as we tackle the issue of food security. Increased water scarcity coupled with rainfall variability, both possibly augmented by climate change; exemplify the weakness of rural agriculture in Afghanistan. The lack of irrigation infrastructure and low water security correlates strongly with rural poverty, and hence serves as key hurdles in achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

37% of our population is in the borderline of food security, and 59% of our children below the age of five, suffer from stunted growth due to malnutrition. The proportion of the population below minimum energy consumption (of 2100 calories) has increased, and seasonality-driven poverty and food shortage have been drawn to our attention. Volatility in global food prices also present significant challenges to the situation.

Mr. Chairperson,

The points of leverage for effective agricultural and rural development lie in small farmer households, and the role of women in food provision and preparation is central to pursuing food security targets. Partnerships forged between the government, communities and the private sector, in directing efforts and investments can facilitate the development process and make rural agricultural communities more robust and resilient.

In the restoration of Afghanistan’s agricultural sector, we are taking these key initiatives under the Afghanistan National Development Strategies with the two broad goals of poverty reduction and livelihoods security:

Firstly, through better water and national resource development, we seek to improve both quantity and quality in our agricultural sector while reducing stress imposed on the natural systems.

Secondly, by identifying gaps in the current agricultural system dealing with inputs and outputs, we aim for comprehensiveness in agricultural production and market development.

Thirdly, taking heed of the close links between rural access and poverty alleviation, our expansion of road and communication networks will empower the rural poor.

Fourthly, local institutions will be strengthened with the establishment of Community Development Councils and civil service expansion.

Mr. Chairperson,

The revival of Afghanistan’s agricultural sector represents an opportunity for Afghanistan to achieve strong growth and food self-sufficiency, and also represents great possibilities for international cooperation and friendship. As we take these steps, we will need stronger partnerships with the UN agencies to facilitate greater investment in physical infrastructure, knowledge sharing as well as technology transfer. These investments and assistance can also be improved through responsive targeting to the needs and priorities of Afghanistan, thereby fast-tracking MDGs.

The targets of poverty alleviation, hunger reduction and stabilizing food security are all tightly interconnected with women’s rights, rural development and economic growth. Our efforts are in building resilience along with growth, and adapt agricultural practices and regimes to developing environmental and economic situations. We ask the World Food Programme, USDA, FAO and other funders to continue their assistance to us, and for the international community to work together on achieving global food security.

Before closing I take this opportunity to thank the UN system; in particular, the World Food Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organization and other all other partners for their continued support to the people of Afghanistan.

I thank you

Report of the Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations and on the Strengthening of the Role of the Organization

STATEMENT

BY

Mr. Mohammad Erfani Ayoob, Deputy Permanent Representative

Permanent Mission of Afghanistan to the United Nations

At the Sixth Committee

Of the 65th Session of the United Nations General Assembly

On Agenda  Item 84

“Report of the Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations and on the Strengthening of the Role of the Organization”

New York

Check against delivery

STATEMENT BY

Mr. Mohammad Erfani Ayoob, Deputy Permanent Representative

Permanent Mission of Afghanistan to the United Nations

At the Sixth Committee

Of the 65th Session of the United Nations General Assembly

On Agenda  Item 84

“Report of the Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations and on the Strengthening of the Role of the Organization”

18 October 2010- New York

Madam Chair,

The Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations and on the Strengthening

of the Role of the Organization continues to play a constructive role for the maintenance

of International peace and security. Afghanistan attaches high importance to the work

of the Special Committee on the Charter , supports the full implementation of its

mandate and stresses the need to further improve its working methods.

Afghanistan reiterates its strong support for the central role of the United Nations as a

universal forum for addressing all global issues dealing with international cooperation,

peace and security, economic development and social progress, human rights and the

rule of law, based on dialogue, cooperation and understanding among States .

My delegation thanks the bureau of the Special Committee on the Charter of the United

Nations and on the Strengthening of the Role of the Organization, under the chairmanship

of Mr.Carlos Sorreta, for the presentation of the Report as well as the recommendations

contained in the document A/65/33. The Special Committee on the Charter discussed several important subjects in its deliberations from 1-9 March 2010. In this regard, my delegation would like to make stress on the following:

Madam Chair,

The peaceful settlement of disputes remains one of the essential goals of the United

Nations as enshrined in the Charter. It is the most efficient tool for maintaining

international peace and security as well as strengthening the rule of law in international

relations. Afghanistan is  committed to the principles of the UN Charter on

the peaceful settlement of disputes and at the same time recognizes the important role

of the judicial mechanisms, including the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for the

prevention and settlement of disputes among States.

We reaffirm the importance of the reform of the United Nations Organization to

be carried out in accordance with the principles and procedures established by the Charter

of the United Nations and preserve the legal framework of this constitutional instrument.

In this context, the Special Committee on the Charter can contribute to the examination

of legal matters in the reform process of the United Nations and democratization of its

principal organs.

Madam Chair,

We welcome the contribution to the institutional memory of the international system, of the Repertory of practice of the United Nations, and the Repertoire of the practice of the Security Council. In this context, we appreciate the efforts of the Secretariat for the work done in updating these important documents as well as the progress achieved with regard to the incorporation of the Repertory volumes on the United Nations website. We support the call for continued voluntary contributions to the trust fund for updating of the repertoire and voluntary contributions to the trust fund for effective elimination of backlog in the repertory of practice of the United Nations organs.

Madam Chair,

Sanctions, applied in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, remain an

important tool in the maintenance and restoration of international peace and security.

Sanctions should be designed with focus and carefully targeted in accordance with the

Charter.  They must be supported by clear objectives and be implemented in ways that balance effectiveness to achieve the desired results against possible adverse consequences, including socio-economic and humanitarian consequences, for populations and third States.

The imposition of sanctions should be considered as a last measure only after all means

of peaceful settlement have been exhausted and their effects had been thoroughly

considered. Sanctions should have a specified time frame and be subject to periodic

review.

My delegation supports the provisions of relevant General Assembly resolutions addressing the issue of assistance to third States affected by the application of sanctions

and calls for further measures to improve the procedures and working methods of the

Security Council on general issues of sanctions. In this regard, we welcome the report that due to the shift from comprehensive economic sanctions to targeted sanctions, no sanctions committees were approached by Member States with regard to special economic problems arising from the implementation of sanctions.

Afghanistan is closely working with 1267, Security Sanction Committee on Al-Qaida and the Taliban on the listing of new individuals and entities and delisting of individuals

under sanction.

While expressing our satisfaction with the progress made by the Security Council in

establishing new procedures for the listing and delisting of individuals and entities on sanctions lists, we call on Security Council sanctions committee to continue a careful  study of all individuals and entities on the list .  Additionally, the government of Afghanistan welcomes the delisting of some former members of the Taliban from the sanction list by the 1267 Committee and underscores the continued update for improving the quality of the list on the basis of a fair and clear procedure.

Afghanistan is fully committed to implementing its obligations under the 1267 SC Resolution and calls on all States to implement, in good faith, their obligations within their jurisdiction in this regard.

Thank you.