Thursday, September 3, 2015

Statement by H.E. Ambassador Zahir Tanin at the Fifth Biennial Meeting of States to Consider meeting the Implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects

 1st meeting
 Monday, 16 June 2014
 10 a.m.
(New York, 16-20 June 2014)
 CR.3 (CB)     


Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to thank you for the trust you have bestowed upon me by electing me today as Chair for BMS5. It is a great honour for Afghanistan. After close to three decades of armed conflict, Afghanistan has been one of the main victims of the illicit small arms and light weapons trade. During the long conflict in my country, millions of illegal arms and light weapons were imported or trafficked into our territory and have been used to kill and injure hundreds of thousands of Afghans. Terrorists’ access to illicit arms has fueled the cycle of violence in my country, prolonging conflict and affecting the lives of all citizens.  As a result of this experience, my Government is highly sensitive to the negative impact of illicit weapons around the world.


I will work to the best of my abilities to ensure that BMS5 is a success and that the outcome of the meeting will help address the issue of the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in a practical and comprehensive manner. Your support and continued active engagement are critical for the attainment of that goal.


The Programme of Action and the International Tracing Instrument remain the cornerstone of our efforts to tackle the complex issue of the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons, which continues to wreak havoc in many regions and delay efforts aimed at promoting socio-economic development.


The Biennial Meetings of States provide us with the opportunity to take stock of our efforts, and identify innovative measures aimed at improving our collective approach in the fight against the illicit trade in, and uncontrolled proliferation of, these weapons.


We have five days to consider the three important topics of stockpile management, the International Tracing Instrument and international cooperation and assistance and to agree on a consensual outcome document.


Addressing illicit small arms and light weapons has never been more timely.  The success of the post-2015 sustainable development agenda is contingent on the prevention and reduction of armed violence. Effective action against the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons, simultaneously at the national, regional and global levels, is central to achieving any of those goals.  Indeed, people and societies can only fully realize their development goals if their communities are safe and secure.

I am confident that you will keep the larger significance of our work in mind when we work towards a consensually agreed outcome of this week’s meeting.

Council Debates Situation in Afghanistan

Council Debates Situation in Afghanistan
H.E. Zahir Tanin, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the UN, addresses the Security Council debate on the situation in Afghanistan.
19 March 2013

Press Release: United Nations Seminar on Assistance to the Palestinian People

FAO Headquarters, Rome

27-28 February 2013

The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People convened the United Nations Seminar on Assistance to the Palestinian People in Rome, Italy, at the FAO Headquarters, on 27 and 28 February 2013. The theme of the Seminar was “Assistance to the Palestinians — challenges and opportunities in the new reality of a State under occupation”.

Mr. Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs and Representative of the UN Secretary-General; H.E. Ambassador Abdou Salam Diallo, Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People; H.E. Mr. Nabil Kassis, Palestinian Authority Minister of Finance and Representative of the State of Palestine; and Ms. Fernanda Guerrieri, Directeur de Cabinet, Food and Agriculture Organization, opened the Seminar.

H.E. Ambassador Zahir Tanin, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the UN and Vice Chair of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People chaired the first plenary session, which focused on the impact of the occupation on the socio-economic and humanitarian situation in Palestine. Areas for specific discussion included the situation of women and children under continued occupation, the current situation in Gaza, and the aftermath of the UN admission of the State of Palestine.

The second plenary meeting was about the current priorities, challenges and opportunities of the Palestinian National Development Plan for 2011-2013. The third was focused on the urgent need for international assistance in support of the Palestinian economy following the adoption of the UN General Assembly resolution 67/19 (29 November 2012), which granted non-member state observer status to Palestine.

H.E. Ambassador Zahir Tanin also co-chaired the closing session on 28 February with H.E. Ambassador Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer Mission of the State of Palestine to the United Nations.  Following the seminar, the committee delegation will hold consultations with relevant members of Civil Society.

The purpose of the Seminar was to review the impact of the Israeli occupation and practices on the socio­economic situation in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip. In addition, the Seminar looked into the financial and developmental challenges and opportunities following the UN admission of the State of Palestine. Finally, it addressed the role of the international donor community in mobilizing and coordinating the assistance in light of the new political reality.