Thursday, April 17, 2014

Statement of H.E. Dr. Zalmai Rassoul, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Group of G 77 and China Meeting of Foreign Ministers Delivered by Mr. A. Zahir Faqiri Deputy Permanent Representative

Statement of H.E. Dr. Zalmai Rassoul, Minister of Foreign Affairs of

Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Group of G 77 and China

Meeting of Foreign Ministers Delivered by Mr. A. Zahir Faqiri  Deputy Permanent Representative

Mr Chairman,

At the outset, let me convey, on behalf of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, our sincere appreciation to the Republic of Argentina for its successful leadership of the Group of 77 and China.

Mr Chairman, your wise leadership at a time when the world is facing many challenges has helped us stand united, and expand and strengthen cooperation among members of our Group.

Last year, the world’s leaders reviewed the achievements and challenges of the MDGs at the 2010 MDG Summit and endorsed its outcome document. However, many developing countries still face enormous challenges on the road towards achieving the MDGs.

We believe that our strengthened collaboration, growing trade and transit, and unity in striving for a common cause is the best formula for our success and for achieving peace and prosperity for our nations and peoples. Promoting trade and investment among G77 member countries is an effective way to mitigate the negative impact of international financial crises and shocks. In that vein, we recognise both the necessity and potential of North-South collaboration, as well as cooperation between countries of the South. Furthermore, through such cooperation with each other and the rest of the world and with pro-poor socio-economic policies, we can both combat the challenge of climate change and work towards poverty alleviation.

Mr Chairman,

Afghanistan, like the rest of the Group, is deeply concerned over the multiple global crises, including widespread poverty, climate change, financial troubles, and the threat of terrorism, volatile energy prices, and food shortages. All of these challenges have had substantial negative impacts on our progress towards achieving the MDGs.

In a globalised world, we cannot and should not isolate ourselves from international financial markets and the rest of the world. However, it is only prudent for us to adopt policies to free ourselves from total dependence on and vulnerability to the shocks of the international market.

Strong and sustained growth is critical for developing countries to meet their internationally-agreed development goals, including the MDGs. My delegation fully agrees with the G77 that economic and social development is the central objective of the United Nations, which remains the only legitimate fully-global body that could address the need for sustainable and socially-equitable development.

Addressing the multiple challenges of economic crises, climate change, and food security, is ultimately and above all our own responsibility. It will require our constant efforts, careful governance, and just yet practical social and development policies. Accomplishing these vital tasks cannot and will not be possible, however, without sufficient resources.

In order to effectively respond to the ongoing challenges, Afghanistan calls on developed countries to demonstrate greater flexibility and political will to meet and scale up their Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitments to developing countries, particularly LDCs and post-conflict countries.

My delegation also emphasises the importance of regional and international cooperation to address challenges like food security and agricultural development, as integral parts of the international development agenda.

Mr Chairman,

Afghanistan’s delegation actively participated in the drafting of the political declaration of the High-Level Meeting on the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases. We fully support the stand of the G77 in favour of strengthened international cooperation in the area of public health, to promote access to comprehensive and cost-effective prevention, treatment and care for the integrated management of NCDs, including improved access to affordable, safe, effective and high-quality medicines and diagnostic and other technologies.

Mr Chairman,

We also strongly endorse the position of the G77 and China that ODA must be increased in order to achieve national development objectives, including the MDGs. It is also important that donors take into consideration the principle of ownership of recipient countries, reducing the allocation of ODA outside of government systems and instead channelling more funds through core budgets and transparent trust funds. We believe it is also important that donors’ reporting mechanisms be improved. We consider a lack of donor coordination, a lack of transparency and data sharing, and the unpredictability of aid to be among the challenges that must be addressed.

Mr Chairman,

Afghanistan supports the stand of the G77 and China on major international issues and believes that the G77 can play an important role in the framework of the United Nations, towards achieving peace and security in the world and to pave the way for sustainable economic and social development for all.

Before closing, let me take this opportunity to congratulate our brother country Algeria for being elected Chair of the G77 and China. We are confident that in pursuing a development agenda in 2012, Algeria will be steering our Group in accordance with the principles of inclusiveness and transparency, further strengthening the unity of the G77 and China.

Thank you.

Statement of H.E. Dr. Zalmai Rassoul, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Land Locked Developing Countries Meeting of Foreign Ministers

Statement of H.E. Dr. Zalmai Rassoul, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Land Locked Developing Countries

Meeting of Foreign Ministers Delivered by Mr. Daud Yaar


Mr. Chairman,

At the outset let me express my sincere appreciation to Paraguay for its successful leadership of the Group of Land Locked Developing Countries (LLDCs).

Mr. Chairman,

The landlocked developing countries are commonly among the poorest of the developing countries and 16 of us, including my own country are classified as least developed countries with the weakest growth rates, and critically dependent on a very limited number of commodities for our export income.

There is a clear connection between distance and the transport costs. High transport costs affect the competitiveness margin of landlocked developing countries and trade volume.

Lack of territorial access to the sea, distance and isolation from world markets and high transit costs continue to impose serious constraints on the overall socio-economic development of our countries. In addition to numerous global crises, such as widespread poverty, climate change, financial and economic crises, the threat of terrorism, volatile energy prices and food shortages are among many challenges which developing countries, particularly land locked developing countries are facing.

Mr. Chairman,

Afghanistan’s export and import have been adversely affected by long distance, difficult terrain, bad condition of roads, non-existence of railway system in the country, volatile security, threat of terrorism and relations with neighbouring countries and inefficiency of transit transport.  As well our export and import depend on transit through other countries. Additional border crossings and long distance from the market considerably increase our total expenses for the transport services. Not only the above challenges, but also sensitive relation with neighbouring countries all the time impose extra pressure and cost on our poor economy. Afghanistan is a commodity exporter country. We pay almost two times more of our export earnings for the payment of transport and insurance services. All of these challenges have had enormous harmful effects on the implementation and realization of our MDGs.

The three decades of war has enormously damaged our economy and our political and social infrastructure, including our roads and transport system. During the past 10 years we managed to built and rehabilitate much of our roads and transport system, however, for adequate development and maintenance of transport infrastructure, establishing a better transit transport system and enhanced technical assistance, capacity building for the formulation of trade policies, investment into infrastructure for transport, communication and etc. we need much support of our development partners and regional cooperation.

Afghanistan fully supports the commitment  of the landlocked countries to accelerate the implementation of Almaty Programme of Action through effective and genuine partnerships between landlocked and transit countries and their development partners as well as between public and private sector  at national , regional and global level.

Mr. Chairman,

In conclusion, I reiterate our commitment to work closely with you all to advance our common interests.

I thank you.

Afghanistan and the International Community Discuss Reintegration After Afghan Leader’s Assassination

On 22 September, The Working Group on Reintegration, established under the International Contact Group (ICG) met in New York in the margins of the United Nations General Assembly week. The meeting was chaired by Afghan Ambassador Dr Tanin and co-chaired by UK SRAP Sedwill and Japanese SRAP Yamamoto. Representatives from 19 countries and of the UN and OIC participated in the session.

The group held one minute’s silence to commemorate the life of Professor Burhanuddin Rabbani, the Chairman of the Afghanistan Peace Council, and the valuable contribution that he had made to the pursuit of peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan. The group condemned in the strongest terms the terrorist attack which had resulted in his death. The group expressed their deep sympathy and sincere condolences to the victims and to their families, as well as to the people and Government of Afghanistan. The group also extended their support and best wishes for a speedy recovery to Mr Stanekzai, the Head of the Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Programme, who was injured in the attack.

The group reaffirmed their commitment to work together in support of the goals for which Professor Rabbani had worked tirelessly. The important work of the High Peace Council in helping bring peace and reconciliation to Afghanistan will continue. Desperate acts of terrorism will not stop the Afghan people from working towards a peaceful future. At this time, it is important that all of Afghanistan’s leaders stand together in solidarity in the face of such attacks and demonstrate their resolve to work in support of peace, reconciliation and national unity. The group reaffirmed their commitment to the Afghan government’s programmes to reintegrate all those insurgents who are verifiably willing to renounce violence and terrorism and respect the Afghan Constitution, noting the need to support to their families in order to facilitate this.

The group welcomed the progress in the first year of APRP in reintegrating insurgents under the leadership of the High Peace Council and the Government of Afghanistan, noting the importance of political outreach and conflict resolution to extending the impact of the programme throughout the country and to resolving the plight of refugees. The group underlined the importance of close coordination between local civilian officials, the local security forces and PRTs. The group emphasized the need to secure sustainable and flexible funding for the programme.

The Afghan Government and the ICG Working Group welcomed the OIC’s initiative to convene a conference of ulema (religious scholars), as Professor Rabbani had supported. The group highlighted the importance of discussing all these issues further at the Istanbul, Astana and Bonn Conferences, and renewed their commitments to the reintegration process and the long-term stability and development of Afghanistan.