Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Assistance in Mine Action

Statement by, Mr. M. Wali Naeemi, Minister Counsellor
Permanent Mission of Afghanistan to the United Nations
On Agenda item 28: Assistance in Mine Action
Delivered before the 4th Committee

Mr. Chairman,

At the outset, my delegation would like to commend you and your team for the excellent manner in which you have led the Fourth Committee during this 64th session of the General Assembly.

My delegation would also like to thank the Secretary-General for his comprehensive evaluation of the current international presence, status, and threat of land mines, as well as progress towards their eradication. Land mines and the use of IEDs have systematically contributed to an environment of international insecurity, and have dramatically hindered U.N. peacekeeping operations. They present an undeniable threat to the world community, and especially to certain post-conflict nations such as Afghanistan. All member-states must continue to support the United Nations and its bodies engaged in the crucial effort to eliminate these dangers.

Afghanistan is pleased to co-sponsor this draft resolution, and warmly thanks the delegation of Sweden for all of their work on this document. We further welcome Colombia’s initiative to host the second conference review on the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention. The Cartagena Summit on a Mine-Free World is an excellent step towards the eradication of mines and IEDs from developing nations, and to once and for all end the suffering and casualties caused by mines.
Mr. Chairman,
Distinguished Delegates,

March 2009 marked the tenth anniversary of the entry into force of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, of which Afghanistan is a strong supporter. Work in accordance with this Convention has successfully destroyed over 41 million stockpiled mines, and Afghanistan alone has already cleared over 323,000 land mines. However, there is still much work to be done before citizens around the world will be truly protected from this threat. In particular, humanitarian and development assistance to mine-affected countries should also prioritize victim assistance, ranging from physical rehabilitation to psychological support and social and economic reintegration. Currently, there are more than 100,000 survivors of landmine accidents, and most of these people are seriously disabled.

Mr. Chairman,

Today’s situation in Afghanistan is dire. Afghanistan has been battling the problem of land mines for more than three decades. However, despite concerted international efforts, and the introduction of new technologies, casualties in Afghanistan from mines and IEDs have not substantively decreased in the last years. These devices remain a serious and pervasive threat to the lives of Afghans, as well as to the nation’s stability and development.

Since 1979, it has been estimated that over 640,000 mines have been laid in Afghanistan; and that as recently as 2008, 4,924 hazardous mine areas remained in the country. These areas comprise an estimated 720 kilometers of land, threatening over 2,220 communities and 4 million Afghans. Further, 75% of these impacted communities are found in 12 of the country’s 34 provinces. Many Afghan farmers have also lost their farms and so their livelihoods, as 75.6% of this mine territory is used for agriculture. Afghanistan remains one of the most heavily contaminated countries in the world, and there are still over 700 kilometers of land contaminated by an estimated 56 different types of land mines.

Afghanistan continues to experience daily reminders of the mines’ lethality: from January to July 2008, in a mere six months, 1445 victims of mines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) were reported, and 50% of these were children. 2.7% of Afghanistan’s population has been labeled as “severely disabled” and 9% of these disabilities have been attributed to landmines.

Mr. Chairman,

Afghanistan is now doing more for land mine eradication than at any other time in our history. The United Nations Mine Action Programme for Afghanistan, in conjunction with the Mine Action Coordination Center of Afghanistan, employs 8,000 individuals, and has successfully cleared over 12,000 hazard areas throughout Afghanistan to date, with more than 126 million square meters of land – which is more than 17% of Afghanistan’s minefields – cleared between January and November of 2006 alone. The government of Afghanistan will continue this effort over the coming years, and is doing everything in its power to ensure that the over 4.3 million Afghan refugees that have returned to Afghanistan, as well as the large number of IDPs returning to their villages, do not come home to minefields. However, without the continuing technical and financial support of the international community, Afghanistan will not be able to emancipate itself from the threat of landmines.

Mr. Chairman,

Lastly, and most importantly, I would like to join the Secretary-General in expressing my appreciation for all those who have lost their lives or have been injured by mines or explosive war remnants. I extend my sympathies and sincerest condolences to their families.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

“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, Minister Counsellor Permanent Mission of Afghanistan to the United Nations

On Agenda Item 82

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

Delivered before the Sixth Committee on October 19th , 2009.
on behalf of H.E. Zahir Tanin

Mr. Chairman ,

I would like to thank the Chairman Mr. Emmanuel Bichet, the bureau, and the officers of the  Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations and on the Strengthening of the Role of the Organization for presenting us today with Report A/64/33, as well as the recommendations therein. My delegation associates itself with the statement delivered by the distinguished delegation of the Islamic Republic of Iran of behalf of NAM.

Afghanistan strongly supports the central role of the United Nations as a forum for addressing all global issues dealing  with international cooperation, peace and security, human rights and the rule of law, and economic development and social progress, all based on dialogue, cooperation and understanding amongst Member-States. We attach great importance to the work of the Special Committee of the Charter of the United Nations and on the Strengthening of the Role of the Organization. We believe that the Charter Committee, by adopting several international legal instruments, continues plays a constructive role for the maintenance of International peace, security, and stability.[AI1]

We support the full implementation of the mandate of the Committee and stress the need to further improve the working methods of the Committee.

Mr. Chairman,

The Charter Committee, in meetings held from the 17-25 of February 2009, discussed several important subjects that my delegation would like to make remarks on:

1 – Sanctions remain an important tool under the Charter of the United Nations in the Organization’s efforts to maintain international peace and security without recourse to the use of force. Sanctions should be carefully targeted in accordance with the Charter, must be supported by clear objectives, and be implemented in ways that effectively balance desired results against possible adverse consequences, including socio-economic and humanitarian consequences, while taking into account third States that will be indirectly affected. These sanctions should be reviewed periodically.

The imposition of sanctions should be undertaken as a last resort, only after all means of peaceful resolution have been exhausted, and an evaluation of the effects of the sanctions has been thoroughly considered.

My delegation particularly attaches great importance to this aspect of the work of the Special Committee, as Afghanistan is deeply involved with the activities of the 1267 Security Council Sanctions Committee on the Taliban and Al-Qaida.

Sanctions regimes with regard to individuals and entities should ensure that the decision to list and delist them is based on fair and clear procedures, and that regular reviews of names on these lists are conducted.

On the issue of implementing the Charter provisions on assisting third estates affected by implemented sanctions, my delegation supports  the provisions of relevant general Assembly resolutions addressing this issue and welcomes the work accomplished by the informal Working group of the Security Council on the general issue of sanctions.

Afghanistan welcomes 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 the Security Council sanctions committee to carefully study each case, create clear criteria and mechanisms for listing and delisting, and constructively consider the requests of States on the listing and delisting process.

Afghanistan is committed to implementing its obligations under Security Council Resolution 1267 and calls on all Sates to implement, in good faith, their obligations within their jurisdictions.

2- The peaceful settlement of disputes is one of the basic principles of international law under the Charter of the United Nations and the most effective and efficient tool for maintaining international peace and security. Afghanistan, while emphasizing the principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations relating to the peaceful resolution of disputes, reaffirms the important role played by judicial mechanisms, inter alia the International Court of justice (ICJ).

3 – We appreciate the excellent contribution to the institutional memory of the international system of the Repertoire of Past Practice of the United Nations, and of the Security Council. In this context, we command 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. Furthermore, we welcome the enhanced cooperation with academic institutions, as well as the progress made towards making academic publications available on the Internet, including advance versions of the studies.

4- We reaffirm the importance of carrying out reforms to the Organization in accordance with the principles and procedures established by the Charter of the United Nations in preserving the legal framework of this constitutional instrument. For this purpose, the Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations and on the Strengthening of the Role of the Organization can contribute to the examination of the legal matters in the reform process of the United Nations, and the democratization of its principal organs.

Thank You