Thursday, August 28, 2014

Security Council Debates Afghanistan with a Focus on Transition


On 6 July, the United Nations Security Council held a debate on the Situation in Afghanistan. The debate began with a briefing by Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Staffan de Mistura, head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan. H.E. Dr. Zahir Tanin, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the UN, was given the floor after the SRSG’s remarks.

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Both the SRSG and Ambassador Tanin focused on the “critical juncture,” as Ambassador Tanin put it, of transition to Afghan ownership and leadership of the country’s security. In this transition, according to Ambassador Tanin, continued international support and engagement beyond 2014 is crucial for the future stability of the country, in particular, a “lasting partnership with the UN.” The SRSG pointed out the need to focus beyond security for the transition period and address “social, economic and, frankly, human rights.”

Most participants in the meeting brought up the recent tragedies of the attacks on the hospital in Logar Province and the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul. Ambassador Tanin referred to the recent campaign as a display of  “promo-psychodrama…a conspicuously well-orchestrated attempt by the enemies of Afghanistan, designed to incite fear among people, to hinder the international support for Afghanistan, and to convince a war-weary audience in some countries that the war is unwinnable…However,” he said, “acts of terror will not shake our determination for securing peace and stability in Afghanistan.” The SRSG highlighted the effectiveness of the Afghan military and police in responding to these attacks, praising their strengthened capacity and improved abilities.

Both Ambassador Tanin and the SRSG emphasised the importance of ongoing reconciliation and reintegration efforts aimed at achieving a political solution to the conflict. In these efforts, the SRSG explained, UNAMA is functioning as a confidence-builder, as substantive discussion on these matters is the purview of the Afghan government. In this regard, he praised the Security Council’s ongoing de-listing of ex-Taliban militants from sanctions lists as a move in the right direction.

In addition, the SRSG praised progress on bilateral, multilateral and regional cooperation, as well as improvements in the human rights, including women’s rights and the protection of children – though both the SRSG and Ambassador Tanin noted that civilian casualties from Taliban action continue to increase.

The other delegates of the Security Council, along with representatives from the EU, Japan, Pakistan, Canada and Turkey, expressed concern over recent escalations in the level of civilian casualties, and unanimously condemned violence against UN personnel. Nevertheless, they also reaffirmed their faith in the Afghan parliamentary process and pledged continued support of an Afghan-led reconciliation effort.

Photos of the Meeting by U.N.

Video of the meeting by U.N

Ambassador Tanin Welcomes Extension of UNAMA’s Mandate

22 March 2011 – Today the United Nations Security Council extended the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA) until 23 March 2012 by unanimously adopting resolution 1974 (2011).

Resolution 1974 reaffirms the Council’s continued support for the people and Government of Afghanistan in the effort to achieve lasting peace, security and stability. It also underscores the importance of transition to Afghan ownership and leadership, a process that officially began yesterday and will continue through 2014.

The resolution also underscores the importance of a “One UN Approach,” in which all UN agencies, funds and programs are streamlined to achieve greater coherence, coordination and efficiency of development assistance.

In his statement after the vote, Zahir Tanin, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan, welcomed the adoption of resolution 1974 as an important step in strengthening Afghanistan’s partnership with the UN and the international community.  He recognized the contribution that the UN and other international partners have made toward peace, security, and stability in Afghanistan, and further emphasized the crucial role they will continue to play through the process of transition and beyond.

Ambassador Tanin also acknowledged appreciation for the up-coming review of the UN’s mandate and support before the end of 2011, stressing that it would “further improve the effectiveness of the UN’s role in Afghanistan.”

Video

H.E. Zahir Tanin

Ambassador Zahir Tanin,Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the UN, addresses a meeting of the Security Council on the situation in his country. During the meeting Members reviewed the Secretary-General’s latest report on “The situation in Afghanistan and its implications for international peace and security”.