Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Ambassador Tanin Opens UN African Meeting on the Question of Palestine in Rabat

H.E. Ambassador Zahir Tanin, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations, Vice President of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and Head of the Delegation of the Committee, today chaired the first day of the UN African Meeting on the Question of Palestine in Rabat, Morocco. Ambassador Tanin will chair the two-day meeting, which is convened by the Committee under the theme of “Strengthening the support by African States for a just and lasting solution of the question of Jerusalem.”

The meeting was opened by on Mr. Taib Fassi-Fihri, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation for Morocco, who welcomed the participants and expressed pride at his country’s being the host for this year’s African Meeting on Palestine. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also had a statement, which was delivered on his behalf by Bader Al-Dafa, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for West Africa. In it the Secretary-General stressed the importance of a negotiated peace in which the question of the permanent status of Jerusalem would have to be resolved.

In his opening statement, Ambassador Tanin called for a resolution of the status of Jerusalem that would allow East Jerusalem to be the capital of a future Palestinian state. He asserted that unilateral attempts to annex or otherwise influence the status of Jerusalem would prevent the finding of a sustainable negotiated solution. He said that any solution would have to include provisions ensuring the freedom of religion of inhabitants, and unhindered access to holy sites. He condemned any action taken in contravention of the Geneva Conventions and called for the parties to the convention to take action in those instances.

The opening session also included a keynote presentation by Mr. Ahmed Qurai, a representative of the Palestinian Liberation Organization. Following that, the first plenary which included presentations by experts and a further discussion on the issue of the status of Jerusalem. The Meeting will continue on Friday with two additional plenary sessions before closing at the end of the day on Friday.

Before the opening of the Meeting, Ambassador Tanin and the rest of the Delegation called on Mr. Fassi-Fihri to express their gratitude to Morocco for hosting the Meeting and for its long-time support of the Palestinian people.

Mr. Fassi Fihri, Ambassador Tanin and Mr. Ahmed Qurai later held a press conference that stressed the need for a fair and just resolution to the question of Jerusalem in any sustainable negotiated peace in the Middle East.

For the full report of the first day, click here.

Security Council arrives in Afghanistan to assess progress, show support

Members of the Security Council arrived today in Kabul to review progress made by the Afghan Government with assistance from the international community, and to demonstrate their continued support for the country’s efforts to ensure a sustainable peace.

The visit by the 15-member body is led by Ambassador Ertugrul Apakan of Turkey, and it comes ahead of the conference to be held in the capital on 20 July and co-chaired by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).  Ambassador Zahir Tanin Permanent Representative of  Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the United Nations  is accompanying the Security Council delegates to Kabul.

Next month’s gathering is a follow-up to the London Conference held in January, during which the Government and its international partners jointly endorsed a strategy of transition to greater Afghan responsibility for the affairs of the country.

The visit is also taking place just weeks after the holding of the Consultative Peace Jirga – which brought together 1,600 delegates from across the country to discuss the way forward in the peace process – and as the country prepares for the parliamentary elections scheduled for 18 September.

While in Afghanistan, the Council members will meet with President Hamid Karzai, senior members of the Government and other Afghan authorities and institutions, as well as with members of civil society.

They will also meet members of the international community and with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in his latest report to the Council, stated that the UN is committed to a continued long-term presence in Afghanistan, noting that this is a “critical” year in the country’s transition.

Source of the News: UN News Centre

“Opening and Closing Statements of Ambassador Tanin at informal plenary on Security Council reform, 16 June”

Opening Statement – 16 June 2010

Excellencies, distinguished delegates,

1. Welcome back to the third exchange of the fifth round of intergovernmental negotiations. The topic today is the section of the negotiation text dedicated to the fourth key issue: size of an enlarged Security Council and working methods of the Council.

2. The negotiation text before you contains excerpts from Member States positions, and is divided according to the five key issues established and reaffirmed by Member States in decisions 62/557 and 63/565. The text contains redundancies, overlaps, and numerous areas where editorial changes would be useful. For that reason, I encourage you to improve the text to make it more useful for our shared work.

3. At our last meeting, I was delighted that some Member States took the opportunity to look at concrete language proposals. This will help us all to rationalize and improve the negotiation text.

4. I would like to underscore that we are in an informal plenary. This means that although Member States are always welcome to comment on any matter you deem relevant, in order to make this process work, I encourage all of you to make concrete suggestions and propose specific amendments that will reduce obvious overlaps, address existing differences and combine common elements in the language of the negotiation text. There is no need to restate known positions. And for those who have not yet done so, I again ask that any concrete proposals that are made be submitted to my office in writing so that we can properly reflect them in the next revision of the text.

5. As I mentioned last week, I intend to distribute the second revision of the text at the conclusion of this round, which will of course reflect all of the concrete proposals made during these meetings as well as those communicated to me.

6. As is usual practice in this house, you are, and will remain, the masters of your own positions. Though we will reflect all proposals in the text, amendments will only be applied with the agreement of the Member State, or States, whose language is affected.

7. On this note, you are of course always encouraged to also deliberate amongst each other and convey any results thereof to me either during our meetings or through a letter.

8. Finally, let me remind all of you that we continue to meet in an informal setting. We therefore do not have a speakers list today. Please raise your nameplates if you wish to speak.

Thank you.

Closing statement – 16 June 2010 – SC Reform

Excellencies, distinguished delegates

We seem to have exhausted our initial discussion of this section if there are no more Member States that wish to comment on the proposals made today.

I thank all of you for your active and constructive participation today.

As a response to the queries on the timetable, let me add that our next meeting will take place on 28 June. It will cover the section of the text relating to the third key issue, on regional representation. This meeting will be followed by a meeting on key issue number two on 7 July, and a meeting on key issue number one on 12 July.

I intend to distribute a second revision of the text following the last meeting.

The text will of course reflect all of the concrete proposals made during these meetings as well as those communicated to me.

As is usual practice in this house, you are, and will remain, the masters of your own positions. Though we will reflect all proposals in the text, amendments will only be applied with the agreement of the Member State, or States, whose language is affected.

As I mentioned in the beginning, if Member States have additional proposals or amendments on this section, for example as a result of discussions with other Member States and groups, I would encourage them to send them to me any time before the end of this round for inclusion in the second revision of the text.

In this regard, it would be very helpful if you would please forward your concrete proposals to my office for inclusion in revision 2 of the negotiation text.

Finally, let me stress once more that I am as always impartial to any of the positions. My impartiality includes the order of speakers, which is indicated to me by the Secretariat based on objective criteria usually followed in such informal proceedings.

Going forward, however, I assure you that I will duly reflect over the comments on procedure made today. In doing so, I will of course bear in mind my responsibility as Chair to ensure a legitimate and interactive modus operandi that can pave the way towards real progress.

Thank you.