Friday, August 28, 2015

“The Rule of Law at the National and International Levels”

Statement by, Mr. Mohammad  Erfani Ayoob,

Minister  Counsellor

Permanent Mission of Afghanistan to the United Nations

On Agenda  Item 83

“The Rule of Law at the National and International Levels”

on behalf of H.E. Zahir Tanin

Mr. Chairman,

At the outset, my delegation wishes to thank the Secretary General for his annual report A/64/298 on strengthening and coordinating UN Rule of Law activities submitted pursuant to GA resolution 63/128.

This first report, which builds upon various principal UNGA resolutions where my country Afghanistan also has been mentioned, illustrates the key achievements, identifies the areas in need of more action and highlights the implementations process of the SGs recommendations made last year. We associate our self with the statements made by Iran on behalf NAM.

Mr. Chairman,

Afghanistan strongly adheres to the rule of law both at the national and international level.

My delegation welcomes the establishment of the Rule of Law Coordination and Resource Group and the Rule of Law Unit and looks forward to further steps to implement the Joint Strategic Plan for 2009-2011.

We appreciate the fact that the  efforts to ensure the overall coordination and coherence on the UN engagement by Rule of Law Coordination and Resource Group , chaired by Deputy Secretary General  and supported by the Rule of Law Unit , have continued to enhance the UN’s Rule of Law assistance . However there is still more need to be done to ensure the central coordinating and leadership role of UN in the field of capacity building in the post conflict countries  and  move towards and assist countries to develop their national laws to incorporate, appropriate, international norms and  standards .

Mr. Chairman,

The rule of law must be strengthened at all levels – national, international and institutional levels.

We see promotion of the rule of law as an essential tool for ensuring peace and security, good governance, sustainable development, social progress and human rights for all.

Strengthening the rule of law at the international level is critical to effectively address global challenges. The promotion of rule of law at the international level is fundamental in promoting democracy, human rights, sustainable development, peace full co-existence and cooperation among states, fighting international crime and terrorism, and promoting justice and peace, especially in post conflict societies. In this regard, support for capacity building in the developing countries is crucial so that they can fulfill their obligations at the national level effectively.

One of the important aspects of the promotion of rule of law at international level is the implementation by states at the national level of the obligations taken by them under international treaties and agreements and my country is committed to the requirement in respect of the treaties to which it is a party.

Mr. Chairman,

The justice sector like any other sector in Afghanistan had suffered greatly as result of more than two decades of war and terrorist attacks. The Justice Sector physical infrastructure had demolished either wholly or partially. The working capacity had significantly dropped off and the rule of law was seriously weakened.

For the last seven years since the international community committed itself to Afghanistan major results have been achieved on the area of Rule of Law and Justice. In the frame work he London Afghanistan Compact and the Afghan National Development Strategy (ANDS) , the National Justice Sector Strategy and the National Justice Programme, as the basis of a collaborative and strategic nationally led justice reform process have been established.

In order to improve the  Rule of Law in the national level Afghanistan with the support by International Community has taken necessary steps to develop the human and institutional capacity of the justice sector, increase access to justice, particularly for women, improve good Governance , fight corruption and build a Security forces .

The United Nations, donor Countries and non-governmental organizations are playing a commendable role to support the Government of Afghanistan in restoring and improving of justice and the rule of law in Afghanistan.

In conclusion Mr., Chairman,

This agenda item initialed “The Rule of Law at the National International Levels ” is an important subject for my delegation.

For Afghanistan, rule of law at the international level is intrinsically linked to rule of law at the domestic level. Its promotion is dependent on commitment of all UN Member States to the principles enshrined in the UN Charter as well as in other international instruments, such as peace, stability, governance, and development.

The  United Nations  in particular the General Assembly must play a central role in promoting and coordinating the efforts towards the strengthening the Rule of Law at the National and International levels .

Thank you

Why Stay the Course

Op-Ed Contributor
Published in New York Times


The recent elections in Afghanistan and General McChrystal’s strategic review have again raised questions, doubt and uncertainty about state-building in Afghanistan. These questions deserve to be answered, swiftly and clearly.

What do we have to show after fighting in Afghanistan for eight years?

Though the international engagement has lasted eight years, it only recently became a focused fight. The aid pledged to Afghanistan from 2002 to 2008 was less than a 12th of assessed needs. Troops were confined to Kabul until 2004; troop increases since then have been reactive and slow, allowing the Taliban to regroup in sanctuaries across the border.

The strategy unveiled by President Obama in March has yet to be fully implemented. The promised troops are not yet on the ground. Why should there be a change in output if there has been little change in input?

Why are we focusing on Afghanistan?

Because Afghanistan is in a unique nuclear-armed region that is also engaged in a precarious fight against terrorism. A premature withdrawal from Afghanistan could lead to a “Somalization” of Afghanistan that would leave Pakistan more vulnerable to the Taliban, exacerbate Pakistan-India tensions and threaten to pull the whole region down into violence.

Is Afghanistan too backward a country to ever progress?

Afghanistan has not always been at war with itself. In the 1960s and 70s and even into the 80s, female and male students studied together at universities in Kabul. Women voted and served in the government as ministers and members of Parliament.

George Will has written that being in the country is “like walking through the Old Testament.” This description only indicates the consequences of great-power struggles during the Cold War and the subsequent neglect that allowed the Taliban to gain power.

The devastation of the country is in fact the answer to another recent question: Why are we in Afghanistan? To finally shoulder the responsibility of rebuilding a country whose decimation we are all complicit in.

What is the end goal in Afghanistan?

In March, President Obama helped lay out our goal in clear words: to build a stable state that will prevent extremism and terrorist groups from taking root again. The audacity of this goal – a stable state – has led some to criticize it for lacking defined means and a clear conclusion. So here are some clear means: a strengthening of the Afghan army and police forces to 260,000 troops, enough to permit Afghan forces to secure the country without an international presence.

Have we not already met our goal?

Some claim Al Qaeda has been defeated in Afghanistan, so the mission has been accomplished. But Al Qaeda is merely lying in wait in Pakistan, a country whose border with Afghanistan is disputed and tenuous. A premature withdrawal will not only enable extremists to magnify their threat to Pakistan; it would also allow Al Qaeda to re-gaining Afghan territory as a base of operations.

Zahir Tanin is Afghanistan’s representative to the United Nations

Source: The New York Times

H.E. Zahir Tanin


Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations, addresses Security Council on the situation in AfghanistanReport of the Secretary-General on the situation in Afghanistan and its implications for international peace and security (S/2009/323).