New York, 21 November 2016
Your Excellency Ambassador Mahmoud Saikal, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations ,
Friends of Afghanistan,
Friends of the United Nations,
I am delighted to join you in celebrating the 70th anniversary of Afghanistan’s membership of the United Nations.
Afghanistan is one of the oldest members of the United Nations – the first country to gain membership after the original 51 members.
Today we are celebrating a strong and lasting partnership.
Over seventy years, Afghanistan has made important contributions to the United Nations. It has been a strong advocate of collective action to address common challenges. I welcome Afghanistan’s commitment to implement the Sustainable Development Goals. Afghans continue to serve the Organization with dedication and distinction at all levels, from headquarters to the field.
In Afghanistan itself, our partnership is marked by close cooperation that dates back to 1949, when the first UN agencies began working in the country.
Since 2002, UNAMA – the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan – has been promoting coherent international support and working with the Afghan Government towards a secure, prosperous and democratic future for all Afghans.
This has been a challenging year for Afghanistan. The ongoing conflict and governance challenges remain a threat to the hopes and human rights of the country’s men, women and children. I applaud the Afghan people for their resolve. I am encouraged by the continued commitment of the international community, as clearly demonstrated at the recent Warsaw Summit and Brussels Conference. Let us redouble our efforts to translate this support into real progress.
Once again, I congratulate Afghanistan on the 70th anniversary of its membership in the United Nations.