Saturday, October 21, 2017

Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism

STATEMENT BY H.E. Mahmoud Saikal

Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the United Nations

Statement at the 6th Committee on Agenda Item 109: Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism 

(Check against delivery)

3 October 2017

NEW YORK

Mr. Chairman,

We congratulate you and the members of the Bureau on your election and we assure you of Afghanistan’s full support and cooperation as you lead the work of the 6th Committee.

We align ourselves with the statement delivered by the Non-Aligned Movement and the OIC group.  This year again, the 6th Committee deliberates on agenda item: measures to eliminate international terrorism.  We do so at a time when this enemy of humanity has grown even larger in threat, scope and danger – taking new forms and manifestations.

As President Ghani stated in his address to the UN General Assembly two weeks ago: “Terrorism is not only an attack on human life and basic freedoms, but an attack on the compact of citizenship, and an attack on nation state’s relationship with its people which makes democratic societies unique, fair and free.”

This underscores the imperative of a more effective global response, underpinned by the obvious fact that in combating terrorism, we are striving to advance the well-being and security of all of humanity.

Today, Afghanistan remains the front line state in the world’s fight against international terrorism – an evil that is alien to Afghan values, customs and traditions, throughout the history of our nation.  Our struggle against this global menace is ingrained in the social fabric of our society.   Despite the complexity of the task at hand, we are making steady progress in combating this evil. 

As we speak, Afghan security forces are battling terrorist groups who have come from abroad, and are intent on keeping Afghanistan unstable.  In this effort, our forces have – in different parts of the country – inflicted major losses in the ranks of terrorist and violent extremist groups – be it the Taliban, Daesh, Al-Qaeda or other such entities. This effort continues with great progress, under our National Security Strategy, of which the fight against terrorism remains a key pillar.

Having suffered setbacks, these groups have now shifted tactics, focusing on barbaric attacks in populated areas; on ordinary Afghans; public figures, mosques, as well as well as international security and civilian personnel serving to promote stability and prosperity in our country. This signals the absolute moral bankruptcy of the terrorist groups. Needless to say, our fight against terrorism is a work in progress, demanding the continued support of the international community.

Outside the battlefield, we are working closely with regional countries, bilaterally, trilaterally and through other mechanisms and forums, including the Heart of Asia and Kabul Processes to tackle the threat of terrorism and other transnational criminal activities, plaguing Afghanistan and our region.    

Mr. Chairman,

Reversing the tide against terrorism warrants a more effective response by the United Nations.  The creation of the Office of Counter-Terrorism (OCT), led by Ambassador Voronkov, is an important development.  We hope the new Office will function in a manner that will positively impact the implementation of all 4 Pillars of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. Yesterday I had a fruitful meeting with Ambassador Voronkov and I was pleased with our discussion.

Afghanistan has presented its recommendations on the activities of the said Office, and hope they will be duly reflected for the benefit of a more successful counter-terrorism response by the UN.

Moreover, we believe renewed focus must be given to the implementation of SC resolutions dealing with terrorism and extremism.  The 1267, 1373 and 1988 Committees provide a strong basis for suppressing the capacity, resources and other enablers that empower terrorists to continue their viscous campaign. All States must apply a blanket condemnation of all terrorist elements without any distinction; and prevent any form of support to terrorist, including safe-havens and moral, material and financial aid.

Afghanistan joins other countries in expressing our concern over the impasse in finalizing the “Draft Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.”  All outstanding issues should be resolved in the interest of a crucial imperative: strengthening the UN’s counter-terrorism architecture.

In conclusion, we look forward to enhancing our collaboration with all member-states on strengthening international cooperation to defeat international terrorism. We will do so in the context of our strategic partnership agreements and also within the framework of the UN’s counter-terrorism initiatives.    

Thank You Mr. Chairman.       

 

                               

Social Development

STATEMENT BY  G. Seddiq Rasuli  Counsellor of the Permanent Mission of Afghanistan to the United Nations

 At the Third Committee of the 72nd Session of the General Assembly

Agenda Item 27: Social Development

New York, 2 October 2017

 

Mr. Chairman,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

At the outset, I would like to join the previous speakers to congratulate you and the members of this bureau on your election. We are convinced, Mr. Chairman, that under your leadership this session will be a success for all of us.

Taking this opportunity, let me also assure you of my delegation’s full support and cooperation in the deliberations ahead. I further wish to thank the Secretary-General for his reports and recommendations contained therein under this agenda item.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was an important achievement for the international community to respond comprehensively to the most pressing issues of our time. On our part, the Government of Afghanistan remains committed to the achievement of sustainable development with an overarching objective to reduce poverty and promote socioeconomic development. In this regard, I am happy to inform that our national policies, strategies, and development plans are aligned with the goals and targets of this agenda.  Afghanistan was one of the countries that presented its Voluntary National Review to the high-level political forum on sustainable development this year.

 

Mr. Chairman,

Afghanistan’s National Peace and Development Framework (ANPDF), which serves as the roadmap for the welfare of our people, recognizes “Poverty Reduction and Social Inclusion” as the main agenda in moving the country towards sustainable development, economic growth, and prosperity. This framework identifies three national priority programs to achieve its goals of poverty reduction and social inclusion, namely, Social Protection, Women’s Empowerment, and Citizen’s Charter.

Under the social protection program, we are working to reduce poverty, primarily by helping the poor to increase their skills and productivity, and by providing them with access to labor intensive paid employment through the Jobs for Peace Program. While investing in increasing opportunities for young people is the central focus of our poverty reduction strategy, there is still a substantial population of vulnerable, disabled, widowed, and elderly citizens who need carefully targeted and professionally managed assistance.

Women’s empowerment in social, economic and political spheres is the top blueprint of the Government of Afghanistan. Under the ANPDF, Economic Empowerment of Women is a National Priority Program (WEE-NPP). The program will provide start-up technical and financial support to women-owned businesses, along with job skills, and financial literacy. These investments will complement and be delivered through the existing mechanisms and institutions, focusing on scaling-up successful interventions.

Another National Priority Program is the “Citizens’ Charter” which is a foundation stone for realizing the government’s self-reliance vision, contributing to poverty reduction, sustainable development, and socioeconomic growth. It is a promise of partnership between the Government of Afghanistan and communities. In other words, the Charter is a commitment to provide every village of Afghanistan with basic services such as education, health, basic rural infrastructure, and agriculture, based on community’s own prioritization along with the improvement of mechanisms for service delivery.

Mr. Chairman,

Peace and security play a fundamental role in the prosperity of societies; development cannot be assured in the absence of these vital elements. Despite many achievements, unfortunately, security challenges still remain a serious concern for the government and people of Afghanistan as terrorist groups target our public infrastructures and threaten innocent civilians, including children and women on a daily basis. According to the recent report of the UN Secretary-General, UNAMA has documented 5,243 civilian casualties during the first half of 2017. We know that these evil forces and their supporters can create hindrance in our efforts towards a peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan, but they cannot prevail forever, as the people and government of Afghanistan are strongly determined to continue their noble fight to secure their country against the enemies of humanity and civilization.

 

I thank you Mr. Chairman.

 

 

 

Security Council Debate on the Situation in Afghanistan

Security Council Meeting
The situation in Afghanistan
Report of the Secretary-General on the situation in Afghanistan and its implications for international peace and security (S/2017/783)

Permanent Mission of Afghanistan