H.E. Dr. Rangin Dadfar Spanta
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan at the Security Council’s briefing on UNAMA
Let me begin by congratulating you on assuming the presidency of the Council for this month. I am grateful for you for convening this meeting. Afghanistan deeply appreciates the strong support and solidarity of the family of nations in its arduous struggle to stand on its feet after decades of conflicts and suffering.
Specially, we are grateful for the excellent work and efforts of the UNAMA.
Our special thanks go to Ambassador Kai Eide and his able team.
I would like to brief you on our recent presidential and provincial council elections and the way forward. The August elections were important milestones in the processes of democratization and state-building in Afghanistan.
It was a multifaceted undertaking, involving different entities and players.
This includes Afghan national security forces, the Independent Election Commission, the Election Complaint Commission, Afghan media, the UN agencies, Afghan civil society, Afghan political community, the International Security Assistance Forces and Afghan voters.
It was the first time in the history of modern Afghanistan, that Afghans had the opportunity to organize a nationwide election.
What this election made different from other elections, was the degree of security threat. Al Qaheda, the Taliban and other terrorist groups did their utmost to disrupt the election.
Painfully, we lost a number of our security forces, our international partners and Afghan civilians to terrorist attacks prior and during the Election Day.
Taking into account the socio-historic realities of Afghanistan, we passed this national test successfully.
As with any emerging democracy, there were cases of irregularities. But in passing judgment, we should be aware of the context, the process and the full picture, rather than only one aspect or issue.
For the sake of stability and consolidation of our nascent democratic institutions and process, it is imperative by all of us to respect and support the forthcoming decisions by Afghan electoral bodies.
Continuing delegitimizing efforts to undermine the integrity of the process and our institutions will certainly result in worsening the situation not only for Afghanistan but also for the international community.
Afghanistan is faced with four categories of challenges and needs. These are stabilization, humanitarian, reconstruction and developmental. Only by pursuing a long-term and comprehensive strategy, we can consolidate our fragile achievements and institutions since 2001. Short-term, compartmentalized and partial solutions are doomed to fail.
The objective of such a strategy must be helping create a fully sustained and functioning state. The main pillars of this strategy are security, good governance, economic development, regional cooperation and international solidarity.
A long-term and comprehensive strategy needs adequate and right resources and skills.
To implement such a strategy, there is a need for a clearer division of responsibility between us and the international community. Afghanistan has to shoulder the main responsibility in creating a secure, prosperous, progressive and democratic Afghanistan.
The sustained and substantial support of the international community will be crucial in enabling us to attain our national priorities.
We are very pleased with elevating Afghanistan as one of the main priorities of the US by the new administration. We are confident the surge in US military support, coupled with the increase in civilian and developmental assistance is the best way forward.
Afghanistan welcomes the proposal to convene an international conference on situation in Afghanistan. We will be pleased to host it in Kabul. This conference will be an opportunity to renew our partnership and outlaying specific and concert steps and programs.
The conference will be an important forum for identifying effective ways for implementing Afghanistan National Development Strategy.
Furthermore, it will have to discuss our mutual responsibility and commitment for principles of good governance, mutual accountability, transparency, aid efficiency and enhanced coordination.
Allow me to say few words about the strategic issue of good governance. In addressing Afghanistan’s short and long-term needs and challenges, the presence of an accountable and functioning state is absolutely essential.
However, it is a reductionist view to reduce all our problems to only one issue. Terrorists are motivated by a set of factors, primarily their fanatic mindset and ideological ends.
In the context of Afghanistan, we often suffer from weak governance and absence of governance, as well as bad governance.
In many cases, we do not have basic and necessary tools of governance. Rather than bashing and delegitimizing our young state institutions, we have to invest in our national institutions. Furthermore, it is wrong and unethical to ignore bad and malpractices by other agencies, including in the donor community.
Another important issue is the question of re-integration of illegal fighters into civilian life.
From the beginning, it has been our stated policy that Afghanistan belongs to all Afghans. To this end and in the context of Afghanistan Constitution, we have resorted to all means to encourage those Afghans that took arms against their country to participate in the process of reconstruction of their motherland.
In coming weeks and months, we will accelerate our efforts towards this end.
To succeed in this endeavor, our efforts must be consistent with the ends that we are envisioning for Afghanistan and the region.
Secondly, as long as the leadership of the Taliban and other terrorist groups remain protected by external entities, we cannot achieve our goal in dismantling the dynamic of insecurity in Afghanistan.
Any sustainable effort in reintegration must focus on the leadership as well as non-ideological fighters.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Another important issue for Afghanistan is regional cooperation. For us, regional cooperation is a pillar of our foreign, security and development policy. We fully believe in the utility of economic peace in our region. Many of our challenges are regional in nature and consequence, particularly, terrorism and drug trafficking. Only by creating cooperative environment in the region, we can collectively address our interrelated challenges.
In this context, our relation with the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is of utmost importance. Fortunately, in recent months, there has been a cooperative atmosphere between us and the new civilian government in Pakistan.
It is our sincere wish to extend this to other entities in Pakistan. To this end, the international community must ensure that only good behaviors are rewarded.
In addressing all these issues, the UN has and must play a leading role. The UNAMA is well-placed to communicate and bridge the mutual needs and expectations between us and our international partners. Enhancing coordination among and between different stakeholders is another important role for the UNAMA.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Allow me to conclude by reiterating Afghanistan’s full commitment and readiness to strengthening our partnership with our international partners. I am absolutely confident that with your support and solidarity, Afghanistan will restore its historical role and place as a model of cooperation of different cultures and a crossroads for trade, transit and tourism in the region.
I thank you.