Friday, October 28, 2016

Afghanistan Elected to Vice-Presidency of 65th General Assembly

This morning, the General Assembly met to elect the President and Vice Presidents for the upcoming 65th session of the General Assembly, scheduled to begin on 14 September, 2010, and to select the Chairs and Rapporteurs for the Main Committees. His Excellency Mr. Joseph Deiss, of Switzerland, was elected to serve as President of the General Assembly.

The Permanent Mission of Afghanistan to the United Nations was also honored this year, with two positions of leadership in the upcoming Session. His Excellency Ambassador Zahir Tanin, Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the United Nations, will serve as one of the Vice Presidents of the 65th General Assembly. In addition, Afghanistan’s Fourth Committee Delegate was also selected by the General Assembly to serve as Rapporteur for the Fourth Committee and as a member of the Bureau of the Committee.

This is the second time in three years that Ambassador Zahir Tanin has served as Vice President to the General Assembly – Afghanistan was also elected Vice President during the 63rd Session. In addition, this is the second consecutive year that Ambassador Tanin has served as Chair of the intergovernmental negotiations on Security Council reform, first appointed during the 63rd General Assembly, and then reappointed in the current session as a result of the trust the membership showed in his impartiality and leadership. That process is now moving into more concrete negotiations on the basis of a widely-acclaimed negotiation text, under Ambassador Tanin’s guidance.

Afghanistan was among the founding members of the United Nations, joining officially in 1946. In the 1960s, Abdul Rahman Pazhwak served as President of the 21st session of the General Assembly, the only Afghan to hold that post. Since then, and as a result of the decades of conflict and violence that rocked the country, Afghanistan’s presence at the UN has waned. However, recently, Afghanistan has begun to reclaim an important role in world affairs, a role that is certainly in evidence today at the United Nations.

Britain Reaffirms Support for Afghanistan Effort

LONDON — As the Obama administration reaches out to head off any weakening of allied resolve, Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain — America’s closest military ally — flew to Kabul on Thursday, saying this would be the “vital year” for the campaign against the Taliban.

Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain and President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan during a news conference in Kabul on Thursday.

His visit came after a three-day diplomatic offensive in London, with a trio of top Pentagon figures — Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates; Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top commander in the region; and Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, vice chief of staff of the Army — seeking assurances that Britain will remain steadfast in its Afghan commitment.

Britain has committed around 10,000 troops in Afghanistan — the second largest contingent in the 46-nation coalition after the 94,000 American soldiers there. On his surprise visit, which comes as British casualties are mounting and the country confronts huge financial strains, Mr. Cameron made clear that his government was not planning to increase its troop levels. Such an increase, Mr. Cameron said, was “not remotely on the U.K. agenda.”

Indeed, he made clear that Britain’s goal was to hand over security responsibilities to Afghan forces as soon as that was possible.

“We should all the time be asking ‘Can we go further, can we go faster,’ ” Britain’s Press Association news agency quoted him as saying.

At a news conference alongside President Hamid Karzai, Mr. Cameron declared: “No one wants British troops to stay in Afghanistan for a day longer than is necessary.”

But, he said, “What we want — and is our national security interest — is to hand over to an Afghanistan that is able to take control of its own security.”

The visit was Mr. Cameron’s first to Afghanistan as head of a coalition of his Conservative Party and the smaller Liberal Democrats. He said he had described this year “in terms of the NATO mission in Afghanistan, as the vital year.”

“This is the year when we have to make progress — progress for the sake of the Afghan people, but progress also on behalf of people back at home who want this to work,” he said.

His remarks echoed comments in London on Wednesday by Mr. Gates, who said that the United States and its allies were under pressure to show progress in the war by the end of the year, and that American voters would not accept an open-ended “stalemate.”

“All of us, for our publics, are going to have to show by the end of the year that our strategy is on the right track and making some headway,” he said.

As Mr. Gates headed for a NATO defense ministers’ meeting in Brussels, it seemed clear the Americans had achieved the reaffirmation they had sought after Mr. Gates and General Petraeus met separately with Mr. Cameron, and in talks both men had with the new British defense minister, Liam Fox.

After Mr. Gates met Mr. Cameron on Monday, the prime minister’s office issued a statement saying that he had “reiterated U.K. support for U.S. strategy,” but tellingly singled out as the strategy’s main element the $20 billion plan to build up Afghanistan’s own forces so they can take over security responsibilities and allow allied troops to leave.

The renewed British commitment was expected. Mr. Cameron and Mr. Fox are Conservatives, who strongly supported the British role in Afghanistan while in opposition, before they joined the left-of-center Liberal Democrats in a coalition after the inconclusive May 6 general election.

The Conservatives’ differences with the former Labour government centered less on whether the war should be fought than on whether the British troops had been adequately equipped.

In Kabul on Thursday, Press Association reported, Mr. Cameron said, “My biggest duty as prime minister of the United Kingdom is to our armed forces, to make sure that they have all the equipment and all the protection they need to do the absolutely vital job that they are doing here in Afghanistan.”

He also announced extra spending of around $100 million for a specialized unit to counter the threat of insurgents’ roadside bombs — one of the Taliban’s most effective weapons.

American officials regard a bolstering of Britain’s support as especially important at a time when many European countries with troops in Afghanistan, including Britain and Germany, are committed to sharp cuts in defense spending as part of their drive to reduce huge government deficits. With Britain reaffirming its backing for the Afghanistan effort, the American hope is that other European nations will be hesitant to back out.

Mr. Gates said in London that he hoped the European allies would follow the Pentagon’s example in seeking $100 billion in spending cuts by reducing overhead costs and spending on new weapons programs. “I would hope that our allies, before they consider force structure reductions, and reductions more broadly in capabilities, will look overall at how they spend their money,” he said.

In a concession to Britain, American officials said they had abandoned plans to move many of the 8,000 British troops who have been fighting in the southwestern province of Helmand to the city of Kandahar as part of a mission realignment. Many of the additional 30,000 American troops ordered into Afghanistan by President Obama will be sent to Helmand.

British officials had argued that many of the nearly 300 British soldiers who have been killed in the war died fighting in Helmand, and that giving way to the Marines would amount to surrendering territory that had been won with British lives.

Mr. Cameron said on Thursday: “In Helmand, there are now over 20,000 U.S. troops and 10,000 U.K. troops. I think it is important to let them get on with the very important work of delivering greater security in Helmand and making sure we have the right force density — the right number of troops — together with the Afghan national security forces throughout the province.”


John F. Burns reported from London and Alan Cowell from Paris.

Source: The New York Times

H.E Hamid Karzai President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan At the Third Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA)

June 08, 2010, Istanbul

Mr. President,


Distinguished Delegates,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

السلام علیکم و رحمت الله و برکاته

I would like to thank the government and people of Turkey for their warm reception and kind hospitality that have always made our visits to Turkey memorable. I am delighted to join the Third Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia, and to convey the warm greetings of the people of Afghanistan.

I take this opportunity again to condemn the Israeli commando attack against efforts to bring humanitarian relief assistance to the besieged people of Gaza. I wish to express our deep condolences for the loss of life and injury to the government and people of Turkey resulting from this violent act. There is no doubt that such acts of violence blatantly trample respect for human dignity and undermine peaceful co-existence.

Earlier this year, Turkey’s initiative to host “the Summit on Friendship and Cooperation in the Heart of Asia”, focusing on Afghanistan’s security and development challenges, provided a clear example of Turkey’s dedication towards safeguarding peace and stability in our region. In assuming the Chairmanship of CICA, and hosting this Summit, Turkey once again displays its solid commitment to promoting mutual trust through dialogue, and to cementing strategic ties among Asian nations through confidence-building measures. I am convinced that under Turkey’s auspices, CICA will continue to be an effective platform for comprehensive engagement and cooperation across the region.

In June 2002, by signing the landmark Almaty Declaration, we committed to work in partnership to make Asia a common area of security, prosperity, and peaceful co-existence. Today, our commitment remains as strong as ever.

CICA was born due to the vision and efforts of His Excellency President Nursultan Nazarbayev. I commend President Nazarbayev for his visionary far-sightedness. I believe that CICA will be a long-lasting testimony to President Nazarbayev’s desire for comprehensive peace and security in our continent. As Kazakhstan assumes the chairmanship of the OSCE, we wish President Nazarbayev continued success in his mission for peace and security.

Afghanistan is delighted that CICA has grown in size and diversity. In this regard, we welcome the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the Republic of Iraq as CICA’s newest members. We also welcome the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the People’s Republic of Bangladesh as observers in this forum. Their participation in CICA will certainly enrich our dialogue, and give added impetus to our efforts for peace, security and mutual understanding.

Given the importance of CICA, Afghanistan is encouraged by the expansion of its collaboration with other regional and international bodies and institutions. We welcome, in particular, the establishment of the UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy in Ashqabad.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Factors endangering security in Asia are multifaceted, with terrorism, extremism, proliferation of nuclear weapons, trans- national organized crime, and illicit drugs as the most troubling problems.

Events across the globe clearly show that threats posed by terrorism and extremism are not specific to any one country. From Moscow to New York, from Istanbul to Mumbai, and from Kabul to Lahore, extremists and terrorists have killed, maimed, and created a climate of fear among millions of innocent citizens.

Terrorism should not be identified with any specific nationality or religion; neither should the fight against terrorism be subject to double standards. Without condition or reservation, we must all resolutely condemn and fight terrorism whenever and wherever it occurs, whoever it is directed against and in whatever form it appears.


Ladies and Gentlemen,

Over the years, terrorism, trans-national organized crime, and illicit drugs have become interlinked, thus aggravating the threats to our common security. In response, we must make concerted efforts to expand our cooperation in interdiction, intelligence exchange, security consultations and training, as well as efficient border management.

For Afghanistan, the problem of narcotics production and trafficking is a by-product of three decades of conflict. Countering this problem requires time, patience, and most importantly, enhanced collaboration between transit- and consuming countries.


The potential for economic growth in our region is enormous. Enhanced and effective cooperation in key fields such as trade, transit, transportation and energy would exponentially contribute to maintaining a virtuous cycle of peace and development in Asia. To this end, Afghanistan is actively working to regain its historic role as a land-bridge connecting south and central Asia with the Middle East. We are looking forward to the implementation of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline for energy transportation to Pakistan and India via Afghanistan. We also look forward to the realization of the Central Asia-South Asia Regional Electricity Market Initiative (CASA 1000).

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The people of Afghanistan appreciate the support of our friends in Asia and beyond in helping us to safeguard our security, territorial integrity, and stability. A stable and prosperous Afghanistan can contribute tremendously to the cause of stability and prosperity in our continent.

To achieve stability and prosperity in Afghanistan, we need enduring peace. Just a few days ago we held a Grand Consultative Assembly aimed at promoting dialogue and consensus-building required for achieving enduring peace. The events of the Grand Assembly fully displayed the unity of purpose and the desire of the Afghan nation for peace.

The participants of the Grand Peace Jirga gave strong recognition to the role that our brotherly Islamic nations can play in peace efforts in our country. They, with gratitude called upon the Custodian of Huramain and Sharifian, His Majesty King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia to continue to support Afghanistan’s efforts for peace and reconciliation. The Grand Assembly also expressed great appreciation to Turkey for facilitating the tripartite dialogue with Pakistan and invited its continued support in this regard.

Ladies and Gentlemen,


Our gathering today is witness to the fact that we are united by common goals to safeguard peace and stability in our continent, and to ensure our peoples’ security, well-being, and dignity. These common goals constitute the corner-stone of our mutual identity.

Let’s build our future on the foundation of this mutual identity with optimism, energy, and confidence.

Thank You.