Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Security Council on the Situation in Afghanistan

Statement by H.E. Dr. Zahir Tanin
Permanent Representative to the United Nations
at the Security Council
on the Situation in Afghanistan

15 October 2007

Mr. President,

Allow me to begin by congratulating you on your assumption of the Presidency of the Council for the month of October. I wish to express our appreciation for convening today’s important meeting. We are also thankful to the Special Representative of the Secretary General, Mr. Tom Koenigs, for his detailed briefing.

I should also like to express my delegations appreciation to the Secretary General for his recent report on Afghanistan, which offers a comprehensive overview of the overall situation in the country.

Mr. President,

Less than a month ago, we gathered in the special high-level meeting on Afghanistan, co-hosted by the Secretary General and H.E. President Karzai, prior to the general debate of the 62nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly. The meeting, which brought together Ministers of Foreign Affairs and senior representatives of the 22 member-states of the JCMB and various international organizations, was another opportunity to assess ways of enhancing greater coordination of international efforts for strengthening peace, stability and development in Afghanistan.

We were pleased with the outcome of the meeting, which gave testimony to the overwhelming consensus among member-states on the need to keep Afghanistan among the top priorities of the international community and the United Nations. We also welcome the unity with which participants reiterated the need for improved strategic coordination in four key areas of security, counter-narcotics, regional cooperation and governance. Such coordination is fundamental for achieving the vision of the Afghanistan Compact.

Mr. President,

Significant gains have been made in Afghanistan since the signing of the Bonn Agreement six years ago. Thanks to the support of this Council and other partners in the international community, Afghanistan no longer serves as a base for international terrorists; rather it has become the front line from which countries have joined hands in the fight against terrorism. We have regained our legitimacy among the responsible members of the international community and continue to make steady progress in consolidating our democratic institutions.

At the same time, we should not lose sight of the fact that daunting challenges continue to face a stable and prosperous Afghanistan. That is why we continue to focus on defeating terrorism, strengthening the rule of law, enhancing the reconstruction process and ridding our society from the menace of narcotics as our top priorities.

Terrorism stands forefront among our challenges. Recent events of the past two weeks are a clear illustration of the ongoing campaign of the enemies of peace in Afghanistan, aimed at destabilizing the situation. In their most recent acts of sheer brutality, terrorists carried out suicide bombings in the frontier town of Spin Boldak and the Afghan capital, targeting civilians and members of the national army and police. The carnage was a stark reminder of the continuing challenge facing the people of Afghanistan to live in peace and security. At least 80 civilians have lost their lives from suicide attacks in September. Additional attacks have come in the form of increased use of sophisticated explosive devices; abductions, daily attacks on schools, health-centers, government officials and humanitarian aid workers. Terrorists have also resorted to the brutal tactic of launching attacks from civilian populations and use of human shields during counter-terrorism operations which constitutes the main cause of loss of civilian life.

I should like to reaffirm here that such heinous acts will in no way weaken our resolve to achieve our stated goals. That is why our security forces continue to serve in the most difficult of conditions, alongside forces of our international partners to consolidate security throughout the country. Over recent months, we have made much substantial progress in weakening the command and control structure of terrorist networks in Afghanistan. Joint combat operations by Afghan and international forces resulted in the capture and elimination of an unprecedented number of senior-level commanders of the Taliban and extremists. As a case in point, the deaths of Mullah Akhtar Osmani and Mullah Dadullah during combat operations early this year were among numerous achievements in the fight against terrorism. In this regard, we remain concerned over the increased use of foreign extremist elements in the campaign of terror against our people.

We have also taken action to strengthen the sanctions regime against terrorists, in accordance with Security Council resolution 1267. Just last month, Sirajuddin Haqqani, the mastermind behind numerous suicide bombings in various parts of the country was enlisted in the consolidated list of the 1267 Committee, at the request of the Afghan Government.

Mr. President,

Improving overall security in Afghanistan is dependent on a variety of factors. Ensuring a fully efficient and operational national army and police is vital to our fight against terrorism. Despite substantial progress in reforming our security institutions, and increasing the size of our national army and police, we call for continued assistance for the training and strengthening of our security forces.
Meanwhile, it has also become evident that addressing terrorism and improving security in Afghanistan will not be achieved by military means alone. While the military campaign remains an important pillar in the fight against terrorism, we must also redouble our efforts in all aspects of a comprehensive strategy to achieve long-term security and stability. We must focus greater on expediting the delivery of basic services and create employment opportunities through large-scale reconstruction and development projects to bring real change in the lives of our citizens. In doing so, we will prevent the possibility of subversive elements enjoying local sympathies. In this regard, we call on our international partners to ensure greater military coordination with Afghan security forces during combat operations to prevent loss of civilian life.

Furthermore, more must be done to address terrorism across regional and international dimensions. The presence of terrorist infrastructure outside Afghanistan’s territory is a source of continuing concern to Afghanistan. As it was stated by H.E. President Karzai during his address during the general debate of the 62nd Session of the General Assembly, and I quote “[M]ay I emphasize…that we were the prime victim of terrorism and that terrorism was never, nor is it today, a homegrown phenomenon in Afghanistan. Therefore, this threat can only be overcome if addressed across its regional and international dimensions…Consistent with our expressed belief in the past, we remain convinced that tolerating the presence of sanctuaries and terrorist infrastructure will only broaden the scope of terrorism.,”[end of quote].

As part of the initiative to ensure long-term stability, Afghanistan continues to focus on reconciliation as a measure to encourage “non-terrorist Taliban” to refrain from subversive activities and join the process of building a prosperous Afghanistan. Such measures, which are welcome by our people, continue within the framework of a comprehensive national reconciliation strategy. In this regard, we are working with the 1267 Committee of the Security Council to update and improve the quality of the consolidate list.

Mr. President,

Regional cooperation is indispensable for success in achieving and stability in Afghanistan. We have witnessed greater consensus in our neighborhood on the notion that a peaceful and stable Afghanistan will serve a precondition for the security and prosperity of all countries of the region. Over the past year, we have maximized our efforts to consolidate relations with our neighbors and the wider region in the areas of security, trade, investment, border cooperation and counter-narcotics. The Sixth meeting of the JCMB, held in Kabul on the 3rd of October was an important step towards advancing regional cooperation in various key areas.

As a country that once served as a land-bridge connecting cultures, countries and civilizations, Afghanistan is surely but gradually reassuming its role in promoting trade and development in the region. In this regard, I am pleased to announce that we are preparing to host the up-coming international meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) in the historic city of Herat on the 19th of this month. This Conference will be the first of its kind in one of the historic provinces of Afghanistan.

The recently convened Afghanistan-Pakistan Jirga just over a month ago was the most recent of numerous initiatives by Afghanistan to strengthen cooperation between our two countries to jointly address the threat of terrorism in Afghanistan and the region. We have every reason to believe that the gathering will yield the anticipated results. The historic gathering was a complement to ongoing consultations between Pakistan and Afghanistan, within the framework of the Tri-partite Commission.

The issue of narcotics is another major challenge facing Afghanistan. A combination of factors have attributed to why this menace remains a concern to Afghanistan and our international partners. It has become evident that eliminating the scourge of narcotics from our society and region is an endeavor, unattainable by Afghanistan alone. Real progress towards reduction and elimination requires a more robust effort from transit and consuming countries. Greater focus should also be given to break the link between production, trafficking of illegal drugs and financing of terrorist activities.
Mr. President,
In adopting the Afghanistan Compact, we committed to a second phase of cooperation with our international partners to consolidate our achievements. Having reached a turning point in the effort to achieve a stable and prosperous Afghanistan, the time has come for us to redouble our focus on the implementation of the Compact. Our progress in various areas is highlighted in each meeting of the Joint Coordinating Monitoring Board, which remains the principal mechanism facilitating and monitoring cooperation between the international community and Afghanistan. Nevertheless, there is room for improvement. Additional measures are necessary if we are to ensure meeting the goals of the Compact by designated timelines. In this context, we highlight the need to exert greater effort to improve the effectiveness, accountability, and utilization of development assistance.

While expressing gratitude to our international partners for their assistance to Afghanistan, we emphasize the need to ensure delivery of pledges in a timely manner. Also essential is the need for increased financial assistance for achieving our development goals.

If we are to accomplish tangible results across key pillars of the Compact, we must ensure greater coordination of international assistance to Afghanistan. We call on our international partners to increase their level of coordination and cooperation among themselves and with the Afghan government through periodic meetings of the JCMB. In this regard, we commend the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan for its continuing commitment to implement effective coordination of the international community’s efforts with Afghanistan.

We are also thankful to the Council for its adoption of S.C. resolution 1776, extending the mandate of the International Security Assistance Forces for an additional year. In this regard, allow me to express our appreciation to all those countries that have committed troops and resources to ISAF for the consolidation of peace and stability in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan greatly values the ongoing role of the United Nations in the effort to secure peace and stability in the country. We welcome the expansion of UNAMA’s presence to additional parts of the country as a clear sign of the United Nations’ effort to reach out to various parts of the country. I would like to also seize this opportunity to express my delegation’s appreciation to the Secretary General for his personal engagement and commitment to improve the situation in Afghanistan, as illustrated by his visit to Kabul in the month of June and initiative to convene the high-level meeting on Afghanistan on the 23rd of September.

I would like to express our appreciation to our international partners for their ongoing commitment to Afghanistan. We remain confident that, together, we will fulfill our common vision of a peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan. In conclusion, we also pay a special tribute to Mr. Tom Koenigs for tireless efforts during his tenure as Special Representative of the Secretary General in Afghanistan. We wish him every success in his future endeavors.
Thank you Mr. President.

Statement by H.E. Dr. Zahir Tanin Permanent Representative to the UN At the Third Committee

Statement by H.E. Dr. Zahir Tanin
Permanent Representative to the UN
At the Third Committee
Mr. Chairman,

Allow me at the outset to congratulate you and members of the Bureau for your election. We are fully confident that under your able leadership the third committee will accomplish its task successfully.

Let me also extend my appreciation to Mr. Antonio Maria Costa, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) for his comprehensive and detailed report. Under the energetic leadership of Mr. Costa, UNODC is committed to assist Member States in their struggle against illicit drugs, crime and terrorism.

UNODC is supporting the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan particularly the Ministry of Counter Narcotics in elaboration of strategic guidelines and mobilization of resources to address problems of production and trafficking of drugs.

Mr. Chairman,

Afghanistan is strongly committed to fighting narcotics alongside terrorism through a combination of law enforcement and economic measures. We share the concern of the International Community on this issue and expect that it will continue to support us in this fight by assisting us to implement an effective and comprehensive counter narcotics strategy.

Cognizant of the devastating effects of narcotics on our society, the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan adopted its National Drug Control Strategy in January 2006 at the international London Conference on Afghanistan. The National Drug Control Strategy outlines the following eight pillars for combating and ultimately ending the illicit narcotic track in Afghanistan;

• Alternative livelihoods
• Building institutions
• Information campaign
• Drug law enforcement
• Criminal justice
• Eradication
• Drug Demand Reduction and treatment of addicts
• Regional cooperation

Mr. Chairman,

The Afghanistan’s opium survey released in august 2007 reported an increase in opium poppy cultivation by 17 percent and potential opium production of 34 percent. Continued terrorist activity, extreme poverty, economic reasons, and pressures from traffickers and local criminal groups have been considered as causes of expansion of poppy cultivation.

The inextricable nexus between insecurity and narcotics necessitates a holistic approach to effectively address the issue of narcotics in our society and region. In this regard, it is noteworthy to mention that the 14 provinces which have become free of poppy cultivation are provinces in which security and governance have significantly improved, while poppy cultivation has significantly increased in those provinces that have seen a deterioration of the security situation. Therefore, as part of the comprehensive campaign against the scourge of narcotics, we should also focus on breaking the nexus between narcotics and terrorism simultaneously, as mutually reinforcing factors.

In this context, we would like to emphasize on a crucial point that has also been asserted by the communiqué of the High Level Meeting on Afghanistan held on September 23rd at the United Nations; “it is imperative to underline the link between the production and trafficking of illegal drugs and the financing of terrorists activities, and agreed that breaking this linkage is vital to creating a stable, prosperous and democratic Afghanistan”.

Mr. Chairman,

We are thankful to the international community for its commitment to collectively support increased Afghan government efforts to fight the poppy cultivation in province where it has expanded and to reward provinces and districts where poppy is not grown, to interdict, arrest and prosecute drug traffickers and corrupt officials, to pursue targeted eradication of poppy crops and to deliver effective rural development throughout Afghanistan.

Mr. Chairman,

Afghanistan is a landlocked country, traffickers transport drug consignment from Afghanistan through our neighboring countries and other transit states to the European markets. It is therefore evident a successful and efficient fight against narcotics will require an equal effort by transit and consuming countries, on the basis of the principle of shared responsibility. Strong enforcement measures for the control of borders and mutual cooperation among judicial and law enforcement authorities of theses countries would contribute highly to the fight against narcotic drugs. In this regard, we welcome the trilateral agreement signed by Afghanistan, the Islamic Republic of Iran and Pakistan in June 2007 committing the countries to carry out more joint border operations and increase information sharing.
Thank you Mr. Chairman

United Nations at the Security Council on agenda item: “Briefing by Chairmen of Subsidiary Bodies of the Security Council.”

Statement of Dr. Zahir Tanin
Permanent Representative of Afghanistan
to the United Nations at the Security Council
on agenda item: “Briefing by Chairmen of Subsidiary Bodies
of the Security Council.”

Mr. President,

As this is the first time that I am taking the floor during this month, I would like to begin by congratulating you on your assumption of the Presidency of the Council for the month of May. We commend you and your delegation for the excellent manner in which have led the work of the Council. We are also appreciative to your predecessor, Ambassador Emery Jones Parry of the United Kingdom for his skillful leadership of the Council in the previous month.

We are also thankful to the Chairmen of the Counter-terrorism Committees, established pursuant to Security Council resolutions 1267 (1999), 1373 (2001) and 1540 (2004) for their comprehensive briefings on recent activities undertaken to realize the mandate of the respective Committees.

Mr. President,

The adoption of a Global Counter-terrorism Strategy by the General Assembly in September 2006 was a significant step forward towards strengthening the resolve of the international community to address the global threat of international terrorism. In this regard, we are pleased to note that over recent years, the Security Council has increased its vital role in achieving that objective. Such measures have come in the form of adopting additional resolutions of the Council related to international terrorism, including S.C. resolutions 1624, 1730 and 1735.

We welcome such measures and remain committed to work together with member-states and the relevant organs and agencies of the United Nations to ensure the implementation of the relevant resolutions of both the Security Council and General Assembly on this issue.

Mr. President,

Afghanistan remains a prime victim of terrorism, as terrorist attacks committed by the enemies of peace and stability in Afghanistan continues to disrupt the daily lives of our people. The level of terrorist related violence has increased significantly since last year. These attacks are targeting a wide spectrum of society; school teachers, clerics, health workers, educational institutions; our national army and police, as well as personnel of the ISAF and coalition forces. Increasingly brutal tactics such as the targeting of civilian populations, suicide bombings and beheadings have become prevalent over recent months. Just two days ago, a vicious suicide attack was carried out in the southern province of Gardez, killing 14 civilians and wounding more than 31 bystanders. This heinous act took place subsequent to two other attacks conducted in Kandahar and Kunduz provinces which took the lives of 10 civilians, 3 German soldiers of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and 11 officers of the Afghan national police. The horrific events of the past few days are a stark reminder of the continuing campaign of the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and other extremists in their effort to destabilize the country.

Defeating terrorism remains a precondition for achieving a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan. The prevailing security challenges will not weaken our resolve to eliminate this scourge from our society and achieve our stated goals with the support of our international partners.

The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan condemns international terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, committed by whomever, whenever and whatever purpose. In its firm determination to combat terrorism, the Government of Afghanistan has undertaken a series of substantial measures at the national, regional and international level towards the implementation of the relevant international conventions and resolutions of the Security Council and General Assembly dealing with terrorism. We have submitted two national reports to the 1373 Committee and are in the process of preparing a third report. We have also presented a report to the Security Council Committee, established pursuant to resolution 1267.

Mr. President,

The 1267 Committee sanctions regime remains an essential tool of the Security Council in combat against terrorism. Afghanistan welcomes the Committees recent progress in updating its Guidelines and the adoption of Security Council resolutions 1730 which calls for the creation of a focal point within the Secretariat to receive delisting requests from States. The adoption of resolution 1735 was another important initiative as it seeks to improve the quality of the consolidated list.

Country visits by Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team of the 1267 Committee is one of the most effective means of monitoring implementation measures and to enhance dialogue with member-states. We were pleased at the outcome of the visit of the Monitoring Team of the 1267 Committee to Kabul, Afghanistan from the 8th – 15h of this month. The Monitoring Team held constructive meetings with senior officials at the Ministries of Defense, Justice, Foreign Affairs and Interior. Additional meetings were held with the head of the National Reconciliation Commission and members of both the National Security Directorate and National Security Council to discuss issues related to updating and improving the quality of the consolidated list. We are confident that the recent visit of the Monitoring Team will assist the Committee to update the list so as to reflect new developments in the Afghanistan and the region.

We commend the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) for its continued assistance provided to states to strengthen their counter-terrorism legislation through its Executive Directorate. In this regard, we are pleased to note the intention of the Executive Directorate to conduct a follow-up visit to Kabul, Afghanistan in the coming months. The visit will offer another opportunity for us to provide a first hand account of our counter-terrorism measures, particularly in the areas of anti-terrorism legislation, border control and practice, as well as police and law enforcement. It will also be useful in assessing and identifying areas where technical assistance is required to strengthen existing counter-terrorism legislation and mechanisms within the relevant institutions and agencies.

Mr. President,

Regional cooperation is indispensable to eliminate terrorism from Afghanistan and the region, given the cross-border nature of our security challenges. Our efforts alone, no matter how robust and effective, will not suffice without an equal effort from regional actors. We continue to maintain constructive cooperation within regional and bilateral mechanisms to effectively combat terrorism in Afghanistan and the region. Consultations continue between Afghanistan and Pakistan within various frameworks. The Ankara Summit between the Heads of State of the two countries which took place from 29-30 April provided another opportunity to strengthen regional cooperation in the combat against terrorism. We remain confident of the Summits successful outcome. We also welcome the initiative of the G-8 to facilitate enhanced collaboration between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Furthermore, I am also pleased to inform that subsequent to the second preparatory meeting of the Jirgah commissions, held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan on the 3rd of May, it was decided that the Peace Jirgah of tribal and community leaders from both sides of the border will be convened in the first week of August 2007.

In the face of ongoing threats posed by international terrorists, a more robust effort on the part of member-states, the United Nations, and relevant regional and sub-regional organizations is required to meet the challenge of combating terrorism. My delegation notes with satisfaction the increased coordination between the three counter-terrorism committees of the Council.

To conclude, I would like to express and reaffirm our steadfast commitment in the combat against terrorism. We remain resolute to achieve the full implementation of the relevant resolutions of this Council dealing with terrorism.

Thank you Mr. President.

Permanent Mission of Afghanistan