Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Statement by H.E. Salahuddin Rabbani, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan at the High-level Meeting on “Peace-building and Sustaining Peace”

بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم

Excellency, Secretary General of the United Nations,

Excellency, President of the General Assembly, 

Excellencies – Distinguished Heads of States and Governments,

Esteemed Colleagues, 

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

It is an honor to address this Assembly at this High-level gathering for a comprehensive UN approach to achieve a more peaceful world-order, based on the Sustaining Peace agenda.

This vision has taken shape, in response to the evolving nature of challenges that face international peace and security. 

Addressing these challenges demands a more cohesive approach, better suited to advance peace-building from a more holistic perspective. The new approach correctly focuses on preventing the outbreak, exacerbation, continuation and recurrence of conflict; as well as addressing their fundamental drivers and root causes. 

It also highlights the imperative of a more effective development agenda to advance prosperous societies, grounded in the rule of law. In our view, the success of the “sustaining peace agenda” depends on several factors. As a foundational element, States have the responsibility to respect and adhere to the core-tenets of UN Charter for a rules-based international order.   

At times the causes of conflict are distinct, but instability and violence are most common in situations where international norms are violated.  Non-compliance of international law undermines sustainable peace, while compliance and its enforcement help to maintain and bolster peace. 

For the UN to be more efficient, adequate adjustments within the system are essential for optimal output across the peace, security and development pillars. We fully support the Secretary General’s reform agenda, and welcome ongoing progress in that endeavor.  

Mr. President,

Afghanistan has been a key focus in the agenda of the United Nations. 

Our strong partnership with this organization has helped shore up global support, to help us overcome security, social and economic challenges to “sustain peace.” 

Since 2001, we have witnessed the emergence of a democratic Afghanistan, with viable institutions, and a vibrant civil society led by our talented and committed youth.

Despite security challenges, the National Unity Government is consolidating these gains, with a goal of achieving Self-Reliance.

We can say from experience, that international engagement in conflict or post-conflict settings should endure, until the fundamental factors of instability are resolved, and the situation is fully stabilized. 

This will consolidate peace gains and leave minimal space for a relapse to violence and conflict. 

Mr. President, 

The proliferation of new conflicts and deterioration of old ones has led to a more fragile international landscape. It shows that measures are needed to correct shortcomings in the area of prevention and root causes of conflict.  

While the nature of conflicts sometimes varies, terrorism and violent extremism remain a common security threat in many such situations.

Afghanistan is engaged in the simultaneous task of fostering peace, while also combating a vicious network of terrorist groups, supported in the region, which operate to keep Afghanistan off-balance and disrupt our stability. 

Decisive action is needed to combat all forms and shades of terrorism, without any distinction. 

The establishment of the UN Office on Counter-Terrorism is an important development, in the context of UN reform.

We hope it triggers new levels and modes of cooperation with member-states, especially those most affected by terrorism. 

The overall focus should be ensuring timely and proper action in honoring counter-terrorism obligations – under the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. 

In the area of prevention, more needs to be done to detect and resolve triggers before they lead to an outbreak of conflict. 

Moreover, the UN’s response should adjust to diverse conflict situations – be they internal, regional or international in character.  

Mr. President,

Proper attention must also be given to the imperative of eradicating poverty; generating economic opportunities and embedding a culture of respect for the rule of law. 

The reform proposals for the UN Development System can avoid duplication of efforts and establish clear parameters for division of labor.  

We believe the design and delivery of development assistance must adjust to evolving situations and new ground realities, as countries consolidate institutions and designate development goals.  

We know that adherence to the principle of “national ownership” directly impacts optimal effect of development aid.  

Afghanistan has also been a strong advocate of the ONE-UN approach, which has gained new focus in the context of the UN’s activities in our country.

Mr. President,

Afghanistan is well aware of the complexities associated with the task of peace-building. This challenging but noble endeavor is never void of obstacles and setbacks along the way. 

We can attest that with strong political will, national consensus and international support for peace efforts, success is possible.  

Under the Kabul Process for Peace and Security, we have spearheaded new momentum in our Afghan-led peace efforts for a political settlement to the current conflict. The peace offer made by President Ghani in February offers new incentives.

It also incorporates the principles of national ownership and inclusivity, especially the proactive role of women in all stages of the process, including decision-making.  

We are also benefiting from contributions of civil society and religious figures in the process. This embodies the “whole of society approach,” highlighted in the General Assembly and Security Council resolutions.

We urge all stakeholders, including regional countries to contribute to our Afghan-led peace process to help generate an enabling environment for direct and result-oriented talks.  

Mr. President,

In conclusion, the commitments we make in this Conference will provide the foundation for a more effective international framework for sustaining peace. We must strive to uphold uniform principles and norms governing international law; and strengthen and  expand new partnerships in support of a more effective and coherent UN approach. 

Indeed, doing so will certainly help ensure a just and lasting peace that holds and endures for all of humanity. 

Thank You Mr. President.

High-level event to launch the International Decade for Action, “Water for Sustainable Development” (2018–2028)

STATEMENT BY H.E. Mr. Mahmoud Saikal

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

at the High-level event to launch the International Decade for Action, “Water for Sustainable Development” (2018–2028)

 

(Check against delivery)

23 March 2018

NEW YORK

Madame President,

At the outset, I would like to thank H.E. Miroslav Lajčák, President of the General Assembly, for convening this important meeting. I also take this opportunity to commend the leadership of the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan for working on this issue and bringing it to the General Assembly’s attention. My delegation associates itself with the statements delivered by Egypt on behalf of the Group of 77 and China and Paraguay on behalf of the Group of Landlocked Developing Countries. I would now like to deliver few remarks in my national capacity.

Madame President,

Water is the lifeblood of people all over the world, encompassing all aspects of human life on earth. We warmly welcome the adoption of the International Decade for Action, “Water for Sustainable Development” 2018–2028, as safe water and adequate sanitation for all, elements at the core of Sustainable Development Goal 6, will be indispensable to achieve the 2030 Agenda.

I would like to highlight a few key points:

  1. In Landlocked Developing Countries and countries prone to droughts the importance of water can hardly be overstated. We consider effective water management as key for eradication of poverty, agricultural and industrial development, energy production, and the creation of healthy ecosystems. Furthermore, climate change, the increased frequency of floods and droughts, and conflict are disrupting water management systems. Through this second International Decade for Action we can ensure these pressing issues are properly and fully addressed.

 

  1. For Afghanistan, data collection efforts related to water sources and water availability, the provision of technical support and expertise in water management practices, and reinvigorated and strengthened water diplomacy are some of the most important aspects for this International Decade for Action to be a success. In this regard, the sustained and intensified support of the international community is needed more than ever. These efforts need to be underlined by increased investments for activities targeted at developing facilities for providing access to fresh water and sanitation and strengthening national and regional water management systems.

 

  1. It is crucial to analyze in detail the nexus between rapid urbanization and water management. In many cities in developing countries, the provision of water services is heavily under stress because of the rapidly rising demand for water, and Afghanistan is no exception. This phenomenon leads in many instances to water scarcity and shortages in the provision of water-related services. It is fundamental to implement an integrated approach to urban water management in line with the Habitat III New Urban Agenda.

Madame President,

In conclusion, let me reassure you of my Government’s commitment to make this International Decade for Action, “Water for Sustainable Development” 2018–2028 a successful initiative. My Delegation stands ready to make the best use of this opportunity to achieve SDG6 and bring us closer to realizing the vision outlined in the 2030 Agenda.

I thank you.

International Day of Nowruz

STATEMENT BY H.E. Mahmoud Saikal  

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

International Day of Nowruz

20 March 2018

NEW YORK

(check against delivery)

 

بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم

Excellencies, Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Watching the videos reminded me of a famous Afghan proverb:

“شنیده کی بود مانند دیده”

What you hear can never be the same as what you see.

After what you have seen from the delightful videos screened today, there isn’t much left for me to say. However, on this auspicious occasion, allow me to share just a few words. First, on behalf of myself, my Mission staff, and the Government and people of Afghanistan, let me congratulate my colleague Ambassadors and all Nowruz celebrating nations on the occasion of the start of our New Year. I convey my special greetings to fellow Afghans present here (سلام هموطنان عزیز، نوروز تان مبارک). I would like to thank the Secretary-General, the GA President, and the UNESCO Director for their kind remarks and also warmly welcome the presence of all others from around the world here today.

In our region, the celebration of Nowruz goes back to thousands of years in time.  Nowruz is a time of joy and festivity among different ethnic, linguistic, religious, and geographic groups. This special occasion helps bring people together in its spirit of joy, friendship, compassion, co-existence, and solidarity. During recent years, there have been collective celebrations in capitals around our region, which has boosted the spirit of better cooperation in pursuit of shared prosperity across the wider region. From the broader perspective, Nowruz enables people to come together and spread the values of community and a shared cultural heritage.

The onset of Nowruz is eagerly awaited by our people throughout winter. During this time, taking away the gloom and decay of the cold season, nature gives way to the bounties of spring. Nowruz symbolizes a time of renewal, revitalization and above all, the start of a new phase, manifested in hope, openness, prosperity and peace. This is our collective memory and shared tradition, as a nation and people, of this beloved day.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Despite hardships and challenges, this Nowruz in Afghanistan, we have extended an unprecedented offer of peace to those who have thus far acted to conduct violence and terror against our innocent and peace-loving people. We hope, this time around, our peace offer, enjoying the overwhelming support of the international community, will produce positive outcomes. The Taliban have a unique opportunity to abandon violence, pursue their interests through democratic and legal means, and work for a just and inclusive peace.

Now that Nowruz has ushered in the year 1397 in our calendar, we are hopeful that the New Year in Afghanistan, our region, and beyond brings renewed hope, stability and prosperity for our collective civilization, irrespective of linguistic, religious and other differences. On that basis, let us strive more to foster new and strengthen existing bonds of friendship, solidarity and compassion for a more peaceful and prosperous world for all.

Thank you and I wish you a very happy Nowruz.

Permanent Mission of Afghanistan