Saturday, July 30, 2016

Security Council Debate on the Situation in Afghanistan

Statement by H.E. Mahmoud Saikal Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the United Nations

Security Council Debate on the Situation in Afghanistan

21 June 2016

NEW YORK

Check against delivery

بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم

Merci Monsieur le Président. Veuillez accepter mes félicitations pour bien diriger la Conseil de Sécurité ce mois. I express gratitude to the Secretary-General for his recent report on the situation in my country. I would like to thank my friend Mr. Nicholas Haysom for his last briefing as Special Representative of the Secretary General. I pay tribute to his contribution to the life of our country during the crucial years of transition. I would also like to welcome another good friend Ambassador Tadamichi Yamamoto as incoming Special Representative of the Secretary General, whom I have had the pleasure of working with in Kabul.

I also convey my deepest condolences on the tragic Orlando atrocity last week and yesterday’s attacks in Kabul and Badakhshan. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. We welcome the Security Council’s condemnation statement issued on these attacks.

Mr. President,

I am pleased to report that since the March deliberation of the Council on Afghanistan, the country has shown better resilience to counter the ongoing challenges. As I speak here today, we have just left behind us the spring season with high casualties and setbacks for the Taliban and other terrorist groups. Afghanistan’s region, along with international partners, are coming together to give a more collective response to violent extremism and terrorism, emanating from the region. A number of multinational development projects have either come to fruition or have taken off, creating new hope for regional peaceful coexistence, connectivity, and prosperity. Afghanistan and its regional and international partners appear more determined than ever to prevent the continuation of violence to take development hostage. The reemergence of Afghanistan as a symbol of international cooperation and partnership is gaining momentum. Nevertheless, increased civilian casualties, internal displacement and the ramifications of the cowardly behavior of the Taliban and their supporters to compensate for their losses, have been alarming.

Mr. President,

Last winter, the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) comprising of Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, and the United States finalized a roadmap for the peace process. New opportunities were presented to those willing to engage in talks. The QCG members agreed to take all necessary measures against those who refuse to engage in political resolution of the conflict in Afghanistan.

The expectation was that the Taliban would use this opportunity and join the process. Sadly on 12 April they responded with their so-called spring offensive simultaneously across 42 different locations in our country, causing heavy civilian suffering, and proving once again that they are irreconcilable to peaceful political initiatives. Given the brilliant performance of our National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) the Taliban have suffered heavy losses during the first stage of their onslaught. To avenge their losses, the Taliban plotted and claimed responsibility for the deadly Kabul terrorist attack on 19 April, killing and wounding 411, mostly civilians.

On 25 April, President Ashraf Ghani addressed a joint sitting of the National Assembly of Afghanistan. He called on Pakistan to respect the QCG agreements and take action against terrorists who — according to credible intelligence from our own agencies as well as our international partners, also publicly recorded confessions by Pakistani authorities themselves — have their bases and leaders in the neighboring country. He said “if Pakistan refuses to carry out military operations in its soil against the terrorists, then it should surrender them to our courts to face justice”. We believe that there is a need for political will and honest police action — rather than nuclear deals or F-16s — to fulfill the task.

President Ghani added that despite our desire and efforts to advance regional cooperation, we will have no choice but to refer the case to the UN Security Council and take serious diplomatic measures unless there is a change in policy of using terrorist proxies against Afghanistan.

In contrast to the unforthcoming attitude of a certain neighbouring country, other QCG members have remained committed or even given effect to their words. On 22 May Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour was tracked and killed in the Balochistan province of Pakistan by a United States airstrike. The incident also exposed his Pakistani passport with a fake name, using which he had flown numerous times from Pakistani airports. Despite this, the charade of plausible deniability, duplicity, and blame of Afghan weaknesses continues, which must come to an end if we are to succeed in counter-terrorism.

Mr. President,

In the past fifteen years, numerous leading figures of terrorism, including the Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and Taliban leaders Mullah Omar and Mullah Akhtar Mansour have lived and died in Pakistan. The fact that notorious terrorist leaders were found and killed in their safe havens there is a clear proof that the country has violated the sovereignty of other nations. This constitutes a flagrant violation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1373 and Resolution 2255 on the Sanction Regime against the Taliban. We believe that there is an urgent need for proper implementation of the existing counter terrorism resolutions of the UN Security Council.

Mr. President,

Following the failure of their so-called spring offensive, the Taliban have resorted to increasing highway banditry, killing, or kidnapping civilians. In late May, they kidnapped 130 civilian bus passengers in Kunduz, the fate of some of whom is still unknown. Earlier today, the Taliban again took multiple travelers hostage in the province of Helmand.

Meanwhile, provocative actions along the de-facto separation line including illegal construction of military installations, abuse of our nationals and restrictions on trade and transit have escalated by our neighbour. In the past three months, the violation of our sovereignty and territorial integrity continued with over 820 foreign artillery shelling of our eastern provinces of Nangarhar, Khost, Paktika, Kunar and Nouristan, causing civilian casualties and material loss.

Most recently, and in contravention of bilaterally agreed consultation mechanisms, our neighbour attempted to build new infrastructure at Torkham Pass, thereby provoking a needless military clash with casualties on both sides. The situation, a threat to international peace and security, remains tense with devastating impact on trade and transit.

As a responsible member of the UN, and under Article 33 of the UN Charter, Afghanistan has submitted 19 protest notes to Pakistan and summoned its head of mission in Kabul three times in the past three months. Meanwhile, Afghanistan’s Government and parliament have called for diplomatic solution to the illegal construction at Torkham Pass. An Afghan delegation was sent to Islamabad, exploring a diplomatic breakthrough. We hope the voice of reason will prevail but our message is very clear: make no mistake, I repeat, make no mistake, the proud Government and people of Afghanistan have not, do not and will not surrender to intimidation, violence, and aggression. Our history is a testimony to this!

Mr. President,

Apart from the Taliban, the constantly morphing global and regional terrorist groups seek to turn Afghanistan into a launching pad against Central Asia, South Asia, West Asia and the Far East. It is imperative that we remain vigilant and proactive against them. Despite the recent ANDSF heavy blows to ISIL and AL-Qaeda, they continue to position themselves to reemerge in Afghanistan. Al-Qaeda has gone dark and deep. Other regional terrorist networks, with links to Central Asian republics, Chechnya and China are highly active in our region. Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, in coordination with other terror groups, remains a long-term threat to the security and stability of our region. What is more important, most of these terrorist groups and networks enjoy the facilitation and orchestration services of elements within the state structure of Pakistan who believe in the use of violence in pursuit of political objectives. Any country contemplating the use of good and bad terrorists against each other and against others is playing with fire which will catch itself. It is imperative that the international community undertake an initiative to establish objective criteria to identify and confront state sponsorship of terrorism in our neighborhood.

Despite the challenges, Afghanistan remains committed to the peace process with reconcilable Afghan elements in parallel to strengthening its defense and security capabilities. However, it is important that we remain vigilant against the instrumentalisation and misuse of the peace process to buy time and refuel the war machine of the Taliban by their supporters. One can only talk about peace with those who value genuine and results-oriented negotiations, but the world is yet to see sincerity on the part of the Taliban and their supporters.

Here, I must pay particular tribute to the brave men and women of ANDSF. I am pleased to report that ANDSF, despite suffering high casualty rates, continues to move from strength to strength, proving an invaluable asset and partner in the global struggle against terrorism. We are grateful for the continuing partnership of the international community. We welcome last week’s US announcement on further ground and air support to the ANDSF. We are looking forward to the Warsaw Summit of NATO in two weeks time, which will review international support for the Afghan security forces, and reiterate the pledges of our international partners.

Mr. President,

Afghanistan has moved to complete or attain progress on a number of major national and regional projects on energy and trade. Recently, we signed agreement with a Turkish company to explore expanding Kajaki dam in Helmand. Afghanistan and India inaugurated the Salma irrigation and power Dam in Herat. Another historic occasion was the signing of a transit trade agreement for the Chabahar Port between Afghanistan, India, and Iran. We have already started to export agricultural products through this new trade route. Leaders of Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan launched the construction of the CASA1000 project. Afghanistan is determined to continue its outreach to all regional partners for mutual growth and prosperity, but at the same time remains steadfast in not allowing obstructive policies in the neighbourhood to dictate its direction. We are currently working on the development strategy framework, in line with Agenda 2030, to be presented at the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan in October. We look forward to generous investments from the international community towards the implementation of this strategy.

We are committed to the full implementation of the September 2014 Agreement on the formation of the National Unity Government. We are working with all stakeholders to identify and remove the obstacles and expedite the electoral reform and convocation of the constitutional amendment Loya Jirga.

As we approach the Brussels Conference, I am pleased to report that over 90 per cent of Afghanistan’s 2015-2016 commitments in the Self-Reliance through Mutual Accountability Framework (SMAF) are either complete or nearing completion. Afghanistan created the High Council on Governance, Justice and Anti-Corruption which supervises the National Anti-corruption Strategy, and implemented anti-corruption measures in the justice sector, which are bound to improve governance. The Parliament has given vote of confidence to new Ministers of Interior and Defense, Attorney-General and Head of National Directorate of Security.

Mr. President,

Despite rising civilian casualties due to attacks by extremist factions, the determination of ANDSF to protect civilian lives remains steadfast. The Government has reiterated its commitment to promoting human rights and continues to work on revising the penal code, professionalize the Afghan National Police, and submitted its first periodic report to the United Nations Committee Against Torture. Children’s protection units are operational in different regions of the country to prevent recruitment of children in the armed forces. Multiple women’s protection and family guidance centers for survivors of domestic violence are open and functional, which shows the Government’s continued support in rehabilitating victims of violence.

The humanitarian situation remains fragile, with an increase in conflict related displacements in extreme weather conditions. Earlier this year, I was very pleased to sign the Climate Agreement on behalf of my Government, which I believe puts us on the right track to make progress towards environmental and social integrity. Afghanistan is ranked among the most vulnerable countries facing adverse impacts of climate change, and this affects our economic situation as well.

The flight of Afghans still leaving the country remains a cause of concern, along with significant numbers of internally displaced, as against a decrease in voluntary repatriations. Terrorist attacks on various aid organizations have hampered humanitarian assistance in several cases, and rendered refugee resettlement programs more precarious. However, our Government is fully committed to sustainable solutions for the repatriation of Afghan refugees with the support of the international community. I welcome the deliberations at the World Humanitarian Summit, and assure that Afghanistan will work with our international partners to address this serious humanitarian situation.

Mr. President,

According to UNODC’s socioeconomic analysis of its Afghanistan Opium Survey 2015, the estimated gross value of opiates in Afghanistan decreased, which represented seven per cent of the country’s gross domestic product, compared to 13 per cent in 2014. This demonstrates our commitment to curb the menace of narcotics and we will continue to work with the international community to garner support on the Afghan National Drug Action Plan to counter the threat of illicit drugs.

Mr. President,

Let me conclude by saying that 2015, the first post-transition year, was the year of survival for Afghanistan, but 2016 has inaugurated the era of consolidation of the gains that we have collectively made in the past fifteen years. Together, we will pave the way for long term sustainability of progress in our country. Let me thank every one of you around this table and almost all other member states of the UN who have been part of our journey either in sweat and toil or spirit so far.

Thank you.

The High-level Signature Ceremony for Paris Agreement

Statement by H.E. Mahmoud Saikal Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the United Nations

at the High-level Signature Ceremony for Paris Agreement

April 22, 2016

NEW YORK

(Check against delivery)

Mr. Chair,

At the outset, let me thank the Secretary General for convening this important event on today’s historic occasion. The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan aligns itself with the statement delivered by the Kingdom of Thailand on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, and with the statement delivered by the Democratic Republic of the Congo on behalf of the Group of Least Developed Countries.

Mr. Chair, Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentleman,

National statements on the occasion of the High-level signature ceremony for the Paris Agreement Afghanistan

National statements on the occasion of the High-level signature ceremony for the Paris Agreement
Afghanistan

12 December 2015 was a memorable day for the United Nations, its Member States, and the international community. The adoption of the Paris Agreement embodied an act of paramount importance for multilateralism and the path towards a better and sustainable future. Through the Paris Agreement, the world has committed to address climate change, one of the defining issues of our time, in a serious, timely, and comprehensive manner. Today constitutes another historic date as we took the second step towards implementation by signing it. I was proud to participate and to sign on behalf of Afghanistan this morning.

The long term goals agreed in Paris, including the goal of holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C, constitute a milestone achievement as well as a valuable roadmap for the future.

Mr. Chair,

Afghanistan is ranked among the most vulnerable countries facing adverse impacts of climate change, although its people are least responsible for causing the problem in the first place. Afghanistan has extensive development and climate adaptation needs and currently, very low levels of greenhouse gas emissions.

Afghanistan is highly prone to natural disasters throughout its 34 provinces. As a result of climate change, it is anticipated that the incidence of extreme weather events, including heat waves, floods, and droughts will likely increase, as will climate change-linked disasters such as glacial lake outflows. The majority of Afghanistan’s population relies directly on available natural resources for their livelihoods; with these incidents related to climatic change, the foundation of the country’s economy, stability, and food security is under threat.

Mr. Chair,

Despite these challenges, Afghanistan can remain a low emission economy while developing rapidly if extensive financial and other resources are made available to allow the country to successfully develop and implement Low Emission Development Strategies (LEDS) and Highly Effective Adaptation and Development Strategies (HEADS) under the Paris Agreement.

Appropriate and significant support in the form of finance, capacity building, technology and legal assistance is needed for Afghanistan to make substantial progress on social and economic fronts, while maintaining low per capita GHG emission levels.

Mr. Chair, Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentleman,

We believe the Paris Agreement puts us on the right track to finally address the issue of climate change and achieving environmental and social integrity. We look forward to the future UN negotiations to elaborate its details and thoroughly implement its provisions.

To conclude, let me reassure you of the full support and commitment of the National Unity Government of Afghanistan for an active engagement in the successful implementation of the Agreement.

Thank you Mr. Chair.

Security Council Debate on the Situation in Afghanistan

Statement by  H.E. Mahmoud Saikal Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the United Nations

Security Council Debate on the Situation in Afghanistan

15 March 2016

بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم

Thank you Mr. President. I congratulate Angola on its successful leadership of the Council this month. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Nicholas Haysom, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of UNAMA, for his briefing and for his outstanding leadership of the UN’s work in Afghanistan. I thank the Secretary-General for his recent report on the situation in Afghanistan, which offers a lucid overview of the prevailing situation in my country.

 Mr. President,

Since the Council’s last deliberation on Afghanistan in December last year, we have witnessed important gains in several key areas. Enhanced regional and global cooperation has brought renewed hope in our peace efforts with the armed groups; the sustainability and enabling needs of our security forces have received fresh attention with good deliveries from regional and global partners; our security forces have conducted large-scale operations and flushed out terrorists and extremists in several districts and villages across the country; Government inclusivity and social outreach has improved political stability; the Government has met human rights benchmarks through multiple progressive legislations; electoral reform has received fresh momentum; a number of key senior appointments has increased professionalism in governance;  measures to increase revenue mobilization have brought results; increased rate of voluntary return of our nationals prove that more people are returning to Afghanistan; also, there has been substantial reduction in opium cultivation and production. With the Afghan New Year just days away, these developments give hope for more promising times for us.

Mr. President,

The renewal of UNAMA’s mandate is another affirmation of the strong partnership between Afghanistan and the United Nations. On this occasion, we are grateful for the UN’s vital contributions to our security, development, and rehabilitation. We welcome the reflection of the recommendations of the Tripartite Review Commission in the renewed mandate of UNAMA. Using this opportunity, let me thank Ambassador Román Oyarzun Marchesi and his entire team for doing a fantastic job on the negotiations.

With preparations in progress for security, political, and development discussions on Afghanistan at the forthcoming NATO Summit in Warsaw and the Brussels Conference, there are clear signs that Afghanistan once again is turning into a symbol of international cooperation with the National Unity Government as a trusted partner for all. We look forward to continuing our partnership with the international community over the coming years, and are confident that our joint success in stabilizing the situation and achieving peace and prosperity is inevitable.

We continue to face challenges from the Taliban, Daeish, Al-Qaeda, and other violent extremist and terrorist groups. Their human rights violations persisted during the usual winter lull, resulting in high civilian causality rates, massive internal displacement, and increasing instability in different parts of the country. In the face of mounting struggles, Afghans have remained united in a commitment to thwart these groups.

Mr. President,

Following last December’s Ministerial Conference of Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process in Islamabad and its side meetings, increased efforts have aimed to restore peace talks. The Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG), consisting of Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, and the United States, has met four times in two months in Islamabad and Kabul, and succeeded in finalizing a road map for the next steps forward. Moreover, the appointment of a new leadership team for the High Peace Council inside Afghanistan has reinvigorated the promotion of peace. We will spare no efforts to grant our citizens their fundamental right to live peaceful and dignified lives.

Despite these important developments, we are cognizant of the challenges ahead of us. So far, QCG’s call for peace talks have received mixed reactions.  Some groups have expressed readiness to attend the talks, some are weighing their options and some are attempting to raise the stakes. Two weeks ago, Mr. Sartaj Aziz, Foreign Affairs Adviser to Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, publicly stated that his Government had “influence on the Taliban” because their leadership, together with their families, live in Pakistan. Mr. Aziz’s statement speaks volumes about the crucial need for Pakistan to play its role in helping to facilitate direct talks between authorized representatives of the Taliban and the Afghan Government.

We repeat our call to the Taliban to engage in the peace talks and to give up violence. We assure them that they will be among the first beneficiaries of the peace dividend. At the same time, let me make it clear in no uncertain terms, that those elements who choose the path of violence and terror will face the full might of our security forces, and be held accountable, no matter whose protection they enjoy.

Mr. President,

We welcome the growing voice of reason within Pakistan calling for a change in the right direction. In light of that, we want an immediate end to regular incursions along the Durand Line, which cannot and will not be tolerated by Afghanistan. In the last three months alone, we have documented at least 56 instances of violation to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Afghanistan across the Durand Line, breaching article 2 (4) of the UN Charter and contrary to UN resolution 2131. This jeopardizes Afghanistan-Pakistan relations at a time when making peace with Pakistan is essential to making peace with the Taliban.

Mr. President,

Despite our high ambitions and political will, we have realistic expectations from the peace process. Success depends on a number of factors at national, regional, and international levels, including adequate handling of spoilers of peace.

At the national level, violence must decrease so that we can win the confidence of our people, especially women, over the process. Ultimately, the peace process should further unite Afghans rather than divide us. Every effort must be made to eliminate those elements of the armed groups that oppose peace. We anticipate clear and decisive steps towards this objective.

At regional and international levels, we should aim for minimizing negative state rivalries and maximizing cooperation.  States have the right to be concerned about their interests; however, they don’t have the right to pursue them through violent means and proxies in others’ territories. The price of greatness to regional and global powers is responsibility and better coordination of legitimate interests of all. Given its sensitive geostrategic location, history of turmoil and current embroiling with global violent extremism and terrorism, Afghanistan must continue to remain a symbol of international cooperation.

Mr. President,

While we deliberate, terrorists and violent extremist groups, including Daeish and Al-Qaeda, continue to threaten the foundations of our society. Everything we cherish– equality, democracy, justice, and human rights is under attack from their daily onslaught of violence. We are in a constant battle between legality and illegality, civilization and darkness. For our part, we will continue our more than two decade long struggle against the menace of terrorism. We will do so as a matter of national and strategic priority. Having said that, ridding this menace from Afghanistan, our region and beyond, demands more robust efforts, regionally and globally, by all States – particularly those in which extremist groups originate. The time is now to strengthen the overall international architecture against terrorism. Afghanistan has long advocated the conclusion of the draft Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism. As we struggle to reach a common definition of terrorism, we must remind ourselves of the enormous pain and suffering that extremism inflicts on the civilized world. Think about the loved ones of 146 people who have either lost their lives or have become wounded in the terrorist attacks of the past couple of days in Ankara and Ivory Coast.

 This Council should ensure that all States meet their international obligations with respect to implementation of the relevant counter-terrorism and sanction regime resolutions of the General Assembly and Security Council, in particular resolutions 1373, 1624, 2178, 2253 and 2255 and present genuine and regular compliance reports.

Mr. President,

While we press for the success of the Peace Process, Afghanistan must be able to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and protect its citizens. While we agree there is no military solution to the security problems imposed on us, we firmly believe that without an effective defense and security system, there will be no solution.

In the past three months, despite limited resources, the initiative has very much remained in the hands of our security forces. They have had success in a number of provinces including Nangarhar, Baghlan, Helmand, Badakhshan, Takhar, and Faryab. In Helmand, our forces have repelled sizeable enemy attacks, despite sustaining heavy casualties.

However, the cost of war imposed upon us is massive, and way beyond our own capacity. Sustainability, proper training, right enablers, reform, and high morale of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) are crucial in facing the regional and global terror threat.

Lately, the United States, India, China, and the Russian Federation have contributed to the delivery of the right enablers to ANDSF. We are looking forward to the Warsaw Summit of NATO in July, where the long-term sustainability of the ANDSF will be discussed.

Mr. President,

Afghanistan continues to make strides in civilian protection and promotion of human rights, especially protecting the rights of our children, which has always been our priority. We will continue to implement the “Road Map to Compliance” to prevent recruitment of child soldiers, having already endorsed the National Age Assessment Guidelines to ensure we bring an end to practices that put the lives and futures of our children at risk. The recent Afghanistan visit of Ms. Leila Zerrougui, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, provided an excellent opportunity for a first hand assessment of the situation. Our pledge to empower women and ensure their equal rights is bearing fruit. Multiple Government initiatives continue to encourage women’s participation in all sectors while the strengthening of existing laws on violence against women help to create a just society.

In the past three months, we have witnessed multiple attacks on civilians, including slaying of journalists of a popular television network. Following this incident, President Ghani has affirmed his commitment to freedom of expression by issuing a decree to prevent the intimidation.

There is significant political will to consolidate the progress made in the past years. However, the high price paid by Afghans due to the imposed conflict pulls us in a downward spiral. The Council must note that our Government’s policy is to protect civilians at any cost. ANDSF operates under strict rules of engagement based on principles of justifiability and proportionality, provide compensation and support to victims of violence, and never use any civilian facilities for military purposes.

Mr. President,

Afghanistan is currently suffering a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions. The number of internally displaced people is at its highest since 2002, but the rate of voluntary returns under the repatriation program has seen a significant increase since 2014. However, the continuous flow of Afghans out of the country is a source of concern as they contribute to the migrant crisis in Europe, constituting the second largest group of arrivals via the Mediterranean Sea route. Compounding the crisis, several European countries have started rejecting Afghan asylum petitions. It is our Government’s policy to improve conditions in Afghanistan so that we can create economic opportunities and strengthen security, to incentivize people to stay and contribute to their nation. We call upon our friends from the international community to work with us in achieving this goal.

 Mr. President,

Countering the menace of narcotics trade and breaking down the nexus of criminality and drugs are key priorities for us. Our success is evident from the findings of the 2015 Afghanistan Drug Report, which emphasizes significant reductions in opium cultivation and production, and slight increases in drug seizures. We will continue to work with the international community to garner support on the Afghan National Drug Action Plan to counter the threat of illicit drugs.

Mr. President,

 No country can achieve self-reliance without economic self-sufficiency, and Afghanistan has been adopting concrete measures to move in that direction. In line with Sustainable Development Goals, we are in the process of drafting a new National Development Strategy, the guiding document on strategies for security, governance, economic growth, poverty reduction and employment. We are serious in dealing with corruption because it negatively impacts economic growth. In this regard, the Government has implemented multiple anti-corruption strategies, and started programs that would ensure transparency of recruitment in public service and prevent nepotism.

In October, the Brussels 2016 Conference on Afghanistan is expected to convey a message of strong political support for our reform and state building process, commit development assistance in support of Afghanistan’s reform process within an updated Mutual Accountability Framework, and create a political momentum of reinforced regional cooperation. We invite member states to take an active part in this conference as investing in Afghan stability would create safety dividends worldwide.

Thank you Mr. President.