Thursday, July 28, 2016

Countering the Narratives and Ideologies of Terrorism

Statement of Mr. Nazifullah Salarzai Minister, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the United Nations

At the Security Council Open Debate on “Countering the Narratives and Ideologies of Terrorism”

11 May 2016

NEW YORK

Thank you Mr. President.

I would like to thank Egypt for its leadership of the Council this month, and for organizing this important debate. Afghanistan aligns itself with the statement delivered by the Permanent Representative of the State of Kuwait on behalf of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

Mr. President,

Let me be brief and to the point. Much was discussed during the day about the internal factors to do with countering the narratives and ideologies of terrorism. While we agree with most of what’s been said, let me focus on the external factors in case of Afghanistan and remind this Council that the creation of the Taliban in Afghanistan in 1994 opened the current tragic chapter of terrorism in the world. Before the crafting of the Taliban, terror in its current behavior and form was little known to the world. The Taliban came into existence before groups like Al-Qaida, Al-Shabab, Boko Haram and Daish gained notoriety. In a way, it was the Taliban and their backers who characterized the kind of terror that we witness today from various violent extremist groups.

Mr. President,

In the current global climate of unspeakable brutality committed by these terrorist outfits, let us not forget that it was the Taliban who stoned women to death; it was the Taliban who closed girls’ schools, thereby denying millions of girls from their right to education; it was the Taliban who prevented women from pursuing a livelihood; it was them who introduced suicide attacks on civilians and destroyed towns and villages in Afghanistan. One can easily trace how the Taliban, with foreign support, started promoting Al-Qaida, Daish, and their type of divisive and hateful ideology.

Since the Taliban mushroomed overnight in the landscape of Afghanistan, our entire population has been brutalized in their hands. The latest attack came three weeks ago, where an indiscriminate brutal bombing in Kabul led to the death of 68 people and wounded 350. But their vicious bloodlust has never been limited to Afghanistan. Let us not forget that it was under the Taliban that Afghanistan became the jumping board for international terrorism, when thousands of young men received training and logistical support in terrorist camps. This was the precursor of today’s terrorists carrying out deadly attacks in Asia, Europe, U.S, Middle East, Africa and elsewhere.

So the question is how and why did the Taliban come into being? We need to ask ourselves how did they learn to drive tanks and fly jets overnight, stage conventional warfare, and capitalize on prolonged political conflict in our country? Who trained them? Who provided them with supplies? Who financed them? Who provided them with safe havens and orchestrated their spring offensives year after year?

Religious outfits and sloganism, as well as taking advantage of the weaknesses emerging from the prolonged conflict in Afghanistan were the cheapest and easiest ways to recruit for the ranks and files of the Taliban. In this case, ideology and violent behavior were used in pursuit of political objectives by circles within state structures outside of our frontiers.

The question should be what motivated and still continues to motivate these circles to use violence through proxies in pursuit of political objectives at national, regional, and global levels? Three causes can be identified: 1) negative state rivalry in the region with excessive anxiety and suspicion of one state over the other, resulting in adoption of wrong policies; 2) tension between military and civilian control in politics, an inherent struggle emerging from militarism in society; and 3) states’ trust deficit that prevents constructive dialogue. Hence, in our case, it is not the ideology but the initiation, enabling, and facilitation role of political actors and their use of radical ideology for short term gains that need to be addressed. Targeting the promoters and drivers of such policies, who use violence in pursuit of political objectives within the state structures, especially in the security apparatus, is absolutely crucial to deal with the threats of violent extremism. In this regard, it must be mentioned that differentiation between good and bad terrorists by few actors is futile since terrorism in all forms is inherently appalling and must be condemned.

Mr. President,

In Afghanistan, we have witnessed how terrorists and violent extremist groups take advantage of prolonged and unresolved conflicts, lack of minimal peace and security, and most importantly, of negative competition between states to push forward their brutal agenda. The world today is in dire need of reducing state rivalries and addressing trust deficits. In this regard, regional countries and international actors bear particular responsibility for assisting countries in strife in returning to peace.

In conclusion, Afghanistan reiterates its commitment to engage constructively with the United Nations and other international partners to discuss counter-terrorism measures, including the upcoming bi-annual review of the Global Counter Terrorism strategy. We hope to achieve tangible results at the end of the review process.

Thank you Mr. President.

Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism

Statement of The Islamic of Republic of Afghanistan Delivered by Mohammad Taqi Khalili Deputy Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the UN
At the Sixth Committee (68th UNGA) on Agenda Item:110  Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism

Mohammad Taqi KhaliliThank you Mr. Chairman,

We join other delegations in congratulating you on your election to the Chairmanship of the Sixth Committee. We look forward to working closely with you in the way forward, and assure you of our full support and cooperation.

We align ourselves with the statements delivered on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation, and the Non-Aligned Movement.

Afghanistan condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. By now, we all are convinced this evil phenomenon is global in nature, and to be defeated, requires a concerted and unified approach.

Mr. Chairman,

Afghanistan continues to be one of the main victims of terrorism. Despite the major transformation in Afghan society towards democratization, substantial improvements in the health and education sectors, the building of our infrastructure, and advances in fundamental freedoms and liberties, our people still suffer from the horror of terrorism. The evil desire of terrorists to prevent our success, a peaceful and stable Afghanistan, has yet to be abandoned.

Nevertheless, our commitment to defeating this scourge at the national, regional and international level is as strong as ever. Our counter-terrorism approach constitutes a core pillar of our national security strategy. Through the security transition, our security forces have taken charge of security responsibilities throughout the country. Our national army and police are in the front line of all counter-terrorism operations. In this respect, scores of terrorists and enemy combatants have been killed, captured and brought to justice. Moreover, hundreds of terrorist plots were averted in various parts of the country.

Our people have suffered immensely in terms of human and material loss. We have lost thousands of our soldiers and officers in our struggle against terrorism. And many more were maimed and wounded. In our pursuit of a lasting peace in our country, our counter-terrorism efforts will continue unabated.

Having said that, we hope to see concrete efforts for the elimination of terrorist sanctuaries and support centers located outside Afghanistan, which represent the main source of the violence and terror in our country.

Experience has shown that our region is particularly prone to the menace of terrorism. We in Afghanistan see regional cooperation to be a necessity to rooting out terrorism in our part of the world. In this respect, we are working closely with our immediate and distant neighbors, bilaterally, trilaterally and through other initiatives, such as the Istanbul Process.

We are encouraged by the outcome of President Karzai’s recent visit to Pakistan, where detailed discussions were held on enhancing joint efforts to defeat terrorism, and advance our Afghan-led peace and reconciliation process.

Mr. Chairman,

The dangerous link between terrorism and organized crime remains a serious concern to Afghanistan. These two perils are mutually reinforcing, and must be given equal attention. In this regard, we emphasize that the problem of narcotic drugs can only be effectively addressed through a comprehensive and holistic approach, dealing with all aspects of the problem – production, trafficking and consumption. We highlight, in this respect, enhanced efforts at the regional level to curtail trafficking. This will be essential to defeating the drug problem.

Mr. Chairman,

All States are obligated to fulfill their responsibility to combat international terrorism. In this respect, we underscore full compliance with, and implementation of relevant General Assembly and Security Council resolutions. These include the Declaration on Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism, adopted by UN General Assembly resolution 49/60, and Security Council resolution 1373, which call on states to refrain from providing support and assistance to terrorists.

We continue to adjust our national counter-terrorism legislation, to correspond with international legal frameworks to combat terrorism. We commend the important work being done by the Counter-Terrorism Prevention Branch of UNODC. Our national counter-terrorism practitioners are taking part in a number of counter-terrorism workshops and seminars, focusing on capacity-building. We are steadily strengthening our capacity, and working to implement the 13 international conventions and protocols dealing with terrorism, to which we are party.

Mr. Chairman,

We fully support the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, representing the overall framework for international efforts to defeat terrorism. We welcome the outcome of the 3rd Review in June of last year, and look forward to the 4th review. We concur with the assessment that the Strategy should be implemented in a balanced manner, with due consideration to all 4 pillars.

The work of the counter-terrorism committees 1267/1989, 1373 and 1540 are at the center of the Security Council counter-terrorism focus. For our part, we have increased inter-agency coordination, to ensure consistent reporting on implementation to relevant Security Council committees.

Mr. Chairman,

The creation of the International Center for Countering Terrorism was a milestone, helping to enhance counter-terrorism cooperation, and strengthen capacity in States, both of which are essential for the implementation of Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. We are of the view the UN will best be able to lead international counter-terrorism efforts by way of increased coordination and coherence among relevant UN agencies. In this respect, we applaud the work being done by the Counter-terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF).

We echo the call of other speakers in highlighting the need to achieve the early conclusion of the Comprehensive Convention for Combating International Terrorism. We commend the work being done by the Ad-Hoc Committee established by General Assembly Resolution 51/210 of 17

December 1996. We must look forward, and work to resolve, outstanding issues causing the impasse in negotiations.

I Thank You.

Statement by the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan at the Thirty Seventh Annual Meeting of Foreign Ministers of G77 and China

26 September 2013, United Nations, NY
Mr. Chairman, Excellences, Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the outset, let me thank the Secretariat of G77 for convening this annual meeting.  On behalf of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, I also convey our sincere appreciation to Fiji for its efficient and successful leadership of the Group of 77 and China.  Our commend and gratitude goes to the previous chair of the group as well for their contribution to negotiations on the Outcome Document of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), the future we want.
The Group of 77 and China by its 132 member states has demonstrated to be a key development forum, promoting the socio-economic needs of developing countries in various international foras. Recent decades have proven that development is the most fundamental requirement for achieving peaceful and prosperous societies. I would like to welcome Kiribati for the Chairmanship of the Group of 77 and China and looking forward to work together to achieve our goals.
Mr. Chairman,
There is a clear link between development goals and peace, good governance, effective and stable institutions. Having gone through decades of incessant conflict, we are keenly aware of the difficulties associated with state building and development. It is more than a decade that Afghanistan embarked on a comprehensive effort to improve security, promote development and strengthens good governance.
With the generous support of our international friends and allies, today, we are witness to notable achievements in a number of spheres, particularly in improving socio-economic conditions for our citizens. Consistent with our commitment to meet our Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2020, life for ordinary Afghans has changed for the better. The absolute majority of our population now has access to basic health services; close to 9 million children are enrolled in schools around the country, investing in their future; the rate of child and maternal mortality has decreased significantly. The GDP per capita that was 174 in 2002 has substantially increased to 742 in 2012.
Afghanistan in July last year, finalized its comprehensive strategy to address its development needs throughout the transformation decade 2015-2025 and beyond.  “Towards Self-Reliance” encompasses Afghanistan’s vision for growth, revenue generation and infrastructure development, inter alia regional resource corridors and extractive industries.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Let me emphasize on the importance of a strengthened and scaled-up global partnership for development. We will best be able to achieve our development goals if we strengthen collaboration and partnerships, which, undoubtedly, is vital for enabling our citizens to lead prosperous lives.  It is imperative that we adopt a comprehensive approach in our cooperation and increase more collaboration between developing countries in the framework of South-South cooperation. We cannot overstate the importance and the central role of the UN in coordinating international assistance, whether it is financial or social.
As a least developed, land-locked and a conflict affected country that is still to a great extent, reliant on Official Development Assistance (ODA) to effectively implement its development goals, Afghanistan calls on developed countries to demonstrate greater flexibility and political will to meet and scale up their commitments to developing countries, particularly LDCs and post-conflict countries. To ensure aid effectiveness, it is more important that donors take into consideration the principle of country ownership of recipient countries, reducing the allocation of ODA outside of government systems and instead channeling more funds through core budgets and transparent trust funds.
In the framework of South-South cooperation among 132 members of G77 and China, we all can gain through exchange of knowledge in the areas of science, technology and innovation (STI), as well as the potential of culture, for the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, made at the major United Nations conferences and summits in the economic, environmental, social and related fields.
Migration remains inadequately reflected in development frameworks, development agendas and sectorial policies at both national and global levels. Therefore, comprehensive policy formulation at the national, regional and global levels is needed to positively regulate and mobilize flow of migrations of developing countries in particular LDCs around the world towards contribution to development, in particular remittances and public financing.
Afghanistan welcomes the ongoing efforts under the United Nations, to create an ambitious post 2015 development agenda and supports the Open Working Group of the General Assembly on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We are of the view that this agenda needs to be inclusive and be developed based on the experiences and achievements of the MDGs and other international agreed development goals.
Mr. Chairman,
We reaffirm our commitments towards the outcome of the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development. The Conference was a historic event in garnering a renewed commitment for effective strategies to promote global prosperity, reduce poverty, advance social equity and protect our environment.
Afghanistan associates the position of the G77 and China on major international issues and believes that the G77 can play an important role in the framework of the United Nations, towards achieving peace, prosperity, socio-economic development and environmental protection for all. We hope and are positive towards achieving the goals and objectives of our group that will validate in the fiftieth anniversary of the establishment of the Group of 77 in June next year.
Thank you.