Friday, April 28, 2017

High-level interactive briefing on the Challenges in the Fight against Transnational Organized Crime and Drug Trafficking

Statement by  Ahmad Zahir Faqiri Deputy Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to UN

High-level interactive briefing on the Challenges in the Fight against Transnational Organized Crime and Drug Trafficking

 

“The state prevents all types of terrorist activities, cultivation and smuggling

of narcotic drugs and production and consumption of intoxicants.”

The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

 

Mr. Chairman,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

At the outset, I would like to express my appreciation to the recently created UN System Task Force for Organization of today’s high-level interactive briefing on the Challenges in the Fight against Transnational Organized Crime and Drug Trafficking.

I also would like to commend His Excellency Ambassador Martin Sajdik of Austria and Ambassador Luis Alfonso de Alba of Mexico for their commitment and tireless efforts in support of UNOD` s endeavors in the fight against drugs and crime.

My gratitude also equally goes to Mr. Yuri Fedetov, Executive Director of UNODC, Under Secretaries, and other distinguished speakers for their comprehensive remarks.

Mr. Chairman,

Among the many devastating effects of decades of war and insecurity, increased poppy cultivation carries the largest social, political and economic consequences. These threaten to endanger our efforts to rebuild a stable and democratic Afghanistan.

 

Today, Afghans suffer from the dual menace of terrorism and drugs. The deep- rooted nexus between terrorism and the trafficking of illicit narcotic drugs poses a serious threat to stabilization effort.  Terrorist groups in our region are financed in part by the profits from illegal drug activity.

Drugs are not only a threat to the economy and security of my  country, but, have a direct link to terrorism, spreads into the afghan families like cancer and gradually destroys the lives of Afghan people. In those parts of the country where they cultivate poppy, most of the people have been addicted and are gradually losing their lives.

In order to address the Narcotic dilemma the government of Afghanistan launched a comprehensive National Drug Control Strategy based on the four following priority:

Priority One: Disrupting the drugs trade by targeting traffickers and their

Backers and eliminating the basis for the trade

Priority Two: Strengthening and diversifying legal rural livelihoods

Priority Three: Reducing the demand for illicit and treatment of problem drug users

Priority Four: Strengthening state institutions both at the centre and in the

Provinces

Unfortunately Afghanistan is the world’s leading supplier of illegal opiates, trafficked as opium, morphine and heroin. There are clear links between the drugs trade and the insurgency. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) estimates that the Taliban derive approximately $150m per year from Afghan narcotics. Both the drug traffickers and the Taliban have a common interest in resisting Afghan Government authority and international forces.

Mr. Chairman

The UNODC 2011 Afghan Opium Survey published on 11 October states that opium poppy cultivation rose by 7% compared to 2010.  However, it is important to set this rise against the backdrop of opium prices which have more than doubled in the last year, and an overall fall in cultivation of 36% between 2007 and 2010.  This year there was also a 3% decrease in cultivation in Helmand, the most prolific opium producing province. This third successive annual reduction is evidence to the efforts of the Provincial authority and their comprehensive approach to countering the drugs trade in compliance with the fourth priority of the National Drug Control Strategy.

We all recognises that eradicating opium poppy without developing viable legal livelihoods is not sustainable and would make farmers increasingly vulnerable. A sustainable reduction in opium poppy cultivation requires improvements in the living standards of the rural population, including diversifying income sources, and security, which takes time to achieve completely.

Mr.Chairman

Afghanistan actively seeks to improve its bilateral relations within the region, which have an important role to play supporting Afghanistan’s development into a stable and secure state.  The Afghan government is working to develop strategies for improved regional co-operation, with support from its international partners and institutions.  On 5-6 September 2011, the Ministry for Counter Narcotics hosted the second regional Counter Narcotics Conference in Kabul. This involved the counter narcotics agencies of Tajikistan, Russia, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Efforts are being made to improve information-sharing and develop closer working relationships with the neighbors concerning border control and law enforcement agencies; judicial cooperation is another aspect that needs to be strengthened in bilateral relations. Improved cooperation will also result in the disruption of the flow of narcotics (and precursor materials) across Afghanistan’s borders. Afghanistan today is an active participant in UNODC-sponsored meetings and forums such as the Inter-Governmental Technical Committee (IGTC) meeting and the Senior Law Enforcement Officers (SLEO) meetings.

 

It should be highlighted that there are four strong elements been identified on the increasing of Narcotics in Afghanistan:

  • Poverty and deficiency of livelihoods to replace opium,
  • Insecurity and threat pose on  poor Farmers by insurgents and smugglers  ,
  • Precursors which is coming to Afghanistan form outside of the country
  • Demand of international markets and opiates prices,

 

Tackling these four elements requires a decisive, honest and result oriented approach both from Afghanistan and our regional and international partners in combating narcotics. To this end we there is need to intensify our efforts.

 

Thank for your attention

 

 

Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, questions relating to refugees, returnees and displaced persons and humanitarian questions

Statement of The Islamic of Republic of Afghanistan
Delivered by
G. Seddiq Rasuli Counsellor of the Permanent Mission of Afghanistan to the United Nations
at the Third Committee
Agenda Item 62:
Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, questions relating to refugees, returnees and displaced persons and humanitarian questions

Mr. Chairman,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

At the outset, I would like to thank Mr. Antonio Guterres, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees for his reports under agenda item 62 and his in-depth statement this afternoon.

I further wish to take this opportunity to express my delegation’s gratitude to the High Commissioner and dedicated staff of UNHCR for their commitment towards protection and assistance of the world’s most vulnerable population, the refugees, and internally displaced persons (IDPs), in particular, their special attention to the plight of Afghan refugees, returnees, and IDPs. We are grateful for that, Mr. High Commissioner.

Mr. Chairman,

Since 2002, more than 5.6 million Afghan refugees have returned to Afghanistan, the vast majority of which have returned from neighboring countries, Iran and Pakistan. This is an encouraging sign that the situation in Afghanistan is improving and Afghan refugees can once again return to their homeland and join their families. However, in spite of the progress made over the past ten years, much remains to be accomplished. The pace of repatriation has slowed substantially relative to previous years. This can be attributed to the dual threats of terrorism and insecurity, widespread poverty, and a challenging humanitarian situation. These have also increased the number of IDPs in the provinces that continue to see the highest levels of insecurity.

Mr. Chairman,

The Government of Afghanistan remains committed to providing for the voluntary, dignified and gradual repatriation and re-integration of our Afghan brothers and sisters who fled our boarders due to years of conflict and violence. Already 4.6 million refugees received aid and since 2005 the Afghan Government has constructed 60 townships in 20 provinces for refugees, and a further 39,000 have been provided with portions of land.

As the security situation improves and people gradually return to Afghanistan, the Government faces a significant challenge to provide adequate shelter, work and healthcare, this is becoming an increasing problem as more Afghans return, with the potential for increased refugee flows in the coming years as Afghanistan becomes more stable and secure. The Government of Afghanistan is strongly committed to do all we can to provide facilities for voluntary, dignified, and gradual repatriation.

Mr. Chairman,

We must not forget that security challenges and threats still remain a reality in Afghanistan and this poses a serious challenge to the sustainable repatriation of refugees. Between June 2009 and September 2010 alone 12,000 people were displaced as a result of insecurity, bringing the total number to over 319,000 Afghan citizens. We must continue our efforts with our international partners to secure Afghanistan for its citizens both inside and outside its borders.

As a result of this continued insecurity we face a reality in which 40% of refugees who have returned to Afghanistan have not been settled yet, where people are trying to return to their homeland seeking a prosperous future only to be faced with despair with the situation and return to their respective countries of refuge. We must work with the international community and UNHCR to seek out new ways and mechanisms to review our returnee’s policy to find a way to provide shelter and easy access to primary services including health care education drinking water and importantly, work opportunities to ensure the sustainable repatriation of Afghans.

Mr. Chairman,

I would also like to take this opportunity to express the appreciation of the Government of Afghanistan to our neighboring countries of Pakistan and Iran for being the primary hosts of Afghan refugees for more than 30 years now; we are grateful for that. We have held constructive trilateral meetings with Iran and Pakistan along with UNHCR in May this year recognizing the need to find a comprehensive solution for sustainable voluntary, gradual, dignified repatriation of refugees.

In this regard, Afghanistan, with UNHCR, Pakistan and Iran, is presently developing a multi-year (2012-2014) solutions strategy for Afghan refugees. This strategy will be presented for endorsement by the international community at a stakeholders conference in early 2012.

I thank you Mr. Chairman.

Women, Peace and Security

Statement of The Islamic of Republic of Afghanistan
Delivered by Mr. Ahmad Zahir Faqiri,

Deputy Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the United Nations
At the Security Council debate on Women, Peace and Security

28 October 2011

New York

Madam President,

I thank you for convening today’s debate, which offers us all an opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to protecting and ensuring women’s rights and their momentous role in peace and security. I also take this opportunity to thank the Secretary-General for his report and strong words of support for the active role and contribution of women in global peace and security.

Madam President,

Statement of The Islamic of Republic of Afghanistan Delivered by Mr. Ahmad Zahir Faqiri, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the United Nations At the Security Council debate on Women, Peace and Security

The history of war and violence has left an upsetting impact in my country. Violence still takes its toll on every Afghan life, including women. I hope the anguish which every Afghan family faces, will one day come to an end. Women continue to bear the bulk of the burden of conflict in Afghanistan, while their right to secure, healthy and affluent lives still remains in peril.

Madam President,

We gather today to recognise the imperative role that women have in the peaceful resolution of conflicts, the tangible fruits of which have already been seen in Afghanistan through the decisive presence of women at the Consultative Peace Jirga in 2010 and the continuing efforts to ensure participation of women in leadership positions within and outside of the government.

This debate is particularly appropriate as Afghanistan is entering into the second phase of transition to Afghan leadership and ownership and increased responsibility for security and economic development.

Madam President,

In regards to development we have begun implementation of the 10 yearNational Action Plan for the Women of Afghanistan (NAPWA) based upon the priorities of the Afghanistan National Development Strategy. As part of this action plan (NAPWA)we have established Gender Units in 14 of 25 government ministries, however, even with a 10 year time line, accelerated efforts need to be made to ensure the full implementation of such a comprehensive action plan with vital goals that include 30 percent of governmental positions held by women by the end of 2013 and a target of 35 percent participation of female students in universities by the end of 2012.

We have also made strides in the rule of law, the most recent being the establishment of a national Commission on Elimination of Violence against Women following enactment of the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women in December 2010. This is vital in enhancing Afghan women’s access to legal redress, sending the strong message that the Afghan government is committed to the rights of women and ensuring that there is no impunity for those who violate them.

Madam President,

Ensuring the rights of women is only half the battle; we also need to see the full participation of women, as 1325 reminds us they have a vital role to play in the peace and security of our country. The representation of women in governance and political participation has been steadily increasing. We have succeeded in holding two Presidential and two parliamentary elections, in which women actively participated as candidates, election staff, poll watchers and electorates. Women comprise 27 percent of the parliament making Afghanistan the 30th in the world with the highest representation of women in Parliament. The Afghanistan National Parliament has also established a resource centre for women parliamentarians to enhance their capacity to include women’s voices and perspectives effectively in the national development and reconstruction plans.

Madam President,

When reviewing these facts and figures, let us not lose sight of the great personal risk that these women undertake in order to participate in the governance of their country and in their future. I wish to take this opportunity to honour the women who continue take risks to assume an active role in the future, direction and peace of our country.

Madam President,

Our international partners have been assisting the Afghan Government in our endeavors. UN-Women has administered a multi-donor trust fund for the elimination of violence against women, which provided grants for national organizations to combat violence against women. I am very pleased to report that in collaboration with UN-Women, Afghanistan has submitted its first country report to CEDAW. The continued collaboration of our Government, international partners, and both Afghan and international civil society groups will be vital to ensure the full realisation women’s rights in a strong and stable Afghanistan.

Madam President,

Building a sustained and secure environment that enables women to live free of intimidation, and violence, which supports their participation and leadership in promoting and maintaining peace and security, is one of the core objectives of the Afghan Government.

We also   focus on women political actors at national, sub national and local levels, capacity building and advocacy strategies to enable them to attain a critical role in high-level decision, policy, and law-making positions in key government institutions; and to accomplish their significant political and social responsibility.

Madam President

With the support of our partners and the international community we will continue to work toward the full implementation of 1325, in recognition that our goal of sustainable peace and security in Afghanistan will only be achieved with the full participation of the entire Afghan nation.    I thank you.

Permanent Mission of Afghanistan