Tuesday, April 24, 2018

High Level Meeting on Youth

Statement  of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the United Nations
Delivered by Mr. Ahmad Zahir Faqiri  Minister, Deputy Permanent Representative
At the General Assembly  High Level Meeting on Youth

Mr. President,


Ladies and Gentlemen,

At the outset, I wish to take this opportunity to thank you, Mr. President, for organizing this timely High level Youth Forum highlighting the International year of Youth.

Mr. President,

On behalf of the Afghan Government, I would like to stress the need for further effort to support young people in developing their capacity to tackle the challenges they face. Let me emphasize that the primary responsibility for ensuring youth development lies with states. Today I will address both the challenges ahead for Afghan youth and achievements accomplished thus far.

Mr. President,

Afghanistan is a country of youth. 68% of the population is below 25 years of age. The bulk of the population is to a certain extent deprived of their fundamental rights, including but not limited to lack of educational and employment opportunities. The situation of Afghan girls is of particular concern – under traditional pressures they enter early marriage and early pregnancy, contributing to Afghanistan’s dire MMR and IMR.

Youth literacy rates are low; 50% for boys and 18% for girls; secondary school enrollments are respectively 23% and 7%, and less than 2% of the Afghan population reaches higher education.

Faced with these challenges, Afghan youth are at risk. Their vulnerability is exacerbated by unemployment, low wages, lack of safety and security, poverty and lack of medical care, making youth particularly at risk to recruitment to armed opposition and terrorist organizations.

Mr. President,

In the face of these challenges, we should not lose sight of the progress made thus far.  To date, more than seven millions boys and girls are enrolled in schools, investing in their futures.  We have constructed more than 4,000 schools across the country; we predict to have Fourteen million children enrolled in schools by 2020; and in a country where practically no girls received education just ten years ago, over 40 percent of these new students will be girls. Additionally, the great majority of Afghanistan’s population has access to basic health-care, showing great progress over the last ten years.

It is worth mentioning that a considerable percentage of the Afghan parliament are comprised of young representatives, almost entire of the news agencies, TVs broadcasting, monthly magazines are running by the young generation in Afghanistan.

Mr. President,

The Government of Afghanistan is committed to fulfilling its responsibility to protect the rights of all youth and to addressing violations of youth’s rights. We have initiated a number of important steps at the national, regional and international levels. This includes the launch of a National Youth Programme, which reiterates our commitment to the development of the sons and daughters of Afghanistan and seeks to establish an opportunity for Afghan youth to fulfill their aspirations.

Mr. President,

This generation of youth in my country, having experienced conflict and exile, now they must be empowered with alternative opportunities. Their fresh perspectives, their energy, enthusiasm and determination must be guided for promoting peace and development in Afghanistan.

I wish to conclude by joining the previous speakers to express the condolences of the Afghan government and Afghan people to the Mission of Norway and through them to the people of Norway on the recent act of terror which caused dozens of casualties.

I thank you.

For your attention

Statement By Mr. M .Wali Naeemi Minister Counsellor and Reporter of the 4th Committee, UNGA-65 At the 4th Committee Meeting on UNRWA

Mr. Chairman,

Allow me to thank you for organizing this meeting and I also wish to thank the Commissioner-General for his self-explanatory and informative briefing on the situation and activities of the UNRWA.

It is a great honor for me to speak on behalf of my delegation on this very important issue.

My delegation aligns its statement with the statement delivered on behalf of NAM and welcomes with appreciation the report of the Secretary-General on UNRWA, which pointed out very important issues on the financial situation faced by the Agency.

Mr. Chairman,

In November 2010, the Commission-general of UNRWA presented a comprehensive report to the General Assembly, explaining in detail the challenges and constraints that UNRWA is facing at the present time.

Furthermore, he elaborated upon recommendations on necessary steps for the improvement of the Agency’s work at the regional and global-level.

UNRWA has been working for more than 60 years and providing humanitarian assistance and technical support to over 4.7 million Palestinian refugees in the Middle East.

The Agency is running education programs for young Palestinian girls and boys in more than 58 recognized refugee camps; delivering vital medical services throughout the refugee camps; and providing food and immediate assistance, in particular for disabled people, in the refugee camps.

Mr. Chair,

A real improvement in the lives of Palestinian refugees across the region requires a permanent solution with justice and the establishment of two independent states living side by side within the 1967 borders.

The international community’s support to UNRWA is of the utmost importance and must continue until a permanent solution for the long lasting conflict between Palestinians and Israelis is achieved.

In conclusion, while the humanitarian and advocacy character of UNRWA has played a decisive role since its establishment in 1949, it is now more than ever crucial for it to continue its efforts dedicated to the implementation of relief programs and services to all Palestinian refugees.

The continued successful implementation of the Agency’s programs requires the strengthening of its management capacities, an increase in the number of employees, improvement in the quality of work and expansion of the Agency in the areas of education, health, water sanitation, and strengthening the rules and assistance for Palestinians in refugee camps as well as for IDP’s.

In this regard, the grave financial situation of UNRWA, due to 12 % underfunding for the last four biennium and rising costs with refugee numbers approaching 5 million, requires many measures for improving the outlook facing the Agency, including its capacity to utilize voluntary funds more effectively and in a long perspective.

As the Secretary-General already emphasized in his report of 1 February 2011,

“UNRAW needs access to a greater share of predictable, secure funding”.

While the support of traditional donors must be sustained and increased, at the same time the income from non-traditional donors including the public and private sector needs to be enhanced and strengthened.

Hence, the international community and special-financing institutions and other entities must redouble their contribution and assist the agency’s services and programs.

I thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Statement by Mr. Mohammad Erfani Ayoob, Deputy Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations Before The Meeting of the Group of Friends of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations

Statement by Mr. Mohammad Erfani Ayoob, Deputy Permanent Representative

of Afghanistan to the United Nations

Before The Meeting of the Group of Friends of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations

Your Excellency, President Sampaio,

Thank you for leadership and continued efforts to advance the goals of UNAOC.

I would like to welcome the presence of HE. Dr. Khalid Muhammad Al-Attiayah, Minister of State for International Cooperation of the State of Qatar and thank him for a comprehensive presentation on the upcoming Doha Forum.

Mr President,

My delegation gives high importance to the work of AoC to serve the common aspiration of the International Community to peaceful co-existence, security, development and global governance. Given the highly integrated nature of our world today, promoting and fostering diversity as well as cultural and religious understandings is the only path to reducing polarisation and extremism and creating a cooperative global community. Creating networks and partnerships with governments, international organisations, civil society and the private sector in an inclusive and consultative manner is the key to achieving these important goals.

Mr. President,

Afghanistan historically being a connecting pointt beween different cultures and civilizations and a country where people from various cultures and believes lived side by side in peace and solidarity during centuries, is fully committed to the goals and objectives of UNAOC.  Afghanistan is taking necessary steps toward the implementation of Alliance’s goals, among them to build a national consensus on how to promote national reconciliation and reintegration for peace, security, development and human rights. As well as through using its Millennium Development Goals as a paradigm for achieving UNAOC objectives in the key fields of education, youth, media, gender equality and reintegration of returnees and IDPs.

We welcome the thematic approach of leading discussions in the area of religious diversity and inter-religious dialogue, and appreciate the Alliance’s attention to this important topic in various regional and international forums. We believe that fostering diversity, awareness and understanding about religion and religious diversity through inter-religious dialogues and forums is a first and constructive step towards decreasing religious extremism, polarisation and guarantees the social cohesion in today’s globalized world.

Finally Mr. President, we fully support the proposed Replenishment Mechanism and believe that in order for UNAOC to continue its invaluable work, a funding structure, based on country contributions, is much needed. Afghanistan, considering its financial and developmental challenges, just recently made its symbolic contributions to UNAOC trust fund, to show our support and commitment to the work and objectives of the Alliance.

In conclusion, we look forward to engaging in the important discussions, ideas and suggestions today as well as participating in the Doha Forum. Taking this opportunity, my delegation would like to thank the State of Qatar and in particular Her Highness Sheikha Moza for the commitments to the Alliance’s goals and wish the State of Qatar every success in hosting the 4th Forum of UNAOC. We believe that the Doha Forum, will create a fresh momentum for us in furthering the instrumental objectives of the Alliance in creating a more understanding and cohesive global community.

Thank you.

Permanent Mission of Afghanistan