Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Agriculture Development and Food Security

Statement delivered by, Mr. Enayet Madani, Counsellor
At the 2nd Committee Debate on Agriculture Development and Food Security:

Mr. Chairperson,

I wish to take this opportunity to thank you for convening this meeting, and align myself with the statement delivered by distinguished representatives of Yemen on behalf of the G77 and China, Nepal on behalf of LDCs and China on behalf of Asia Group. My delegation expresses its appreciation to the Secretary-General for his Report on Agriculture Development and Food Security which will certainly play an important role for our deliberations.

Mr. Chairperson,

We agree and welcome the recent reforms made to the Committee on World Food Security within the Food and Agriculture Organization, which renewed their commitment towards coordination of food security on the international scale, as well as formalize the involvement of an expert panel towards this cause. We recognize the leadership and efforts of those who have kept food security challenges of developing countries on top of the global agenda, and will continue to work with them in improving food security in Afghanistan.

Mr. Chairperson,

Prior to the conflicts that disrupted the way of life in the country, Afghanistan had a healthy and self-sufficient agricultural economy, which produced both food as well as economic crops. Current agricultural productivity, however, is not as optimistic given the vast damage done to the physical infrastructure as well as higher dependence on rain-fed agriculture.  As such, millions of Afghans are either starving or threatened with starvation on a daily basis, depending on food assistance for survival. Henceforth, it is critical for us to rapidly revive our agricultural sector through restructuring and investment, while also paying attention to issues of long-term environmental sustainability.

Although crop productivity has improved in the last year from ample and well-distributed rainfall, the droughts of 2008, 2009 still reminds us of our vulnerability. Besides supporting the livelihood of the large rural population (which is 80% of the total population), agriculture also constitutes 53% of our national economy and hence is of vital importance to the reconstruction of Afghanistan. As much as we appreciate international humanitarian assistance in tiding us through our recovery period, we also seek partnerships in building improved and accessible irrigation systems, technology and better agricultural practices.

Mr. Chairperson,

The large fluctuations in crop productivity over the past years highlight the key challenges we face as we tackle the issue of food security. Increased water scarcity coupled with rainfall variability, both possibly augmented by climate change; exemplify the weakness of rural agriculture in Afghanistan. The lack of irrigation infrastructure and low water security correlates strongly with rural poverty, and hence serves as key hurdles in achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

37% of our population is in the borderline of food security, and 59% of our children below the age of five, suffer from stunted growth due to malnutrition. The proportion of the population below minimum energy consumption (of 2100 calories) has increased, and seasonality-driven poverty and food shortage have been drawn to our attention. Volatility in global food prices also present significant challenges to the situation.

Mr. Chairperson,

The points of leverage for effective agricultural and rural development lie in small farmer households, and the role of women in food provision and preparation is central to pursuing food security targets. Partnerships forged between the government, communities and the private sector, in directing efforts and investments can facilitate the development process and make rural agricultural communities more robust and resilient.

In the restoration of Afghanistan’s agricultural sector, we are taking these key initiatives under the Afghanistan National Development Strategies with the two broad goals of poverty reduction and livelihoods security:

Firstly, through better water and national resource development, we seek to improve both quantity and quality in our agricultural sector while reducing stress imposed on the natural systems.

Secondly, by identifying gaps in the current agricultural system dealing with inputs and outputs, we aim for comprehensiveness in agricultural production and market development.

Thirdly, taking heed of the close links between rural access and poverty alleviation, our expansion of road and communication networks will empower the rural poor.

Fourthly, local institutions will be strengthened with the establishment of Community Development Councils and civil service expansion.

Mr. Chairperson,

The revival of Afghanistan’s agricultural sector represents an opportunity for Afghanistan to achieve strong growth and food self-sufficiency, and also represents great possibilities for international cooperation and friendship. As we take these steps, we will need stronger partnerships with the UN agencies to facilitate greater investment in physical infrastructure, knowledge sharing as well as technology transfer. These investments and assistance can also be improved through responsive targeting to the needs and priorities of Afghanistan, thereby fast-tracking MDGs.

The targets of poverty alleviation, hunger reduction and stabilizing food security are all tightly interconnected with women’s rights, rural development and economic growth. Our efforts are in building resilience along with growth, and adapt agricultural practices and regimes to developing environmental and economic situations. We ask the World Food Programme, USDA, FAO and other funders to continue their assistance to us, and for the international community to work together on achieving global food security.

Before closing I take this opportunity to thank the UN system; in particular, the World Food Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organization and other all other partners for their continued support to the people of Afghanistan.

I thank you

Report of the Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations and on the Strengthening of the Role of the Organization

STATEMENT

BY

Mr. Mohammad Erfani Ayoob, Deputy Permanent Representative

Permanent Mission of Afghanistan to the United Nations

At the Sixth Committee

Of the 65th Session of the United Nations General Assembly

On Agenda  Item 84

“Report of the Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations and on the Strengthening of the Role of the Organization”

New York

Check against delivery

STATEMENT BY

Mr. Mohammad Erfani Ayoob, Deputy Permanent Representative

Permanent Mission of Afghanistan to the United Nations

At the Sixth Committee

Of the 65th Session of the United Nations General Assembly

On Agenda  Item 84

“Report of the Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations and on the Strengthening of the Role of the Organization”

18 October 2010- New York

Madam Chair,

The Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations and on the Strengthening

of the Role of the Organization continues to play a constructive role for the maintenance

of International peace and security. Afghanistan attaches high importance to the work

of the Special Committee on the Charter , supports the full implementation of its

mandate and stresses the need to further improve its working methods.

Afghanistan reiterates its strong support for the central role of the United Nations as a

universal forum for addressing all global issues dealing with international cooperation,

peace and security, economic development and social progress, human rights and the

rule of law, based on dialogue, cooperation and understanding among States .

My delegation thanks the bureau of the Special Committee on the Charter of the United

Nations and on the Strengthening of the Role of the Organization, under the chairmanship

of Mr.Carlos Sorreta, for the presentation of the Report as well as the recommendations

contained in the document A/65/33. The Special Committee on the Charter discussed several important subjects in its deliberations from 1-9 March 2010. In this regard, my delegation would like to make stress on the following:

Madam Chair,

The peaceful settlement of disputes remains one of the essential goals of the United

Nations as enshrined in the Charter. It is the most efficient tool for maintaining

international peace and security as well as strengthening the rule of law in international

relations. Afghanistan is  committed to the principles of the UN Charter on

the peaceful settlement of disputes and at the same time recognizes the important role

of the judicial mechanisms, including the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for the

prevention and settlement of disputes among States.

We reaffirm the importance of the reform of the United Nations Organization to

be carried out in accordance with the principles and procedures established by the Charter

of the United Nations and preserve the legal framework of this constitutional instrument.

In this context, the Special Committee on the Charter can contribute to the examination

of legal matters in the reform process of the United Nations and democratization of its

principal organs.

Madam Chair,

We welcome the contribution to the institutional memory of the international system, of the Repertory of practice of the United Nations, and the Repertoire of the practice of the Security Council. In this context, we appreciate the efforts of the Secretariat for the work done in updating these important documents as well as the progress achieved with regard to the incorporation of the Repertory volumes on the United Nations website. We support the call for continued voluntary contributions to the trust fund for updating of the repertoire and voluntary contributions to the trust fund for effective elimination of backlog in the repertory of practice of the United Nations organs.

Madam Chair,

Sanctions, applied in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, remain an

important tool in the maintenance and restoration of international peace and security.

Sanctions should be designed with focus and carefully targeted in accordance with the

Charter.  They must be supported by clear objectives and be implemented in ways that balance effectiveness to achieve the desired results against possible adverse consequences, including socio-economic and humanitarian consequences, for populations and third States.

The imposition of sanctions should be considered as a last measure only after all means

of peaceful settlement have been exhausted and their effects had been thoroughly

considered. Sanctions should have a specified time frame and be subject to periodic

review.

My delegation supports the provisions of relevant General Assembly resolutions addressing the issue of assistance to third States affected by the application of sanctions

and calls for further measures to improve the procedures and working methods of the

Security Council on general issues of sanctions. In this regard, we welcome the report that due to the shift from comprehensive economic sanctions to targeted sanctions, no sanctions committees were approached by Member States with regard to special economic problems arising from the implementation of sanctions.

Afghanistan is closely working with 1267, Security Sanction Committee on Al-Qaida and the Taliban on the listing of new individuals and entities and delisting of individuals

under sanction.

While expressing our satisfaction with the progress made by the Security Council in

establishing new procedures for the listing and delisting of individuals and entities on sanctions lists, we call on Security Council sanctions committee to continue a careful  study of all individuals and entities on the list .  Additionally, the government of Afghanistan welcomes the delisting of some former members of the Taliban from the sanction list by the 1267 Committee and underscores the continued update for improving the quality of the list on the basis of a fair and clear procedure.

Afghanistan is fully committed to implementing its obligations under the 1267 SC Resolution and calls on all States to implement, in good faith, their obligations within their jurisdiction in this regard.

Thank you.

Statement by Mr. Enayet Madani Counselor of the Permanent Mission of Afghanistan to the United Nations During General Debate of Second Committee of the 65th General Assembly

Madame Chair,

As I take the floor for the first time, let me congratulate your Excellency on behalf of my delegation for your election as the Chair of the Second Committee. My delegation is confident that the important work of Second Committee under your wise and able leadership will be fruitful and successful during the General Assembly’s 65th Session. I take this opportunity to express our thanks to your predecessor for his excellent work. I also extend my congratulations to members of the Bureau for their election and assure you and the Bureau of our full cooperation.

I would like to express my support to the statement delivered by the delegation of Yemen on behalf of G-77 and China. As well I would like to affiliate myself with statements delivered by the delegations of Nepal and Pargway on behalf of LDCs and LLDCs.

Madam Chair,

Second Committee will deal with a large number of important issues, my delegation stress on the following issues to be addressed by the second committee:

Not longtime ago the world leaders in New York gathered to review the achievements and challenges of MDGs. At the time of the Millennium Declaration’s adoption in 2000, Afghanistan was cut off, isolated from the international community by the Taliban regime, which denied Afghan people even the most fundamental human rights and allowed terrorists to use Afghan soil to launch attacks around the world.  In 2001, with the overthrow of the Taliban regime, Afghanistan slowly began to rebuild its shattered political, economic and social structures, and regained its rightful place in the community of nations.  Our country undertook a series of policies aimed at a comprehensive reconstruction and stabilization of the political and economic situation both nationally and regionally. These policies centered on the urgent need to bring the Afghan people out of grinding poverty and provide them with the basic human rights, opportunities and services that had been denied them for decades.

In 2004, Afghanistan was able to join the rest of the international community in committing to a series of time-bound Development Goals. Because we were late in joining the MDGs, our targets were set to be achieved by 2020.  Therefore, we consider that those countries that are behind others in achieving their MDGs should be dully considered by the second committee.

Afghanistan, strongly believes that United Nation can play a very important role in helping developing countries and particularly LDCs including those countries emerging from conflict in achieving their MDGs.

My delegation, believes that the issues related to ongoing financial and economic crisis have enormous impact on development agenda of the developing and particularly the least developed countries, therefore, deserve to be addressed seriously.

My delegation, stress that the second committee to take into consideration some of the world’s most difficult and pressing development issues, including poverty eradication, fight against hunger, disease, environmental degradation, and the promotion of gender equality, education and health.

Afghanistan believes that poverty reduction can only be achieved through effective cooperation among all stakeholders. It also requires a resolute commitment on the part of both developed and developing countries for increased cooperation. In that regard, Afghanistan underscores the need for continued international support – in the form of financial and technical assistance – for developing countries.  The past years have seen a reduction in Official Development Assistance (ODA).  More needs to be done to prevent this trend.

By the same token, more needs to be done for ensuring effective utilization of official development assistance.  Donor countries should consider channeling greater portions of development assistance through the core national budgets of developing countries.  In short, national ownership of development priorities among developing countries is of paramount importance.

As more than 80% of population in my country depend on agriculture for their livelihood, thus we emphasis on matters related to agriculture development and food security to be addressed by the Second Committee.

Madam Chair,

Afghanistan has made enormous strides in the past decade, emerging from the ruins of war to build a more functioning government, a more prosperous economy, and a more healthy society. However, the complex issue of security remains as a big impediment for the government to implement its development policies, therefore we consider that the issue of security and its impact on development of post conflict countries to be given due consideration by the second committee.

I thank you.

Permanent Mission of Afghanistan