Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Security Council Debate on the Trafficking of Persons in Conflict

STATEMENT  BY H.E. Mahmoud Saikal 

Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the United Nations

Security Council Debate on the Trafficking of Persons in Conflict

(check against delivery)

20 December 2016

I would like to thank the Spanish Presidency for convening today’s debate on a topic of crucial importance, which demands the urgent attention of the international community. We thank Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and other presenters for their comprehensive briefings. We are also moved by the statements of civilian activists Ms. Ameena Saeed Hasan and Goodwill Ambassador Ms. Nadia Morad Basee Taha.

Human trafficking constitutes a grave violation of international law, including international humanitarian law. It violates the fundamental values and principles we hold dear, like justice, equality, and human rights for all.

Over the past several years, the world has seen human trafficking continue unabated in different parts of the world, especially in countries stricken by conflict and facing violent extremism. This has many causes: to generate illegal profits in the criminal economy; to enlist people in illegal armed groups; to impose forced labor and slavery upon the innocent; and to have them carry out terrorist attacks in different parts of the world.

Human trafficking is particularly prevalent in countries stricken by conflict and strife, especially those who continue to suffer at the hands of terrorists and extremists. We have witnessed a continuing trend where many terrorist and extremist groups, such as the Taliban, ISIL or Daesh and Al-Qaeda, among others, increasingly resort to human trafficking to advance their evil agenda. In Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia, extremist groups have abducted men, women, and children as a means to finance and conduct their criminal activities. In many cases, women and girls in particular, have been put for sale to mobilize financial resources and fund military operations. Such despicable activities represent the most evil of human actions.

The inextricable link between human trafficking and terrorism remains a serious source of concern, demanding urgent attention of the international community. We believe that addressing some of the underlying factors driving violent extremism should not be separate from ending the problem of human trafficking. In various conflict situations, especially in our region, a multitude of terrorist and extremist groups, including the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and the Haqqani network still enjoy sanctuary, safe havens, alongside material and financial support that have reinforced their operational capability to continue their reign of terror against innocent people.

One of the best ways to address human trafficking is to prevent conflict from arising in the first place and resolving those wherever they occur. In doing so, we will avoid the enabling environment that fuels the problem of human trafficking.

As the principal organ of the UN responsible for the maintenance of peace and security, this Council should take necessary measures to identify and address the lingering problem of continued support for extremists as a means to advance political objectives. More focus should be given to ensure that States comply with their counter-terrorism commitments and obligations, on the basis of the relevant Security Council resolutions.

As a front-line State in the fight against global terrorism and extremism, we assure this Council, and the international community at large, that our struggle against these twin menaces will continue unabated, and with firm resolve. As we speak, our national security forces are engaging a multitude of international extremist groups that pose a serious threat to the civilized world. 

Mr. President,

The UN Global Action Plan to Prevent Trafficking of Persons and the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children remains the overall international framework for decisive action to combat human trafficking in all its aspects.  Afghanistan is a party to the said convention and we have put in place several legislations to criminalize various forms of human trafficking. Additionally, we are grateful to USAID for the Combating Human Trafficking in Afghanistan Project, co-funded by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), that works with our Government to effectively prevent trafficking, prosecute traffickers, protect victims, and improve regional coordination to combat cross-border trafficking.

The problem of human trafficking is wide-ranging with various components.  The unprecedented flow of migrants and refugees, mainly from countries facing conflict, has left millions of people vulnerable to human trafficking throughout the world. In this context, we are pleased that the joint declaration adopted at the conclusion of the Summit Meeting on Migration here in New York in September offered due focus on preventing human trafficking.

Today’s meeting of the Security Council signifies that the trafficking of persons constitutes a crime against humanity and that any individual or groups involved in this heinous practice must be brought to justice. We hope this meeting will also serve as a reminder for all that additional progress is required to implement their commitments and obligations not only as matter of legal responsibility, but also as a moral imperative.  

Finally, we concur with previous speakers that the problem of human trafficking in conflict situations should not be seen in isolation from the global fight against terrorism. Hence, it is imperative that States spare no effort, whatsoever, to implement the relevant counter-terrorism resolutions of the Security Council and General Assembly. In that context, relevant States must prevent the cross-border movement of terrorists, to cut off the flow of financial resources and other enablers that have thus far sustained extremist activity.

Mr. President,

We hope the outcome of today’s meeting will revitalize the global fight against a menace that constitutes a crime against humanity and a challenging confronting us all.

Thank you.

Security Council Debate on the Situation in Afghanistan

Afghanistan  Security Council meeting The situation in Afghanistan Report of the Secretary-General on the situation in Afghanistan and its implications for international peace and security (S/2016/1049)

Security Council meeting
The situation in Afghanistan
Report of the Secretary-General on the situation in Afghanistan and its implications for international peace and security (S/2016/1049)

International community reaffirms long-term partnership with Afghanistan

9 December 2015, New York: Today the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted the resolution titled “The situation in Afghanistan”. This resolution reaffirms the long-term partnership of the international community with Afghanistan based on refreshed mutual commitments.

Mahmoud Saikal, Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the United Nations thanked member states for the unanimous adoption of the resolution and said, “Quite rightly this time, the resolution emphasizes on the regional aspects of the peace and security in Afghanistan.” He added, “We hope this important resolution will guide all member states in addressing the difficult challenges facing Afghanistan.”

Members of the General Assembly reiterated the fact that there is an urgent need to tackle the challenges in Afghanistan, in particular the region-based violent extremist activities by the Taliban, including the Haqqani Network, Al‑Qaida and other violent and extremist groups and criminals.

General assembly was also deeply concerned about the continuous and high level of violence in Afghanistan, especially the number of civilian casualties; it further expressed serious concern regarding the increasing presence of ISIL (Daish) in Afghanistan and their brutal acts, including killings of Afghan nationals.

Addressing the General Assembly plenary session, Mahmoud Saikal, said, “External support to the Taliban and other terrorist groups is primarily motivated by regional rivalry, with excessive and unnecessary anxiety and suspicion of one state over its rival’s otherwise ordinary relations with Afghanistan. He added, “This has resulted in an unsavoury policy of using violent proxies in pursuit of political objectives, which has created a significant trust deficit between Pakistan and Afghanistan and provides oxygen for terror to breath.”

Members of the UN General Assembly recognize that an Afghan-led inclusive peace process backed by regional actors, in particular Pakistan, and supported by the international community, is essential for achieving long-term peace and stability in Afghanistan. Hence the members encourage Afghanistan and Pakistan to enhance their relationship that could lead to cooperation to effectively combat terrorism and move the Afghan-led Peace Process forward.

The resolution stresses on the important and impartial role of the United Nations in promoting peace and stability in Afghanistan.

The resolution recognizes the importance of the continued international commitment to support the training, equipping, financing and development of the capacity of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces throughout the Transformation Decade.

The resolution welcomes the start of the second year of the National Unity Government and its achievements in political, economic, governance and social reforms, underlining the need to preserve past achievements, urges further improvements in this regard in particular to address poverty, delivery of services, stimulate economic growth, create employment opportunities, increase domestic revenue, and human rights, especially women’s rights and persons belonging to minorities.

The resolution encourages all partners of Afghanistan to support constructively the Government of Afghanistan’s reform agenda as envisaged in the Self-Reliance Mutual Accountability Framework.

Notes to Editors:

  • The Resolution is on the agenda of the General Assembly since 1980
  • This resolution, adopted on annual basis, is a series of political commitments of the international community through General Assembly.
  • Germany is the pen-holder to this resolution.

Permanent Mission of Afghanistan