United Nations at the Security Council on agenda item: “Briefing by Chairmen of Subsidiary Bodies of the Security Council.”

Statement of Dr. Zahir Tanin
Permanent Representative of Afghanistan
to the United Nations at the Security Council
on agenda item: “Briefing by Chairmen of Subsidiary Bodies
of the Security Council.”

Mr. President,

As this is the first time that I am taking the floor during this month, I would like to begin by congratulating you on your assumption of the Presidency of the Council for the month of May. We commend you and your delegation for the excellent manner in which have led the work of the Council. We are also appreciative to your predecessor, Ambassador Emery Jones Parry of the United Kingdom for his skillful leadership of the Council in the previous month.

We are also thankful to the Chairmen of the Counter-terrorism Committees, established pursuant to Security Council resolutions 1267 (1999), 1373 (2001) and 1540 (2004) for their comprehensive briefings on recent activities undertaken to realize the mandate of the respective Committees.

Mr. President,

The adoption of a Global Counter-terrorism Strategy by the General Assembly in September 2006 was a significant step forward towards strengthening the resolve of the international community to address the global threat of international terrorism. In this regard, we are pleased to note that over recent years, the Security Council has increased its vital role in achieving that objective. Such measures have come in the form of adopting additional resolutions of the Council related to international terrorism, including S.C. resolutions 1624, 1730 and 1735.

We welcome such measures and remain committed to work together with member-states and the relevant organs and agencies of the United Nations to ensure the implementation of the relevant resolutions of both the Security Council and General Assembly on this issue.

Mr. President,

Afghanistan remains a prime victim of terrorism, as terrorist attacks committed by the enemies of peace and stability in Afghanistan continues to disrupt the daily lives of our people. The level of terrorist related violence has increased significantly since last year. These attacks are targeting a wide spectrum of society; school teachers, clerics, health workers, educational institutions; our national army and police, as well as personnel of the ISAF and coalition forces. Increasingly brutal tactics such as the targeting of civilian populations, suicide bombings and beheadings have become prevalent over recent months. Just two days ago, a vicious suicide attack was carried out in the southern province of Gardez, killing 14 civilians and wounding more than 31 bystanders. This heinous act took place subsequent to two other attacks conducted in Kandahar and Kunduz provinces which took the lives of 10 civilians, 3 German soldiers of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and 11 officers of the Afghan national police. The horrific events of the past few days are a stark reminder of the continuing campaign of the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and other extremists in their effort to destabilize the country.

Defeating terrorism remains a precondition for achieving a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan. The prevailing security challenges will not weaken our resolve to eliminate this scourge from our society and achieve our stated goals with the support of our international partners.

The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan condemns international terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, committed by whomever, whenever and whatever purpose. In its firm determination to combat terrorism, the Government of Afghanistan has undertaken a series of substantial measures at the national, regional and international level towards the implementation of the relevant international conventions and resolutions of the Security Council and General Assembly dealing with terrorism. We have submitted two national reports to the 1373 Committee and are in the process of preparing a third report. We have also presented a report to the Security Council Committee, established pursuant to resolution 1267.

Mr. President,

The 1267 Committee sanctions regime remains an essential tool of the Security Council in combat against terrorism. Afghanistan welcomes the Committees recent progress in updating its Guidelines and the adoption of Security Council resolutions 1730 which calls for the creation of a focal point within the Secretariat to receive delisting requests from States. The adoption of resolution 1735 was another important initiative as it seeks to improve the quality of the consolidated list.

Country visits by Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team of the 1267 Committee is one of the most effective means of monitoring implementation measures and to enhance dialogue with member-states. We were pleased at the outcome of the visit of the Monitoring Team of the 1267 Committee to Kabul, Afghanistan from the 8th – 15h of this month. The Monitoring Team held constructive meetings with senior officials at the Ministries of Defense, Justice, Foreign Affairs and Interior. Additional meetings were held with the head of the National Reconciliation Commission and members of both the National Security Directorate and National Security Council to discuss issues related to updating and improving the quality of the consolidated list. We are confident that the recent visit of the Monitoring Team will assist the Committee to update the list so as to reflect new developments in the Afghanistan and the region.

We commend the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) for its continued assistance provided to states to strengthen their counter-terrorism legislation through its Executive Directorate. In this regard, we are pleased to note the intention of the Executive Directorate to conduct a follow-up visit to Kabul, Afghanistan in the coming months. The visit will offer another opportunity for us to provide a first hand account of our counter-terrorism measures, particularly in the areas of anti-terrorism legislation, border control and practice, as well as police and law enforcement. It will also be useful in assessing and identifying areas where technical assistance is required to strengthen existing counter-terrorism legislation and mechanisms within the relevant institutions and agencies.

Mr. President,

Regional cooperation is indispensable to eliminate terrorism from Afghanistan and the region, given the cross-border nature of our security challenges. Our efforts alone, no matter how robust and effective, will not suffice without an equal effort from regional actors. We continue to maintain constructive cooperation within regional and bilateral mechanisms to effectively combat terrorism in Afghanistan and the region. Consultations continue between Afghanistan and Pakistan within various frameworks. The Ankara Summit between the Heads of State of the two countries which took place from 29-30 April provided another opportunity to strengthen regional cooperation in the combat against terrorism. We remain confident of the Summits successful outcome. We also welcome the initiative of the G-8 to facilitate enhanced collaboration between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Furthermore, I am also pleased to inform that subsequent to the second preparatory meeting of the Jirgah commissions, held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan on the 3rd of May, it was decided that the Peace Jirgah of tribal and community leaders from both sides of the border will be convened in the first week of August 2007.

In the face of ongoing threats posed by international terrorists, a more robust effort on the part of member-states, the United Nations, and relevant regional and sub-regional organizations is required to meet the challenge of combating terrorism. My delegation notes with satisfaction the increased coordination between the three counter-terrorism committees of the Council.

To conclude, I would like to express and reaffirm our steadfast commitment in the combat against terrorism. We remain resolute to achieve the full implementation of the relevant resolutions of this Council dealing with terrorism.

Thank you Mr. President.

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