Statement of the President of the Security Council on the ” Situation in Afghanistan ”

The Security Council welcomes the Afghan-led preparation for the upcoming presidential and provincial council elections and stresses the importance that the elections be free, fair, transparent, credible, secure and inclusive. The Security Council also calls upon the people of Afghanistan to exercise their vote in this historic opportunity for all Afghans to make their voices heard. The Security Council calls on all parties concerned to adhere to the fundamental principles laid out in the electoral law and all other relevant regulations, the Presidential Decree on non-interference in election affairs, and the Guidelines issued by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General to ensure a credible electoral process. It reaffirms the primary responsibility of the Afghan Government and the Independent Electoral Commission to set the necessary conditions for elections, with the active support of the international community. The Security Council welcomes the intention of international partners, including the European Union and the OSCE, to send electoral observation missions and support teams at the request of the Afghan Government. The Security Council stresses the importance of a secure environment for conducting elections, condemns those who resort to violence to obstruct the electoral process, and, while recognizing the ongoing efforts of the Afghan Government, encourages its additional efforts with the assistance of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to ensure security during the electoral period.

– The Security Council welcomes the strengthened commitment that the international community has shown recently in various fora, including those in Moscow, The Hague, Ankara, Strasbourg/Kehl, Washington, Islamabad, Tehran, Yekaterinburg and Trieste, to help the Afghan Government build a stable and prosperous Afghanistan well-integrated in its region.

– The Security Council emphasizes the central role of UNAMA and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in leading and coordinating the international civilian efforts in Afghanistan and notes the expectation expressed in the Hague Conference for expansion of UNAMA’s presence. In this regard, the Security Council expresses its support for the Secretary-General’s intention to further strengthen UNAMA this year and invites the Secretary-General to provide further details of his proposals.

– The Security Council welcomes the progress achieved by the Afghan Government on implementing the Afghan Compact and the Afghanistan National Development Strategy during the period covered by the latest report of the Secretary-General, encourages the Afghan Government to undertake enhanced efforts in addressing issues in the areas of security, governance, the rule of law and human rights, including gender equality, and economic and social development as well as the cross-cutting issue of counter-narcotics, and calls upon the international community to continue to support the Afghan Government’s efforts, including provision of humanitarian assistance, in this regard. The Security Council recalls the priorities identified at the Paris Conference and reaffirmed at the Hague Conference, and emphasizes the importance of providing sufficient support needed for progress in these priority areas.

– The Security Council takes note of the status of the work of developing benchmarks for measuring and tracking progress in the implementation of UNAMA’s mandate and priorities and expresses its hope that the work will be completed through consultation with all actors concerned and that finalized benchmarks will be included in the next report of the Secretary-General.

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