Press release for the Security Council Debate on the Situation of Afghanistan

Press release for the Security Council Debate on the Situation of Afghanistan

H.E. Zahir Tanin, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the UN, addresses the Security Council Meeting on The situation in Afghanistan

Permanent Representative of Afghanistan H.E. Ambassador Zahir Tanin delivered a statement today, 20 June 2013, at the Security Council debate on the Situation in Afghanistan. The debate addressed the status of the security transition, upcoming presidential and provincial elections, and the reconciliation process. Mr. Jan Kubiš, the Special Representative of the Secretary General and Head of UNAMA, gave a statement focusing on the necessity for Afghan leadership and ownership, the final phase of security transition, aid commitments, and human rights.

Security Council members and representatives from India, Turkey, the Delegation of the European Union, Japan, Italy, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Spain, Latvia, Canada, and Germany also delivered statements regarding the Situation in Afghanistan.

H.E. Ambassador Zahir Tanin, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan noted that Afghanistan reached a major milestone two days ago with the launch of the 5th stage of security transition.  “This is a remarkable achievement; a source of pride for the Afghan people,” he said.  Noting how Afghan forces now handle complex security situations “with increased confidence and fortitude,” he stated his country’s readiness to “consolidate our gains…and secure lasting peace.”

The Ambassador also described Afghanistan’s extensive involvement in efforts to start direct negotiations with the Talban as part of the peace process.  He explained that the principles by and the manner in which the Taliban inaugurated their office in Doha betrayed previous agreements.  Moreover, he explained, the public statement by Taliban representatives in Doha not only lacked any clear commitment to peace talks with the Afghan High Peace Council but also made an explicit reference to their desire for the continuation of violence. This, the Ambassador emphasized, “goes against the very spirit of peace.”  As a result, he explained, the Government of Afghanistan decided that the High Peace Council “would not engage in peace talks under the circumstances that the Taliban office opened.”

“While Afghanistan is committed to a peace process and reconciliation that ensures a permanent end to the conflict,” he explained, “pursuing a process that will undermine the hard won gains of the past twelve years- our constitution, the rights of all citizens, particularly women, and our democratic order- will, by no means, be acceptable to the Afghan people.”

Several Council members and other speakers also emphasized the necessity of an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process.  The United States stressed that should a reconciliation process with the Taliban should not advance under the auspices of an office that represents itself as an embassy, an emirate, a government or a sovereign.

Other council members and speakers welcomed the announcement of the 5th stage of transition, and offered support to Afghanistan in the upcoming elections.  Several acknowledged the necessity of the commitment of Afghan leadership to continue in the fight against production and trafficking of narcotics, and adherence to international human rights protocols, including the human rights of women and children.

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