Press Release: UN Security Council holds debate on the Situation in Afghanistan

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On 18 December 2014, the Security Council held a debate on the Situation in Afghanistan. Council Members and representatives from the European Union and over thirteen member states delivered statements on behalf of their governments. Mr. Nicolas Haysom, Special Representative of the Secretary General and head of the United States Mission in Afghanistan, opened the debate. Mr. Yuri Fedotov, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, also briefed the council on counter-narcotics efforts. Following Mr. Fedotov’s remarks, H.E. Ambassador Zahir Tanin, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations, delivered a statement on behalf of his government.

Ambassador Tanin began his remarks by noting the upcoming end of the international military combat mission in Afghanistan. The mission was authorised under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter 13 years ago, in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. NATO will continue to assist, advise and train the Afghan National Security and Defense Forces (ANDSF) beyond 2015 through the Resolute Support Mission. “This is an historic step towards a new beginning in Afghanistan,” Ambassador Tanin remarked, “and a key marker of the country’s transition to a new chapter in its relations with the international community.”

Ambassador Tanin also noted the recent presidential elections, which represented the first peaceful transfer of power from one leader to the next in Afghanistan’s history. Following the elections, the leading presidential candidates agreed to form a national unity government. This agreement, the Ambassador said, “fostered an environment of hopefulness, inclusivity and political consensus, and cemented the foundation for lasting peace and prosperity in Afghanistan.”

Highlighting key aspects of the national unity government’s reform agenda, Ambassador Tanin noted the government’s commitments to fight corruption, advance good governance, promote economic and fiscal stability, strengthen regional cooperation, and enhance development partnerships. The government’s “positive steps to advance the reform agenda,” the Ambassador remarked, “have sent a powerful message to the people of Afghanistan and the international community that… a successful Afghanistan is entirely within our reach.”

Following Ambassador Tanin’s statement, members of the Security Council, a representative of the European Union, and representatives of thirteen other Member States took the floor. They expressed continued support for Afghanistan in the Transformation decade ahead, and applauded Afghanistan’s progress in achieving key transition objectives.

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