December 12, 2014
Thank you Mr. President.
At the outset, I would like to thank the Republic of Chad for its leadership of the Council this month. I would also like to thank Council members for the adoption of this resolution, which is of vital importance to ongoing stabilization efforts and the future of Afghanistan. To Ambassador Quinlan and his team at the Permanent Mission of Australia, thank you for your hard work, your able facilitation of this resolution, and your dedication as Afghanistan’s penholder.
This resolution is adopted as the ISAF mission ends and a new phase in Afghanistan’s history begins. In just 19 days, Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) will assume full responsibility for the security of the country as the transition process comes to a close on December 31 of this year. The adoption of this resolution is a clear indication of the continuing support of the Council and the international community for the efforts of the Afghan people and the government of Afghanistan to bring peace, stability, democracy and prosperity to the country throughout the transformation decade.
At this crucial juncture in our history, this resolution signifies the necessity of enduring and long term support for Afghanistan. As the Transformation decade begins, we are grateful to our NATO and international partners for their commitment to train, advise and assist the ANDSF after the completion of the ISAF mission. No doubt, there are challenges ahead; al Qaeda and the Taliban continue to launch brutal terror attacks. Just yesterday, a suicide bomber attacked a French school in Kabul, killing civilians and injuring 15. A few weeks ago, a suicide bomber attacked a crowd watching a volleyball match in Paktika province, killing over 50 people and wounding more than 60 others. These are but a few examples of a series of horrific attacks on civilians in Kabul and around the country.
In the face of these challenges, the new President and the national unity government of Afghanistan look forward to strengthening cooperation with our NATO, regional and international partners. We understand that peace and stability cannot be achieved through security measures alone, and to this end the government of Afghanistan is embarking upon an ambitious reform agenda aimed at bringing peace and prosperity to the country.
I would like to take this opportunity to express the government of Afghanistan’s profound gratitude to the NATO and partner countries and their international forces, who have sacrificed their blood and treasure to support Afghanistan in its fight to advance peace and security in the country. With the ongoing support of our international partners, including through the Resolute Support Mission, and the vigorous work of the new government of Afghanistan, their efforts will not have been in vain.
I thank you.