STATEMENT BY Ambassador Mohammad Wali Naeemi
Deputy Permanent Representative of the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the
United Nations Security Council Briefing on Afghanistan
26 July 2019
(Please check against delivery)
Mr. President, Members of the Security Council, Distinguished Briefers
I would like to first thank the Permanent Mission of Peru for convening this briefing on the occasion of the visit to Afghanistan by H.E. Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed and her High-Level Delegation in the context of Women, Peace and Security and Development. Visits of this kind truly underline the commitment of the United Nations to continue its support and bringing its agenda to the most relevant stakeholder, the people on the ground. The UN has always been an engaged partner to the benefit of our country, and we are thankful that H.E. and her delegation chose to travel to Afghanistan at a time in which a vital process for the achievement of a lasting and comprehensive peace is taking place.
The momentum for peace continues to grow stronger and the Government of Afghanistan is as decisive in bringing the decades-long conflict to an end. As H.E. highlighted during her visit, however, a comprehensive settlement must have women at the very center of the agenda and must recognize their role as leaders and agents of change, willing and able to delineate what peace means to them. Their rights and the institutional gains of the last 18 years must be preserved and protected, and from the Government’s side, we will continue our commitment to ensure the inclusive role of women in peace and in post-peace development as we move forward in our efforts towards building a stable and self-sustaining Afghanistan.
Among efforts to promote this inclusive role of women in peace, allow me to take a moment to highlight the important part that we expect the newly launched Group of Friends of Afghan Women could play. This Group of Friends will aim to showcase the vital roles played by Afghan women in society, highlight the importance of the consolidation of the gains achieved in the past 18 years and promote the meaningful participation of women in line with Security Council Resolution 1325. We hope that future delegation visits could also be organized as one of the many means for the Group to achieve its goal and look forward to further discussing this and many other opportunities in the future.
Regarding other ongoing processes in the country, allow me to once again reiterate the Government’s commitment to the holding of firm, transparent, free and secure elections in the date selected by the Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan – September 28th. Holding these elections will assert the will of the people of Afghanistan on reaffirming our commitment to democracy and rule of law in our country. Further, a joint security plan has been finalized for presidential elections to be held in a secure environment.
More broadly, our security forces have kept terrorist groups from making any major gains in the country and operating with great confidence and efficiency. This effort will continue with a priority in defense of our people and our country’s territorial integrity in parallel to the ongoing peace negotiations. On that regard, we continue our call for the Taliban to honor their commitment to peace through deeds and not words, particularly in the aftermath of yesterday’s deadly blasts in Kabul which once again claimed the lives of innocent civilians. We maintain our belief that only a dual track approach of pressure and incentives can ensure a conducive environment for a successful comprehensive agreement with the Taliban.
Despite the challenges that remain, the last 18 years have seen the emergence of a new democratic and developing Afghanistan. Reforms in the security and civil sectors, as well as in the rule of governance, have allowed us to continue with strong determination the implementation of the Afghanistan National Peace and Development Framework (ANPDF) and the National Priority Programs (NPPs) and to follow a steady path towards stability and self-reliance through the fighting of corruption, the empowerment of youth and women, the promotion of economic growth and the development of stronger and more efficient public institutions. These efforts, coupled by practical and tangible regional steps within the Afghan-led platforms, RECCA and Heart of Asia, have allowed us to also emerge as a catalyst for economic and regional cooperation.
Allow me to reiterate Afghanistan’s gratitude and support to the work of the United Nations in our country. We further hope that this visit was able to provide H.E. Deputy Secretary-General Mohammed and her esteemed delegation with valuable perspectives and inputs on the importance of a thorough renewal of the mandate of UNAMA. We look forward to the discussion on this matter in September under the hopes that the UN Assistance Mission will be renewed for a period of a year, at the minimum, and that the renewal document will retain core priority issues for Afghanistan and incorporate new developments including upcoming elections and the peace process. The commitment of the international community and the United Nations to the people of Afghanistan is instrumental to protecting and preserving the gains achieved in these years of partnership and transformation.
In closing, allow me to once again thank H.E. Deputy Secretary-General and her High-Level delegation for a visit that truly symbolizes the strong commitment between the United Nations and the people of Afghanistan. We look forward to continue working together towards a stable and prosperous Afghanistan.
I thank you