Afghanistan: Text of Resolution A/RES/66/13 (2011) as adopted by the General Assembly

Nov 21, 2011

A/66/L.10 (2011) The situation in Afghanistan

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolution 65/8 of 7 November 2010 and all its previous relevant resolutions,

Recalling also all relevant Security Council resolutions and statements by the President of the Council on the situation in Afghanistan, in particular resolutions 1974 (2011) and 2011 (2011) of 13 October 2011,

Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Afghanistan, and respecting its multicultural, multi-ethnic and historical heritage,

Recognizing once again the interconnected nature of the challenges in Afghanistan, reaffirming that sustainable progress on security, governance, human rights, the rule of law and development, as well as on the cross-cutting theme of counter-narcotics, is mutually reinforcing, and welcoming the continuing efforts of the Government of Afghanistan and the international community to address these challenges in a coherent manner,

Recalling the long-term commitment of the international community to Afghanistan, including the mutual commitments made at the London and Kabul Conferences, looking forward to the upcoming comprehensive review by the Secretary-General, in consultation with the Afghan Government and relevant international stakeholders, of the United Nations Assistance Mission’s mandated activities and the United Nations’ support in Afghanistan, with the aim of strengthening national ownership and leadership consistent with the Kabul Process and taking into account the evolving nature of the international community’s presence,

Looking forward to the “International Conference on Afghanistan: From Transition to Transformation” in Bonn on 5 December 2011, chaired by the Government of Afghanistan, where civil aspects of transition, the long-term commitment of the international community in Afghanistan within its region, and the support of the political process will be further defined,

Noting regional initiativessuch as those being implemented in the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), the European Union (EU), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), the Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) and other relevant initiatives aimed at increased regional economic cooperation with Afghanistan such as the Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA), the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) and noting also the ministerial meeting to enhance trade connectivity along historical trade routes on 22 September 2011 in New York;

Underlining the significance of the agreement reached between the Government of Afghanistan and countries contributing to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Summit in Lisbon, to gradually transfer lead security responsibility in Afghanistan to the Government of Afghanistan country-wide by the end of 2014,welcoming the ongoing implementation of transition and looking forward to its phased extension to the rest of the country, underlining ISAF’s continuing role, in support of the Government of Afghanistan, in promoting a responsible transition and the importance of the enhancement of the operational capabilities of the Afghan national security forces, stressing the long-term commitment, beyond 2014, of the international community to support the further development, including training, and professionalization of the Afghan national security forces and its capacity to counter continued threats to Afghanistan’s security, with a view to lasting peace, security and stability, noting that these issues will be discussed at the forthcoming NATO Summit in Chicago,

Reiterating the urgent need to tackle the challenges in Afghanistan, in particular the ongoing violent criminal and terrorist activities by the Taliban, Al-Qaida, other violent and extremist groups and criminals, including those involved in the narcotics trade, and the development of Government of Afghanistan institutions, including at the subnational level, the strengthening of the rule of law and democratic processes, the fight against corruption, the acceleration of justice sector reform, the promotion of national reconciliation, without prejudice to the fulfilment of the measures introduced by the Security Council in its resolutions 1267 (1999), 1988 (2011), 1989 (2011) and other relevant resolutions, an Afghan-led transitional justice process, the safe and voluntary return of Afghan refugees and internally displaced persons in an orderly and dignified manner, the promotion and protection of human rights and the advancement of economic and social development,

Deeply concerned about the continued high level of violence in Afghanistan, condemning in the strongest terms all violent attacks and recognizing, in that regard, the continuously alarming threats posed by the Taliban, Al-Qaida and other violent and extremist groups, as well as the challenges related to the efforts to address such threats,

Expressing its serious concern about the high number of civilian casualties, recalling that the Taliban, Al-Qaida and other violent and extremist groups are responsible for the significant majority of the civilian casualties in Afghanistan, and calling for compliance with international humanitarian and human rights law and for all appropriate measures to be taken to ensure the protection of civilians,

Recognizing further progress made by the Assistance Force, authorized by the Security Council, and other international forces in ensuring the protection of the civilian population and in minimizing civilian casualties and calling upon them to continue to make enhanced efforts in this regard, notably through the continuous review of tactics and procedures and the conduct of after-action reviews and investigations in cooperation with the Government of Afghanistan in cases where civilian casualties have occurred and when the Government finds these joint investigations appropriate,

Noting the importance of the national Government being inclusive and representative of the ethnic diversity of the country and ensuring also the full and equal participation of women,

1. Emphasizes the central and impartial role of the United Nations in promoting peace and stability in Afghanistan, expresses its appreciation and strong support for all efforts of the Secretary-General and his Special Representative in this regard, expresses its appreciation also for the work of the United Nations Assistance Mission (UNAMA) in accordance with Security Council resolution 1974 (2011), stresses the leading role of UNAMA in Afghanistan in seeking to further improve the coherence and coordination of international civilian efforts, guided by the principle of reinforcing Afghan ownership and leadership, and, in this regard, looks forward to the results of the up-coming comprehensive review of UNAMA’s mandated activities and the United Nations’ support in Afghanistan, as mandated in op43 of Security Council resolution 1974 (2011);

2. Welcomes the reports of the Secretary-General[1] and the recommendations contained therein;

3. Pledges its continued support to the Government and people of Afghanistan as they rebuild a stable, secure, economically self-sufficient state, free of terrorism and narcotics and strengthen the foundations of a constitutional democracy, as a responsible member of the international community;

4. Appreciates the renewed commitment by the Government of Afghanistan to the Afghan people and the renewed commitment by the international community to Afghanistan expressed in the communiqués of the London and Kabul Conferences, reiterates in this regard its appreciation for the Afghanistan National Development Strategy, underlines the need for continued development and implementation, including costing plans, of the national priority programmes, and looks forward to the presentation of the remaining national priority programmes;

5. Welcomes further efforts by the Government of Afghanistan to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, and  acknowledges, to that effect, the important work being done through the interministerial coordination mechanism and its role in prioritizing and implementing the Afghan National Development Strategy and the national priority programmes;

6. Encourages all partners to support constructively the Kabul process, building upon a deep and broad international partnership towards further increased Afghan responsibility and ownership in security, governance and development, aiming at a secure, prosperous and democratic Afghanistan, focusing on strengthening the constitutional checks and balances that guarantee citizen rights and obligations, and implementing structural reform to enable an accountable and effective Government to deliver concrete progress to its people;

7. Supports the continuing and growing ownership of reconstruction and development efforts by the Government of Afghanistan, and emphasizes the crucial need to achieve ownership and accountability in all fields of governance and to improve institutional capabilities, including at the subnational level, in order to use aid more effectively;

SECURITY AND TRANSITION

8. Reiterates once again its serious concern about the security situation in Afghanistan, stresses the need to continue to address the threat to the security and stability of Afghanistan caused by the ongoing violent and terrorist activity by the Taliban, Al-Qaida and other violent and extremist groups and criminals, including those involved in the narcotics trade; and reiterates in this regard its call for the full implementation of measures and application of procedures introduced in relevant Security Council resolutions, in particular resolutions 1267 (1999), 1988 and 1989 (2011);

9. Condemns in the strongest terms all acts of violence, intimidation and attacks, including improvised explosive device attacks, suicide attacks, assassinations, including of public figures,and abductions, indiscriminate targeting of civilians, attacks against humanitarian workers and targeting of Afghan and international forces and their deleterious effect on the stabilization, reconstruction and development efforts in Afghanistan, and condemns further the use by the Taliban, Al-Qaida, and other violent and extremist groups, of civilians as human shields,

10. Stresses the need for the Government of Afghanistan and the international community to continue to work closely together in countering these acts, which are threatening peace and stability in Afghanistan and the democratic process, the achievements and continued implementation of the reconstruction and development process of Afghanistan as well as humanitarian aid measures; and calls upon all Member States to deny those groups any form of sanctuary or financial, material and political support;

11. Expresses deep regret at the resulting loss of life and physical harm inflicted upon Afghan civilians and civilians of other nationalities, including the personnel of Afghan and international agencies and all other humanitarian workers and the diplomatic corps, the United Nations Assistance Mission, as well as upon the personnel of the Afghan National Security Forces, the Assistance Force and the Operation Enduring Freedom coalition, and pays homage to all those who have lost their lives;

12. Stresses the importance of the provision of sufficient security, calls upon the Government of Afghanistan, with the assistance of the international community, to continue to address the threat to the security and stability of Afghanistan, and commends the Afghan National Security Forces and their international partners for their efforts in this regard;

13. Notes that the responsibility for providing security and law and order throughout the country resides with the Government of Afghanistan, supported by the international community, and underlines the importance of further extending central government authority, including the strengthening of the presence of Afghan security forces, to all provinces of Afghanistan, consistent with the goal of transition;

14. Expresses its support for the objective of the Government of Afghanistan, as endorsed by the Joint Coordination and Management Board (JCMB), to enable the Afghan National Security Forces to have the necessary strength and operational capability to take over the lead security responsibility from the Assistance Force in all provinces by the end of 2014 and calls upon the international community to provide the support necessary to increase security, as well as to provide continued support in training, equipping and contributing to financing to the Afghan National Security Forces to take on the task of securing their country;

15. Welcomes the start of the transition process in July 2011 of lead security responsibility agreed upon by the Government of Afghanistan and the countries taking part in ISAF, commends the continuing progress that has been made in this regard, looks forward to the further stages of transition, welcomes also the commitment of the international partners of Afghanistan to support the Government in creating the conditions necessary to allow for transition and to continue to support the transition process so as to enable it to advance to the point at which the Afghan National Security Forces are fully capable of meeting the security needs of the country, including public order, law enforcement, the security of the borders of Afghanistan and the preservation of the constitutional rights of Afghan citizens, and calls upon Member States to continue to support the transition process with the necessary continued financial and technical support;

16. Welcomes, in this regard, the presence of the International Security Assistance Force and the Operation Enduring Freedom coalition, expresses its appreciation for the support they have provided to the Afghan National Army, as well as for the assistance provided to the Afghan National Police by international partners, in particular by NATO through its training mission in Afghanistan and by the European Gendarmerie Force contribution to that mission, acknowledges the continued deployment of the European Union Police Mission in Afghanistan as well as other bilateral training programmes, and, in light of the transition process, encourages further coordination where appropriate;

17. Also welcomes the commitment of the Government of Afghanistan, with a view to ensuring stability and providing conditions for the effective rule of law, to continue the implementation of the Afghan National Police Strategy and the National Police Plan underpinning it, to build a strong, professional police force, with a focus on the ongoing institutional and administrative reforms of the Ministry of the Interior, including the implementation of its anti-corruption action plan, and leadership development, as well as to progressively enhance the quality and increase the strength of the Afghan National Police, with the necessary continued financial and technical support by the international community;

18. Calls upon Member States to continue contributing personnel, equipment and other resources to the Assistance Force and to adequately support the evolution of the provincial reconstruction teams in close coordination with the Government of Afghanistan and the Assistance Mission;

19. Notes, in the context of the comprehensive approach and the ongoing transition process, the continued importance of the synergies in the objectives of the Assistance Mission and the Assistance Force; and emphasizes, in particular, the continued need to maintain, strengthen and review civil-military relations among international actors, as appropriate, at all levels in order to ensure complementarity of action based on the different mandates and comparative advantages of the humanitarian, development, law enforcement and military actors present in Afghanistan;

20. Urges the Afghan authorities, with the support of the international community, to take all possible steps to ensure the safety, security and free movement of all United Nations, development and humanitarian personnel and their full, safe and unhindered access to all affected populations, and to protect the property of the United Nations and of development or humanitarian organizations, and notes the efforts made in regulating private security contractors operating in Afghanistan;

21. Also urges the Afghan authorities to make every effort, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 60/123 of 15 December 2005 on the safety and security of humanitarian personnel and protection of United Nations personnel, to bring to justice the perpetrators of attacks;

22. Stresses the importance of advancing the full implementation of the programme of disbandment of illegal armed groups throughout the country, under Afghan ownership, while ensuring coordination and coherence with other relevant efforts, including security sector reform, community development, counternarcotics, district-level development and Afghan-led initiatives to ensure that entities and individuals do not illegally participate in the political process, in particular in future elections, in accordance with adopted laws and regulations in Afghanistan,

23. Expresses its appreciation for the progress achieved by the Government of Afghanistan in the programme of disbandment of illegal armed groups and its integration in the Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Programme (APRP), welcomes the continued commitment of the Government to work actively at the national, provincial and local levels to advance this commitment, stresses the importance of all efforts to create sufficient legal income-earning opportunities, and calls for continued international support for these efforts;

24. Remains deeply concerned about the persisting problem of anti-personnel landmines and explosive remnants of war, which constitute a great danger to the population and a major obstacle to the resumption of economic activities and to recovery and reconstruction efforts;

25. Welcomes the progress achieved through the Mine Action Programme for Afghanistan, supports the Government of Afghanistan in its efforts to meet its responsibilities under the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-personnel Mines and on Their Destruction,[2] to cooperate fully with the Mine Action Programme coordinated by the United Nations and to eliminate all known or new stocks of anti-personnel landmines, and acknowledges the need for continued assistance from the international community in this regard;

26. Notes the ratification of the Convention on Cluster Munitions by Afghanistan;

PEACE, RECONCILIATION & REINTEGRATION

27. Welcomes the adoption of Security Council resolutions 1988 and 1989 (2011) succeeding resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1904 (2009), welcomes also the establishment of the 1988 Committee and the measures, in Security Council resolution 1988 (2011), with respect to individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with the Taliban in constituting a threat to the peace, stability and security of Afghanistan, calls for the full implementation of measures and application of procedures introduced in the relevant Security Council resolutions, in particular 1267 (1999) and 1988 (2011), and calls for consultations, as appropriate, with the Government of Afghanistan as stipulated in resolution 1988;

28. Expresses its support for the Government of Afghanistan-led comprehensive process of peace and reconciliation as recommended by the National Consultative Jirga in June 2010, commends the renewed efforts of the Afghan Government, including the efforts of the High Peace Council and the ongoing implementation of the Afghan Peace and Reintegration Programme with the aim to promote an inclusive dialogue between all Afghan groups including those elements in opposition to the Government who are prepared to renounce violence, denounce terrorism, break ties with Al Qaida and other terrorist organizations and abide by the Afghan Constitution and expresses its support for calls upon those concerned to engage in dialogue with the goal of meeting these conditions and reconcile and reintegrate, without prejudice to the implementation of measures and application of procedures introduced by the Security Council in its resolutions 1267 (1999), 1988 (2011), 1989 (2011) and all other relevant resolutions in this regard;

29. Strongly condemns the assassination of Professor Burhanuddin Rabbani, Chairman of the Afghanistan High Peace Council, emphasizes the importance of all states with relevant information extending to the Afghan authorities the assistance they may need and all relevant information they may possess pertaining to this terrorist attack, stresses the need for calm and solidarity in Afghanistan at this time and for all parties to reduce tensions,and expresses its firm commitment to support the Government of Afghanistan in its efforts to advance the peace and reconciliation process, in line with the Kabul Communiqué and within the framework of the Afghan Constitution and application of the procedures introduced by the Security Council in its resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1988 (2011) as well as other relevant resolutions of the Council;

30. Calls on all relevant states and international organizations to remain engaged in the Afghan-led peace process, and recognizes the impact terrorist attacks have on the Afghan people and risk having on future prospects for a peace settlement;

31. Underlines that reconciliation efforts should enjoy the support of all Afghans, including civil society, minorities and women’s groups;

32. Calls upon the Government of Afghanistan to ensure that the Afghan Peace and Reintegration Programme is implemented in an inclusive manner consistent with the Afghan Constitution and the international legal obligations of Afghanistan, while upholding the human rights of all Afghans and countering impunity,

33. Welcomes the establishment of the Peace and Reintegration Trust Fund, recalls the respective commitments made at the London and Kabul Conferences, and stresses the importance of continued contributions by the international community to the Trust Fund;

34. Recognizes the ongoing progress in the reconciliation with the Government of Afghanistan of those Taliban individuals who have rejected the terrorist ideology of Al-Qaida and its followers, abide by the Constitution and support a peaceful resolution to the continuing conflict in Afghanistan, calls upon the Taliban to accept the offer put forward by President Karzai to renounce violence, sever ties with terrorist groups, abide by the Constitution and join the peace and reconciliation process, and recognizes also that notwithstanding the evolution of the situation in Afghanistan and progress in reconciliation, security remains a serious challenge in Afghanistan and the region;

35. Recognizes also the increased number of reintegrees that have joined the Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Programme, welcomes the results of the APRP Review Conference in May and recent efforts to ensure its implementation and encourages further efforts to address remaining operational challenges, including through an appropriate vetting mechanism and ensuring this work is linked to wider efforts to address conflict and grievance resolution at the local level, and further encourages the international community to support this Afghan-led effort;

GOVERNANCE, RULE OF LAW AND HUMAN RIGHTS

36. Emphasizes that good governance, the rule of law and human rights form the foundation for the achievement of a stable and prosperous Afghanistan, and notes the importance of building the capacity of the Government of Afghanistan to promote and protect human rights, the rule of law and governance in an accountable and effective manner;

A) DEMOCRACY

37. Recognizes the importance of holding free, fair, transparent, credible, secure and inclusive elections as crucial steps towards consolidating democracy for all Afghans, stresses the responsibility of the Afghan authorities in this regard, also stresses the need for the timely and orderly preparation of elections, calls upon the international community to continue to provide financial and technical assistance, stresses the leading role of the Assistance Mission in coordinating these efforts, and calls upon the international community to support the Government of Afghanistan and the relevant Afghan institutions;

38. Welcomes the settlement of the institutional impasse after the decision to leave the Independent Electoral Commission with the final authority in electoral questions, reiterating the Afghan Government’s commitment in the Kabul Conference communiqué to address long-term electoral reform, based on lessons learned in previous elections, including the 2010 parliamentary elections, and reaffirms that Afghanistan’s peaceful future lies in strengthened and transparent democratic institutions, respect for the separation of powers, reinforced constitutional checks and balances and the guarantee and enforcement of citizens’ rights and obligations;

B) JUSTICE

39. Welcomes the steps taken by the Government of Afghanistan on justice sector reform and the commitment to improving access to the delivery of justice throughout Afghanistan made by the Government of Afghanistan at the Kabul Conference, stresses the need for further accelerated progress towards the establishment of a fair, transparent and effective justice system, in particular by implementing the National Justice Programme, the National Justice Strategy and the forthcoming “Justice for All” National Priority Program in a timely manner and by providing security and ensuring the rule of law throughout the country, and urges the international community to continue to support the efforts of the Government in these areas in a coordinated manner;

40. Acknowledges the progress made by the Government of Afghanistan and the international community in devoting adequate resources to the reconstruction and reform of the prison sector in order to improve respect for the rule of law and human rights therein, while reducing physical and mental health risks to inmates;

41. Encourages further efforts by the Government of Afghanistan, with the support of UNAMA, the international community, and other partners, including the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), in protecting, and preventing abuses of, the human rights of those detained in all Afghan prisons and detention facilities, consistent with the Afghan Constitution, Afghan laws, and international obligations, and in ensuring respect for human rights and the rule of law within Afghanistan, welcomes the cooperation of the Government of Afghanistan, as well as the efforts of the international community to support them in this regard, takes note of the recommendations contained in the UNAMA report dated 10 October 2011 and reiterates the importance of following the appropriate legal procedures to ensure justice;

42. Emphasizes the importance of ensuring access for relevant organizations to all prisons in Afghanistan, and calls for full respect for relevant international law, including humanitarian law and human rights law, where applicable, including with regard to minors, if detained;

C) PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION

43. Urges the Government of Afghanistan to continue to effectively reform the public administration sector in order to implement the rule of law and to ensure good governance and accountability, in accordance with the Kabul process, at both the national and subnational levels, with the support of the international community, welcomes the efforts of the Government and commitments made at the Kabul Conference in this regard, stresses the importance of transparent appointment and promotion procedures for civil servants, and continues to encourage the Government to make active use of the Senior Appointments Panel;

44. Encourages the international community, including all donor nations as well as international institutions and organizations, governmental and non-governmental, to assist the Government of Afghanistan in making capacity-building and human resources development a cross-cutting priority and to align, in a coordinated manner, with efforts by the Government, including the work of the Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission, to build administrative capacity at the national and subnational levels;

45. Reiterates the importance of institution building complementing and contributing to the development of an economy characterized by sound macroeconomic policies, the development of a financial sector that provides services, inter alia, to microenterprises, small and medium-sized enterprises and households, transparent business regulations and accountability; and emphasizes the connection between generating economic growth, including through infrastructural projects, and the creation of job opportunities in Afghanistan;

46. Recalls the ratification by Afghanistan of the United Nations Convention against Corruption,[3] reiterates its appreciation for the anti-corruption commitments made by the Government of Afghanistan at the London and Kabul Conferences, calls for further action by the Government to fulfil those commitments in order to establish a more effective, accountable and transparent administration at the national, provincial and local levels of Government, welcomes continued international support to that end, and notes with deep concern the effects of corruption with regard to security, good governance, the combating of the narcotics industry, and economic development;

47. Welcomes the principles of effective partnership set out in the communiqué of the Kabul Conference, in this context calls for the full implementation of the commitments made at the London Conference and reaffirmed at the Kabul Conference to align and channel increasing international resources through the budget of the Government of Afghanistan and in greater alignment with Afghan priorities, encourages all partners to work with the Government to implement the “Operational guide: criteria for effective off-budget development finance” to improve procurement procedures and due diligence in international contracting procedures and to promote Afghan parliamentary oversight of expenditures and development programming, and recalls that progress in this area requires achieving the necessary reforms of the public financial management systems, reducing corruption, improving budget execution and increasing revenue collection;

48. Underlines the importance of the recent agreement of the Government of Afghanistan with the International Monetary Fund on a three-year arrangement reaffirming the commitment to successful cooperation based on effective and transparent economic reforms;

49. Welcomes the Subnational Governance Policy, underscores the importance of more visible, accountable and capable subnational institutions and actors in reducing the political space for insurgents, emphasizes the importance of the Kabul process being accompanied by the implementation of national programmes at the subnational level, encourages the capacity-building and empowerment of local institutions in a phased and fiscally sustainable manner, and calls for the predictable and regular allocation of more resources to provincial authorities, including continued vital support from the Assistance Mission and the international community;

50. Urges the Government of Afghanistan to address, with the assistance of the international community, the question of claims for land property through a comprehensive land titling programme, including formal registration of all property and improved security of property rights, and welcomes the steps already taken by the Government in this regard;

D) HUMAN RIGHTS

51. Recalls the constitutional guarantee of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all Afghans as a significant political achievement, calls for full respect for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all, without discrimination of any kind, and stresses the need to fully implement the human rights provisions of the Afghan Constitution, in accordance with obligations under applicable international law, including those regarding the full enjoyment by women and children of their human rights;

52. Acknowledges and encourages the efforts made by the Government of Afghanistan in promoting respect for human rights and expresses its concern at the harmful consequences of violent and terrorist activities by the Taliban, Al-Qaida and other violent and extremist groups and criminals for the enjoyment of human rights and for the capacity of the Government of Afghanistan to ensure human rights and fundamental freedoms for all Afghans, notes with concern reports of continued violations of human rights and of international humanitarian law including violent or discriminatory practices, violations committed against persons belonging to ethnic and religious minorities, as well as against women and children, in particular girls, stresses the need to promote tolerance and religious freedom as guaranteed by the Afghan Constitution, emphasizes the necessity of investigating allegations of current and past violations, and stresses the importance of facilitating the provision of efficient and effective remedies to the victims and of bringing the perpetrators to justice in accordance with national and international law;

53. Commends the Government of Afghanistan for its active participation in the universal periodic review process, calls for continued active participation of Afghan civil society in this process, and encourages the timely implementation of the recommendations addressed in the relevant report;

54. Stresses the need to ensure respect for the right to freedom of expression and the right to freedom of thought, conscience or belief as enshrined in the Afghan Constitution, in this regard calls for full implementation of the mass media law, while noting with concern the continuing intimidation and violence targeting Afghan journalists and challenges to the independence of the media, condemns cases of the abduction and even killing of journalists by terrorist as well as extremist and criminal groups, and urges that harassment and attacks on journalists be investigated by Afghan authorities and that those responsible be brought to justice;

55. Reiterates the important role of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission in the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, stresses the need to guarantee its constitutional status and implement its mandate, focusing on communities across Afghanistan, so as to foster a more informed public and increase Government accountability, welcomes the decision of the Government of Afghanistan to take full responsibility for the core funding of the Commission and urges the Commission to cooperate closely with Afghan civil society, and calls upon the international community for continued support in this regard;

56. Recalls Security Council resolutions 1674 (2006), 1738 (2006), 1894 (2009) and the 2011 mid-year report of July 2011 on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, prepared by the Assistance Mission, expresses its serious concern at the high number of civilian casualties, including women and children, and its impact on local communities, notes that the Taliban, Al-Qaida and other violent and extremist groups remain responsible for the significant majority of civilian casualties, reiterates its call for all feasible steps to be taken to ensure the protection of civilians, and calls for additional appropriate steps in this regard and for full compliance with international humanitarian and human rights law;

57. Recalls also Security Council resolutions 1325 (2000) of 31 October 2000, 1820 (2008) of 19 June 2008, 1888 (2009) of 30 September 2009 and 1889 (2009) of 5 October 2009 and 1960 (2010) of 16 December 2010 on women and peace and security, and reiterates the importance of upholding international obligations for the advancement of women’s rights as enshrined in the Afghan Constitution;

58. Commends the efforts of the Government of Afghanistan to mainstream gender issues, including into the national priority programmes, and to protect and promote the equal rights of women and men as guaranteed, inter alia, by virtue of its ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women,[4] and by the Afghan Constitution and the implementation of the National Action Plan for Women, reiterates the continued importance of the full and equal participation of women in all spheres of Afghan life, and of equality before the law and equal access to legal counsel without discrimination of any kind, and stresses the need for continued progress on gender issues in accordance with the obligations of Afghanistan under international law;

59. Strongly condemns incidents of discrimination and violence against women and girls, in particular if directed against women activists and women prominent in public life, wherever they occur in Afghanistan, including killings, maimings and “honour killings” in certain parts of the country;

60. Reiterates its appreciation for the Elimination of Violence against Women Special Fund of the United Nations Development Fund for Women as well as for its Urgent Response Fund, which continues to address targeted violence against women and women’s rights defenders in Afghanistan, and stresses the need for continued financial contributions by the international community to those funds;

61. Welcomes the achievements and efforts of the Government of Afghanistan in countering discrimination, urges the Government to actively involve all elements of Afghan society, in particular women, in the development and implementation of relief, rehabilitation, recovery and reconstruction programmes, as well as in national priority programmes, and accurately track the progress of the full integration of women into the political, economic and social life, stresses the need for continued progress on gender equality, in accordance with its obligations under international law and in the empowerment of women in Afghan politics and public administration, including in leadership positions and at the subnational level, also stresses the need to facilitate the access of women to employment and to ensure female literacy and training, and calls upon the international community to continue to provide support in this regard;

62. Stresses the need to ensure respect for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of children in Afghanistan and recalls the need for the full implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child[5] and the two Optional Protocols thereto[6] by all States parties, as well as of Security Council resolutions 1612 (2005), 1882 (2009) and 1998 (2011)on children and armed conflict;

63. Expresses its concern, in this regard, about the ongoing recruitment and use of children by illegal armed and terrorist groups in Afghanistan, stresses the importance of ending the use of children contrary to international law, expresses appreciation for the progress achieved by and the firm commitment of the Government of Afghanistan in this regard, including its strong condemnation of any exploitation of children, as indicated by the establishment of the Inter-Ministerial Steering Committee for the Protection of the Rights of Children, the appointment of a focal point on child protection and the signing by the Government of Afghanistan, in January 2011, of an Action Plan, including its annexes, on children associated with national security forces in Afghanistan and calls for the full implementation of the provisions of the plan, in close cooperation with UNAMA;

64. Recognizes the special needs of girls, strongly condemns terrorist attacks as well as threats of attacks on educational facilities, especially on those for Afghan girls, and/or hospitals and protected persons in relation to them in Afghanistan, in contravention of applicable international law, and expresses deep concern about the high number of school closures as a result of terrorist attacks or threats of attacks;

65. Welcomes the adoption by the Government of Afghanistan of the National Plan of Action on Combating Child Trafficking, also welcomes initiatives to pass legislation on human trafficking, guided by the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime,[7] and stresses the importance of considering becoming a party to the Protocol;

SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

66. Urgently appeals to all States, the United Nations system and international and non-governmental organizations, including the international and regional financial institutions, to continue to provide, in close coordination with the Government of Afghanistan and in accordance with Afghan priorities and the National Development Strategy, all possible and necessary humanitarian, recovery, reconstruction, development, financial, educational, technical and material assistance for Afghanistan, and recalls in this regard the leading role of the Assistance Mission in seeking to further improve the coherence and coordination of international efforts;

67. Stresses the need for a continued strong international commitment to humanitarian assistance and for programmes, under the ownership of the Government of Afghanistan, of recovery, rehabilitation, reconstruction and development, while expressing its appreciation to the United Nations system and to all States and international and non-governmental organizations whose international and local staff continue to respond positively to the humanitarian, transition and development needs of Afghanistan despite security concerns and difficulties of access in certain areas;

68. Expresses also its appreciation for the humanitarian and development assistance work of the international community in the reconstruction and development of Afghanistan, recognizes the necessity for further improvement in the living conditions of the Afghan people, and emphasizes the need to strengthen and support the development of the capacity of the Government of Afghanistan to deliver basic social services, in particular education and public health services, and to promote development;

69. Urges the Government of Afghanistan to enhance efforts to reform key service delivery sectors, such as energy and drinking water supply, as preconditions for progress in social and economic development, commends the Government for its efforts to date to reach fiscal sustainability, notes the challenges ahead and urges continued commitment to revenue generation;

70. Expresses its appreciation for the work of the provincial reconstruction teams as they work within the provincial context to support national priorities to build the capacities of local institutions;

71. Encourages the international community and the corporate sector to support the Afghan economy as a measure for long-term stability and to explore possibilities for increased trade and investments and enhanced local procurements, and further encourages the Government of Afghanistan to continue to promote an economic environment favourable for private-sector investments at both the national and subnational levels;

72. Urgently encourages all States as well as intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to expand agricultural cooperation with Afghanistan, within the National Agricultural Development Framework and in line with the Afghanistan National Development Strategy; with a view to helping eradicate poverty and ensure social and economic development, including in rural communities;

73. Reiterates the necessity of providing Afghan children, especially Afghan girls, with educational and health facilities in all parts of the country, welcomes the progress achieved in the sector of public education, recalls the National Education Strategic Plan as a promising basis for further achievements, encourages the Government of Afghanistan, with the assistance of the international community, to expand those facilities, train professional staff and promote full and equal access to them by all members of Afghan society, including in remote areas; and reiterates further the need to provide vocational training for adolescents;

74. Commends the relief efforts by the Government of Afghanistan and donors, but continues to express its concern at the overall humanitarian situation, stresses the continued need for food assistance, and calls for continued international support for and the early fulfilment, before the approaching winter, of the funding targets of the Afghanistan Humanitarian Action Plan;

75. Recognizes that underdevelopment and lack of capacity increase the vulnerability of Afghanistan to natural disasters and to harsh climate conditions, and urges in this regard the Government of Afghanistan, with the support of the international community, to increase its efforts aimed at strengthening disaster risk reduction at the national and subnational levels and at modernizing the agricultural sector and strengthening its agricultural production, thereby reducing the vulnerability of Afghanistan to adverse external conditions such as drought, flooding and other natural disasters;

76. Expresses its appreciation to those Governments that continue to host Afghan refugees, in particular the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Islamic Republic of Iran, acknowledging the huge burden they have so far shouldered in this regard, and asks for continued generous support by the international community, with a view to facilitating their voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable return, rehabilitation and reintegration;

77. Reiterates to host countries and the international community the obligations under international refugee law with respect to the protection of refugees, the principle of voluntary return and the right to seek asylum and to ensure full, safe and unhindered access for humanitarian relief agencies in order to provide protection and assistance to the refugees; and calls upon countries to continue to accept an appropriate number of Afghan refugees for resettlement, as a manifestation of their shared responsibility and solidarity;

78. Welcomes the continued return of Afghan refugees and internal displaced persons, in a voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable manner, while noting with concern that conditions in parts of Afghanistan are not yet conducive to a safe and sustainable return to some places of origin;

79. Urges the Government of Afghanistan, acting with the support of the international community, to continue to strengthen its efforts to create the conditions for the sustainable return by continuing to strengthen its absorption capacity for the full rehabilitation and reintegration of the remaining Afghan refugees and internally displaced persons;

80. Notes, in this regard, the continued constructive work between the countries of the region, as well as the tripartite agreements between the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the Government of Afghanistan and the Governments of countries hosting refugees from Afghanistan, in particular the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Islamic Republic of Iran;

REGIONAL COOPERATION

81. Stresses the crucial role of advancing constructive regional cooperation in promoting peace, security, stability and economic and social development in Afghanistan, encourages further improved relations and enhanced engagement between Afghanistan and its neighbours, and calls for further efforts in this regard, including by regional organizations;

82. Commends the continuing efforts of the signatories of the Kabul Declaration on Good- Neighbourly Relations of 22 December 2002[8] to implement their commitments under the Declaration, calls upon all other States to respect and support the implementation of those provisions and further welcomes the reaffirmation in the Kabul Conference Communiqué of the principles set out in the Declaration;

83. Welcomes and encourages further efforts by the Government of Afghanistan and its neighbouring partners to foster trust and cooperation with each other, and looks forward, where appropriate, to increasing cooperation between Afghanistan, all its neighbouring and regional partners, and regional organizations against the Taliban, Al-Qaida and other extremist and criminal groups and in promoting peace and prosperity in Afghanistan, in the region and beyond;

84. Welcomes, in this regard, the increased efforts by the Government of Afghanistan, its neighbouring and regional partners and international organizations to foster trust and cooperation with each other as well as recent cooperation initiatives developed by the countries concerned and regional organizations, including, the trilateral summits of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkey, the trilateral summits of Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan, the trilateral summits of Pakistan, Afghanistan and the United States of America, the trilateral summit of Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates, the quadrilateral summits of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and the Russian Federation, as well as the Tripartite Commission, comprising Afghanistan, Pakistan and the International Security Assistance Force, the European Union (EU), the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO);

85. Welcomes the Istanbul Conference for Afghanistan held on 2 November 2011 and encourages Afghanistan and its regional partners to actively endeavor to implement confidence building measures within the framework set in the Istanbul Process on Regional Security and Cooperation for a Secure and Stable Afghanistan adopted on 2 November 2011;

86. Expresses its appreciation for all efforts to increase regional economic cooperation aimed at promoting economic cooperation between Afghanistan, regional neighbours, international partners and financial institutions, recognizes, among others, the important role of the Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA), the Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO), the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC), the SAARC, as well as the SCO, the EU and the OSCE in promoting the development of Afghanistan and looks forward to the Fifth RECCA Conference to be held in Tajikistan on 26/27 March 2012;

87. Welcomes and urges further efforts to strengthen the process of regional economic cooperation, including measures to facilitate regional trade and transit, including through regional and bilateral transit trade agreements, expanded consular visa cooperation and facilitation of business travel, to expand trade, to increase foreign investments and to develop infrastructure, including infrastructural connectivity, energy supply, transport and integrated border management, with a view to promoting sustainable economic growth and the creation of jobs in Afghanistan, noting the historic role of Afghanistan as a land bridge in Asia;

88. Encourages the Group of Eight (G8) countries to continue to stimulate and support cooperation between Afghanistan and its neighbours through mutual consultation and agreement, including on development projects in areas such as infrastructural connectivity, border management and economic development, and, in this regard, looks forwardto the creation of the Afghan rail authority announced at the Regional Rail Conference in Paris on 4-5 July 2011;

COUNTER-NARCOTICS

89. Welcomes the efforts of the Government of Afghanistan in fighting drug production in Afghanistan, takes note of the UNODC Afghanistan Opium Survey 2011, released in October 2011, reiterates its deep concern about the increase in the cultivation and production of illicit narcotic drugs in Afghanistan, mainly concentrated in areas where the Taliban, Al-Qaida and other violent and extremist groups and criminals are particularly active, as well as the ongoing drug trafficking, and, based on the principle of common and shared responsibility, stresses the need for strengthened joint, more coordinated and resolute efforts by the Government of Afghanistan, supported by the international and regional actors as well as ISAF, within their designated responsibilities, to fight this menace;

90. Stresses the importance of a comprehensive and balanced approach in addressing the drug problem of Afghanistan, which, to be effective, must be integrated into the wider context of efforts carried out in the areas of security, governance, the rule of law and human rights, and economic and social development,

91. Also stresses in this regard that the development of alternative livelihood programmes is of key importance in the success of the counter-narcotics efforts in Afghanistan; and that sustainable strategies require international cooperation, and urges the Government, assisted by the international community, to promote the development of sustainable livelihoods in the formal production sector, as well as in other sectors, and to improve access to reasonable and sustainable credit and financing in rural areas, thus improving substantially the lives, health and security of the people, particularly in rural areas;

92. Notes with great concern the strong nexus between the drug trade and terrorist activities by the Taliban, Al-Qaida and other violent and extremist groups and criminal groups which pose a serious threat to security, the rule of law and development in Afghanistan, and stresses the importance of the full implementation of all relevant Security Council resolutions in this regard, including resolutions 1735 (2006) of 22 December 2006 and 1822 (2008);

93. Calls upon all Member States, in this regard, to further intensify their efforts to reduce the demand for drugs in their respective countries and globally in order to contribute to the sustainability of the elimination of illicit cultivation in Afghanistan;

94. Stresses the need to prevent trafficking in and diversion of chemical precursors used in the illicit manufacturing of drugs in Afghanistan, and calls for the full implementation of Security Council resolution 1817 (2008) in this regard;

95. Supports the fight against the illicit trafficking in drugs from and precursors to Afghanistan and neighbouring States and countries along trafficking routes, including increased cooperation among them in strengthening anti-narcotic controls and the monitoring of the international trade in chemical precursors; and underlines the importance of technical assistance and support to the most affected transit states to support their capacities in this regard;

96. Urges the Government of Afghanistan, supported by the international community, to work to mainstream counter-narcotics throughout all the national programmes and to ensure that counter-narcotics is a fundamental part of the comprehensive approach, as well as to increase its efforts against opium cultivation and drug trafficking in accordance with the balanced eight-pillar plan of the updated Afghan National Drug Control Strategy;

97. Commends the efforts of the Government of Afghanistan in this regard, as well as the efforts to update and carry out the National Drug Control Strategy, including the Prioritized Implementation Plan and benchmarks, urges the Government and the international community to take decisive action, in particular to stop the processing of and trade in drugs, by pursuing the concrete steps set out in the Strategy and through initiatives such as the Good Performers Initiative established to provide incentives for governors to reduce cultivation in their provinces, and encourages the Afghan authorities to work at the provincial level on elaborating counter-narcotics implementation plans;

98. Calls upon the international community to continue to assist the Government of Afghanistan in implementing its National Drug Control Strategy, aimed at eliminating the cultivation, production, trafficking in and consumption of illicit drugs, including through increased support for Afghan law enforcement and criminal justice agencies, agricultural and rural development for the creation of alternative livelihoods for farmers, demand reduction, the elimination of illicit crops, increased public awareness, the building of the capacity of drug control institutions and care and treatment centres for drug addicts, and reiterates its call upon the international community to channel counter-narcotics funding through the Government to the extent possible;

99. Recalls the need to strengthen international and regional cooperation with Afghanistan in its sustained efforts to address drug production and trafficking, recognizes the threat posed by illicit drug production, trade and trafficking to international peace and stability in the region and beyond, also recognizes the progress achieved by relevant initiatives within the framework of the Paris Pact, and stresses the importance of further progress in the implementation of these initiatives, and welcomes the upcoming ministerial meeting of the UNODC Paris Pact to be held in Vienna in continuation of the Paris-Moscow process, as well as the intent of the Government of Afghanistan to strengthen international and regional cooperation in this regard;

100. Pays homage to all those who have innocently lost their lives in the fight against drug traffickers, in particular members of the security forces of Afghanistan and its neighbours;

101. Welcomes initiatives to enhance border management cooperation between Afghanistan and its neighbours in ensuring comprehensive measures for drug control, including the financial dimension, emphasizes the importance of pursuing such cooperation, especially through bilateral arrangements and those launched by the Collective Security Treaty Organization, the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building in Asia (CICA), the Economic Cooperation Organization, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the Central Asian Anti-Drug Quartet, and others, and welcomes the intention of the Government of Afghanistan to strengthen international and regional cooperation with relevant partners in the field of border control;

102. Stresses the importance of further, effective cooperative support by relevant international and regional actors, including the United Nations and the Assistance Force, within its designated responsibilities, to Afghan-led sustained efforts to address the threat posed by the illicit production of and trafficking in drugs, welcomes in this regard the regional programme on Afghanistan and neighbouring countries of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, and encourages the respective countries to continue to participate;

103. Acknowledges the regional activities carried out by Afghanistan, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan within the framework of their triangular initiative to counter narcotics and welcomes the next ministerial meetings to be held in Kabul and Tehran, consecutively;

COORDINATION

104. Expresses its appreciation for the work of the Assistance Mission as mandated by the Security Council in its resolution 1974 (2011), and stresses the continued importance of the central and impartial coordinating role of the United Nations in promoting a more coherent international engagement;

105. Welcomes the presence of the Assistance Mission in the provinces which ensures that the United Nations can fulfill its essential coordinating and support role, as requested by the Government of Afghanistan, security conditions permitting;

106. Stresses the need to ensure that the Assistance Mission is adequately resourced and protected by the Afghan authorities, with international support, as appropriate, to fulfill its mandate;

107. Acknowledges the central role played by the Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board, stresses that the role of the Board is to support Afghanistan by, inter alia, monitoring and supporting the Kabul process and coordinating international assistance and reconstruction programmes, and welcomes further efforts to provide appropriate guidance and promote a more coherent international engagement;

108. Expresses its appreciation for and emphasizes the importance of the continued and long-term commitment of the international community to supporting the stability and development of Afghanistan, and recalls the additional international support as pledged;

109. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly every three months on developments in Afghanistan, as well as on the progress made in the implementation of the present resolution;

110. Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its sixty-seventh session the item entitled “The situation in Afghanistan”.

46th plenary meeting

21 November 2011

[1] A/65/612-S/2010/630, A/65/783-S/2011/120, A/65/873-S/2011/381 and A/66/369-S/2011/590

[2] United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 2056, No. 35597.

[3] Ibid., vol. 2349, No. 42146.

[4] United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1249, No. 20378.

[5] Ibid., vol. 1577, No. 27531.

[6] Ibid., vols. 2171 and 2173, No. 27531.

[7] Ibid., vol. 2237, No. 39574.

[8] S/2002/1416, annex.

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Peace and Security

Regional conflicts, fragile or collapsed states, armed conflicts, terrorism and organized crime – all have grave consequences for the people who suffer under them. They also threaten the security and stability of entire regions and peoples.

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