Statement by Ambassador Wittig in the Security Council Debate on UNAMA
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Thank you for giving Germany the opportunity to participate in this debate on the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA). First of all, may I congratulate you - Mr. President - and your team for your successful chairmanship of this Council in September 2010. In the same vein and with regard to Afghanistan I would like to commend your government for its continued constructive role in promoting regional cooperation in Central and South Asia in particular through the “Ankara Process”. We commend your hosting of the “Heart of Asia Conference” in Istanbul in January of this year. And we are looking forward to the conference on regional economic cooperation RECCA IV in Istanbul in early November.
Let me join previous speakers in welcoming the latest SG report on Afghanistan and in extending my special thanks to SRSG Staffan de Mistura for his comprehensive briefing. Furthermore, I would like to express our gratitude to Foreign Minister Dr. Zalmai Rassoul for his valuable remarks.
Germany fully aligns itself with the statement of the European Union.
As a major international donor to Afghanistan and a major contributor to the Assistance Force ISAF, Germany would like to share the following views for further consideration of the Council.
The London and Kabul Conferences and the “Kabul Process” have strongly reaffirmed the partnership of the international community with the Afghan people and the Afghan government. We note with satisfaction that the Afghan government is engaged in implementing the political commitments outlined by President Karzai in his inauguration speech for his second term as well as at the London Conference. We strongly encourage the Afghan government to continue with this process and to strengthen the Afghan people’s trust in their government and the democratic process.
We are all fully aware of the fact that the solution for the conflict in Afghanistan cannot be military, it must be political. We commend President Karzai for the inclusive debate with Afghan leaders in the framework of the Peace Jirga last June and welcome the nominations for a High Peace Council. And we encourage him and his government to take further steps in this direction. This process can only be and must remain an Afghan led process. The international community can and will only assume a supporting role. In this context, the Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Program is a very important element - Germany supports this progam through UNDP.
Regarding the promotion of regional cooperation we would like to applaud the concrete steps taken by UNAMA as outlined in the latest report of the Secretary General.
Special credit should be given to the Silk Road Initiative and its regional leverage.
We would like to see this constructive regional approach to be continued.
As Foreign Minister Rassoul pointed out in his speech at the General Assembly on Monday: “The international community’s promise to the people of Afghanistan of a life free from fear of the threat of international terrorism remains unfulfilled.” Germany will continue to support the Afghan government in its effort to meet the expectations of its people and the obligations stipulated in the resolutions of this council. In this regard, it is important that ISAF and the Afghan government are about to enter the transition phase, where the security responsibility will gradually shift to the Afghan side. This will enable the Afghan government to fully exercise its sovereignty. During this critical phase, we will remain a reliable partner of Afghanistan and will continue to assist the Afghan people in their struggle to live in peace and prosperity and to enjoy their rights as enshrined in the Afghan Constitution including human rights and women’s rights. And our support to the Afghan government and people will continue also after transition is completed.
This year’s Wolesi Jirga elections took place in a challenging environment. However, despite of shortcomings and difficult circumstances, they constituted an important event for Afghanistan’s still young democracy. We would like to applaud the courage of the Afghan people for their participation in these elections. We also would like to commend the UNAMA team for all the support provided to the Afghan institutions who are leading led this electoral process. We encourage the relevant Afghan institutions to address all alleged irregularities and fraud in order to ensure a credible and legitimate electoral process. The lessons learned of these elections will also show the importance of electoral reforms. In this regard I would like to underline that Germany is prepared to support the efforts of the Afghan government in preparing the ground for future elections.
We would like to encourage this Council to support Staffan de Mistura and his team by providing necessary political guidance. Our expectations regarding UNAMA should remain realistic and focused on key priorities.
Before concluding, please allow me to express once again our sincere gratitude to all women and men of the international community who work on the ground to improve the situation in Afghanistan. This includes all personnel of humanitarian aid agencies, the United Nations, the diplomatic corps and the security forces. They all continue to risk their lives for the people of Afghanistan and to enhance international peace and security. They all deserve our greatest respect.