Security Council: Statement by Ambassador Wittig on the situation in Afghanistan - UNAMA
(Security Council: Statement as delivered by Ambassador Wittig in an Open Debate on the situation in Afghanistan - UNAMA)
Let me at the outset warmly welcome His Excellency, Foreign Minister Rassoul to this Council and thank him for his statement. I also like to thank SRSG Jan Kubis for his briefing. He and his colleagues from UNAMA can count on Germany's firm support for their dedicated work in sometimes difficult circumstances.
I want to extend our condolences to the families of the victims of the most recent attacks. In one of them eight South Africans were killed in a malicious attack in Kabul on Tuesday. They were working closely with their colleagues of the German Police Project Team in Afghanistan. Our condolences go to our South African colleagues.
Today I would like to touch upon three key issues which have already been raised by many of you:
First: The Tokyo Conference has complemented a series of international conferences on Afghanistan. In these conferences in Bonn, Chicago, Kabul and Tokyo the Government of Afghanistan and the international community agreed on a long-term partnership and a framework for Afghanistan to assume full responsibility for its security and development.
The challenge ahead is the swift and comprehensive implementation of the decisions taken at these conferences. Germany remains committed to supporting Afghanistan in its efforts to do so and to achieve stability, economic growth and development.
The Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework is of paramount importance in achieving Afghanistan’s governance and development objectives. Germany welcomes sustained progress in the five key areas agreed upon in Tokyo. We encourage the Afghan Government to finalize its National Priority Programmes and to transform them into “vehicles for tangible development results” to quote the Secretary-General’s report.
Germany has pledged 560 million US-Dollars annually in contributions to the implementation of the National Priority Programmes on the basis of the Mutual Accountability Programme.
Second: Regional cooperation and support for Afghanistan has been further strengthened by the Kabul “Heart of Asia”- Ministerial meeting. Agreement on seven concrete confidence building measures has been achieved which will contribute to fostering cooperation in the region and thus stability and prosperity.
We are looking forward to supporting this process. We are offering our specific expertise in the fields of regional infrastructure and Chambers of Commerce. We welcome the initiative taken by the Government of Afghanistan to hold a senior officials meeting here in New York in the coming week to take this process a step further.
And third: The number of civilian casualties has been reduced. We welcome this development which is mainly due to improved standards and measures taken by ISAF and the Afghan Security Forces. We encourage our Afghan partners to further strengthen their efforts in this regard as they are progressively taking over full security responsibility
Let me conclude by underlining that the UN will continue to play a crucial role during the Transformation Decade to come. The task for UNAMA is a challenging one: To support preparations for the upcoming elections, to protect and promote gains in the human rights situation and in particular women’s rights and to supporting the Afghan government in ensuring effective coordination amongst donors and other international partners. Germany will therefore continue to lend its full support to UNAMA in implementing its mandate.
I now resume my functions as President of the Security Council.