General Assembly: Introduction by Ambassador Wittig of the Resolution on "The Situation in Afghanistan
(General Assembly: Introduction by Ambassador Wittig of the Resolution on "The Situation in Afghanistan")
“Mr. President, distinguished colleagues,
It is an honour for my country to introduce this year’s draft resolution on “The situation in Afghanistan.”
The past year has seen a number of important milestone events for Afghanistan redefining and reinvigorating the long-term partnership between Afghanistan and its regional and international partners. In this context, the resolution sends, yet again, a positive signal of sustained support to Afghanistan, its government and its people. We are happy to see that this message is reinforced by the outstandingly high number of delegations co-sponsoring this resolution.
Germany as a facilitator of the resolution would like to take this opportunity to briefly highlight four key messages of the draft resolution reflecting these developments.
First, this resolution is about transition in the field of security. We note with satisfaction that Transition is progressing continuously. Implementation of the first three tranches of Transition is currently unfolding. Mindful of the many challenges of this process, we are looking forward to its phased completion in the remaining parts of the country: the mid-2013 milestone when all Afghans will be living in areas where the Afghan National Security Forces have taken lead security responsibility is a particularly encouraging step in this regard.
The focus of the resolution is on improving the operational capabilities of the Afghan National Security Forces. At the Bonn conference the international community has committed itself to supporting the Afghan government throughout Transition and beyond towards this end. Increasing emphasis will be put on training, equipping and advising the Afghan National Security Forces as they are gradually taking over full security responsibility throughout the country. With a view to the end of Transitions at the end of 2014 and as part of the wider objective of further empowering and enabling Afghan institutions in line with the Kabul process, this is where our priority rightly belongs.
At the NATO Summit held in Chicago earlier this year, the priority to continue to develop an Afghan National Security Forces capable of providing security to all Afghans was reaffirmed. NATO allies and ISAF partner countries committed themselves to work towards establishing a training, advising and assistance mission, they also reaffirmed their commitment to play their part in the financial sustainment of the Afghan National Security Forces in the long-term with a view to the assumption of increasing financial responsibility by the Government of Afghanistan.
A stable security environment guaranteed by the Afghan National Security Forces is key to the further development of Afghanistan. In this context, long-term strategic partnership agreements concluded between the Government of Afghanistan and its partners will contribute to creating an environment conducive to establishing lasting peace, security and stability in Afghanistan and the region.
Second, the draft resolution is about a long-term commitment by the international community throughout the Transformation Decade declared by the Government of Afghanistan and its international partners at the Bonn Conference.
During the past decade, Afghanistan has made notable progress in many fields of governance and development, including health, education and infrastructure. Yet, challenges remain in many fields. Afghanistan and the international community, therefore, renewed and reinvigorated their long-term partnership at the Tokyo Conference held in July. Building on a unique framework of mutual accountability the international community has generously pledged to provide 16 Billion US-$ through 2015 in support of the economic and political stabilization of Afghanistan. The international community will furthermore sustain its support at or near levels of the past decade through 2017.
The government of Afghanistan, in return, has committed itself to achieve its development and governance goals such as conducing credible, inclusive and transparent elections, the respect for the Rule of Law and the protection and promotion of human rights in accordance with the stipulations of the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework. Afghan ownership is again the foundation for the Transformation Decade as clearly reflected in the principles of aid effectiveness contained in the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework.
Today, the General Assembly will send this renewed message of solidarity to our Afghan partners.
Third, the draft resolution is about regional cooperation. Under the able leadership of Afghanistan and with the strong support of regional and international partners, the Istanbul Process has shown continued momentum since the Heart of Asia-Ministerial Meeting held in Kabul in June this year. A set of six confidence-building measures will contribute to fostering regional cooperation to enhance political, security and economic stability throughout the region. The Istanbul Process is intended to bring greater coherence to the diversity of valuable regional initiatives.The Process furthermore reflects the interconnectedness of many challenges in Afghanistan. Within this framework, the fight against terrorism and against production and trafficking of illicit drugs is complemented by Confidence Building Measures in the areas of education, infrastructure and economic development aiming at reducing poverty and creating alternative sources of income for the Afghan population.
And lastly fourth, the draft resolution is about support to the Peace and Reconciliation Process. The appointment of the High Peace Council's Chairman Salahuddin Rabbani has revitalized the Peace and Reconciliation Process after the heinous assassination of his father and predecessor in office.
For this Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process to yield sustainable results it needs to be inclusive, respecting the Afghan Constitution and its human rights provisions, the rights of women in particular as well as the set of principles outlined most recently in the Bonn Conference Conclusions.
In this context, the resolution reiterates appreciation for the Government of Afghanistan’s efforts on the path to advance this process and reaffirms the continued support of the international community in this regard. Last year, the Security Council by creating the 1988 committee has established an institutional framework conducive to fostering the peace and reconciliation process. First results are encouraging.
Mr. President, to conclude, I would like to express my gratitude to all the delegations from all regions of the world who have actively participated in this year’s informal consultations on the draft resolution.Their tireless efforts and sense of responsibility is the foundation on which the strong message of this draft resolution rests.
We are therefore happy to suggest to the General Assembly to adopt, once again, the resolution on “The situation in Afghanistan” by consensus.
I would like to extend my appreciation and gratitude to my distinguished colleague, Ambassador Zahir Tanin as well as to Counsellor Youssof Ghafoorzai and their colleagues, for our excellent cooperation, their trust and friendship.
Germany also thanks, wholeheartedly, the United Nations in Afghanistan and here in New York for their excellent work for the future of Afghanistan. The role of the United Nations and its Assistance Mission in support of Afghanistan will continue to be pivotal in all key areas outlined.
Thank you very much, Mr. President !”