Security Council: Statement by Ambassador Wittig on Afghanistan
(Security Council: Statement by Ambassador Wittig on the situation in Afghanistan and UNAMA)
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Thank you, Mr. President,
Let me on the outset thank the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Jan Kubis, for his comprehensive briefing and pay tribute to him personally for the dedication and the work that he and his staff have delivered under sometimes not easy circumstances.
My Government aligns itself with the statement to be delivered later in this debate on behalf of the European Union.
This debate comes at the end of a crucial year for Afghanistan. The Government of Afghanistan and the international community have, over the past twelve months, engaged in a series of conferences held in Bonn, Chicago, Kabul and Tokyo. They reaffirmed their mutual commitments to long-term security, stability and development in Afghanistan throughout the Transformation Decade.
The challenge ahead is the swift and comprehensive implementation of the decisions taken at these conferences. I would like to touch upon three issues which are key in this regard.
First,elections: conducting free, fair, transparent and inclusive presidential and provincial council elections in 2014 is pivotal in ensuring legitimacy of political transition. In this context, we welcome the Afghan Government’s announcement to simultaneously hold these elections on 5 April 2014.
Challenges remain, however, regarding voter registration and the legal framework. We encourage all relevant Afghan institutions to continue their efforts to prepare the elections in an effectively coordinated manner working towards the common goal of conducting credible elections.
UNAMA can assume a beneficial role in supporting the Government of Afghanistan in its preparations. We therefore welcome the decision taken by the Afghan authorities to request UNAMA’s support for the 2014/2015 elections.
Second, we welcome the leading role of the Government of Afghanistan in enabling and establishing the structural framework for the implementation of the decisions taken at the Tokyo conference. The political and technical steering committees working under the umbrella of the Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board will be instrumental in further improving effectiveness of development cooperation.
Germany is looking forward to assume its responsibilities as a member of these committees which have already held their first meetings.
Third, a stable security environment is, as we all know, of paramount importance in achieving Afghanistan’s goal of further developing into a democratic and economically thriving country. We therefore welcome the continued and considerable reduction in security incidents in Afghanistan.
Germany remains committed to supporting Afghanistan in its efforts to achieve stability, economic growth and development. The United Nations will continue to play a crucial role during the Transformation Decade to come. There are many essential tasks for UNAMA: from supporting preparations for the upcoming elections, to protecting and promoting 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 the government is a challenging one. Germany will therefore continue to lend its full support to UNAMA in implementing its mandate.
I would like to conclude by using this opportunity to cordially thank our Afghan colleagues for their trust and friendship over the past two years during which my country had thehonourof being a member of this Council and holding the pen for this important dossier. Germany will continue its support and cooperation as fully as it has been in the past years.
I thank you, Mr. President !"