Security Council: Statement by Ambassador Wittig on Afghanistan

Mar 19, 2013

Security Council: Statement as delivered by Ambassador Wittig on the situation in Afghanistan

"Thank you, Mr. President,

let me at the outset extend my thanks to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Jan Kubis, and his team for their effort in support of the Afghan people.

Mr. President,

Germany will continue to support Afghanistan in close partnership and collaboration throughout the Transformation Decade.

At the Bonn and Tokyo Conferences, Afghanistan and the international community have set the framework for this cooperation and have reaffirmed their mutual commitments. We are therefore pleased to see that the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework has gained considerable momentum and we commit ourselves to further work towards implementing the Tokyo Framework.

Today, I would like to focus on two issues which are key in this regard:

1) Elections: We welcome progress made by the Government of Afghanistan in preparing for the Presidential elections to be held on 5 April 2014.

Yet challenges remain: We are looking forward to a swift adoption of a legal framework for the elections as well as to the timely appointment of a new chairman of the Independent Election Commission and its commissioners. We emphasize the need to establish a credible complaints mechanism and to put in place effective measures to prevent widespread electoral fraud.

Finally and most importantly, we encourage all Afghan stakeholders to engage in a constructive dialogue on these issues so as to find the broadest possible consensus.

UNAMA can assume a beneficial role in supporting this Afghan-led and –owned process. We therefore welcome the decision taken by the Afghan authorities to request UNAMA’s support for the 2014-2015 elections and the subsequent UN Electoral needs assessment mission undertaken in December and January.

Germany stands ready to further support this process alongside UNAMA and its international partners. Our shared objective is to hold inclusive, transparent and credible elections in Afghanistan that will contribute to the sustainable development of the country’s political system firmly founded in the Afghan Constitution.

And, secondly, Mr. President, a stable security environment is of paramount importance in achieving Afghanistan’s goal of further developing into a democratic and economically thriving country.

We therefore welcome recent developments in the Afghan-led reconciliation process. This includes efforts by Afghanistan and the international community  to establish conditions conducive to substantial dialogue such as preparations for the opening of a Taliban office in Doha.

In this regard, we also appreciate the contribution of regional actors. Their support is critical to fostering the peace and reconciliation process and we encourage all sides to reinforce their efforts.

I would like to conclude by underlining that the UN will continue to play a crucial role both in the year to come and during the Transformation Decade. We therefore welcome the Council’s adoption of resolution 2096 (2013) renewing the mandate for UNAMA for another twelve months.

Germany will continue to support UNAMA in fulfilling its mandate, in particular in its support for the Afghan Government in preparing for the Presidential elections, in protecting and promoting human rights, in particular women’s rights and in ensuring effective coordination amongst donors and the Government of Afghanistan.

In order for UNAMA to live up to these expectations, we strongly support adequate resourcing for the Mission and an appropriate presence throughout the country.

Finally, we are looking forward to engaging in a constructive dialog on UNAMA’s role after 2014 throughout the next months.

Thank you, Mr. President."

© GermanyUN