Security Council: Statement by Ambassador Wittig on Afghanistan
- as delivered -
"Thank you, Mr President,
To start, I would like to welcome the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Jan Kubis. I extend my thanks to him for his comprehensive briefing and for his and his team’s dedicated work in support of the Afghan people. I also appreciate Ambassador Tanin’s presence in this Council today. My Government aligns itself with the statement delivered by the European Union later in this debate.
Afghanistan has taken major steps on its path through political and security transition in the past months. At the Tokyo Conference the Government of Afghanistan and the international community reaffirmed their long term partnership and agreed on the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework. Germany considers the comprehensive and timely implementation of this framework key in achieving a peaceful and prosperous future for Afghanistan. It is also paramount in securing the continued support of the international community. At the Senior Officials Meeting held in Kabul on 3 July these mutual commitments have been reaffirmed.
Since then, further progress has been achieved in many areas. We particularly welcome the establishment of a legislative framework for the presidential and provincial elections in April 2014. The appointment of new members to the Independent Election Commission (IEC) and the Independent Election Complaints Commission (IECC) has been another decisive step. We are now awaiting announcements of candidates to run in these historic elections that will result in a peaceful transfer of power. On the other hand, more remains to be done to ensure that the elections will be transparent, credible and inclusive, in particular regarding the participation of women in the election process. Germany will further support Afghanistan in its continued preparations for the elections and will contribute overall more than 10 Million Euros to this end.
Although focusing on the preparations of elections, we must not forget that there are many other challenges lying ahead in Afghanistan. Preserving and consolidating gains in the protection and promotion of Human rights is of utmost importance. Sustained action to implement statutory safeguards, first and foremost the EVAW (Elimination of Violence against Women) Law is a key requirement in this regard. Furthermore, we are confident that the Government of Afghanistan will continue to ensure the independence of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) according to Afghan law and the Paris principles.
The most recent visit of President Karzai in Pakistan and the subsequent release of members of the Taliban from prisons in Pakistan open up new opportunities in the peace and reconciliation process. We encourage all sides to pursue the path of an Afghan-led and –owned peace process further, despite potential setbacks ahead as we believe that there is no reasonable alternative.
The Afghan security forces continue to face serious challenges. This is demonstrated, inter alia, by the attack on the Consulate General of the United States in Herat last Friday as well as the killing of the Chief of the Independent Election Commission in Kunduz Province yesterday. Germany condemns these heinous terrorist attacks in the strongest terms. Germany remains confident, however, that with evolving but persistent international support the Afghan security forces will continue to prove capable to respond to these challenges.
Let me conclude by underlining that Germany will continue to support the Government of Afghanistan, also after 2014. Our particular focus will remain on implementation of the mutual commitments stemming from the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework.
Thank you, Mr President."