Security Council: Statement by Ambassador Thoms at the Debate on the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA)
"Thank you, Mr. President,
First of all let me express my deepest condolences over the tragic loss of life of six US soldiers in Afghanistan today.
I thank Special Representative Jan Kubis for his briefing today and for his dedicated work in support of the Afghan people.
Germany aligns itself with the statement to be delivered by the European Union later in this debate.
Despite many challenges Afghanistan has come a long way in its security, political and economic transition processes. The Afghan National Army and the Afghan National Police have proven to be increasingly capable of mastering the enormous task of providing a secure environment.
This development was guided and supported by the framework set-up in Bonn, Chicago and Tokyo by the Government of Afghanistan and the international community. It is indispensable that all mutually agreed commitments be fully implemented. As for the ongoing substantial international commitment in Afghanistan, the message of all those conferences and of the GA resolution on Afghanistan is clear: the international community continues its support.
2014 will be marked by decisive events such as the presidential elections in April and the withdrawal of “ISAF” combat troops at the end the year.
As an international community, we need to lay the foundations for the post-ISAF era. Let me stress that Germany stands ready to remain engaged in Afghanistan also with regard to supporting the Afghan security forces. The most important precondition for this is the signing of the bilateral Security Agreement between Afghanistan and the United States. Without this signature, the continued presence of the whole international community, military as well as civilian, is put into question. The recommendation of the Loya Jirga to sign the security agreement is an encouraging signal. Consequently, the signature of the agreement should not be put off for too long.
In the ongoing political transition and transformation process, UNAMA, with the consent of the Afghan Government, needs to remain the backbone of international engagement and the post-2014 architecture in Afghanistan. This will require focusing UNAMA’s work on key areas in which its coordinating and supporting role will remain indispensable:
First: The continued implementation of the Tokyo Framework Agreement to ensure coherence and sustainability in Afghanistan’s development.
Second: While we appreciate progress made by Afghanistan in the preparation of the upcoming elections, UNAMA’s good offices will remain necessary to ensure the transparency and inclusivity of political processes in the future.
Third: UNAMA also has a role to play in supporting the Afghan Government to advance in the Afghan-led and -owned process of peace and reconciliation. UNAMA should also closely accompany Afghan efforts to increase cooperation with neighbouring and regional partners, especially within the framework of the Istanbul Process.
Fourth: In light of continuing violations of human rights, including a reported increase of cases of violence against women, UNAMA will need to continue its monitoring and supporting role. We call upon the Government to prioritize the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without any discrimination. Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights Commission remains the key partner for such efforts.
To carry out these challenging tasks, UNAMA will need to be adequately financed and staffed. This also includes UNAMA’s necessary presence in the field throughout the country.
I would like to conclude by underlining that Germany will continue to support the Government of Afghanistan through the transition period and beyond. We are confident that the Afghan government will use the remaining months of its tenure to further work on fulfilling the preconditions of a sustained international engagement in Afghanistan for the benefit of the Afghan people.
Thank you, Mr. President."