Security Council: Statement by Ambassador Braun on the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan
To start, let me thank the Secretary-General for his comprehensive report and his Special Representative, Mr. Jan Kubis, for his briefing. I also appreciate Ambassador Tanin’s presence in this Council today.
My Government aligns itself with the statement delivered by the European Union earlier in this debate.
In three weeks’ time, the Afghan people will elect a new President and Provincial Councils. For the first time in Afghanistan’s history power will be peacefully transferred to a new administration. We commend the great efforts Afghanistan has taken so far in preparing these elections. My government is confident that free, fair and transparent elections will result in a legitimate outcome further strengthening democracy in Afghanistan.
We encourage the Afghan people, particularly women, to make full use of their constitutional rights and to actively participate in these elections.
UNAMA has played a crucial role in support of preparations for these elections contributing to building the capacities of Afghan authorities. For this reason, we see a continuing role for UNAMA in this area as included in the mission’s mandate just adopted by the Council.
With our shared focus on the elections, we must not forget, however, 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 urgency. Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights Commission remains a key partner in this regard.
It is also of great importance to ensure the equal participation of all members of society, in particular women, in the shaping of the country and institution building.
The security situation remains volatile. The Afghan National Security Forces have proven increasingly capable of responding to security challenges, although at high cost. Continued support by the international community through the transition period and beyond would further strengthen the ANSF’s capacities to provide security for all Afghans. As previously stated, Germany stands ready to contribute its share to this joint effort. To do so, timely signing of the bilateral security agreement between Afghanistan and the United States is a necessary precondition and should not be further delayed.
At this critical juncture Afghanistan needs continuity in the United Nation’s work on the ground. Supporting the Afghan Government’s efforts to protect and promote Human Rights, to increase coordination and efficiency of international support and to implement its commitments under the Tokyo Framework requires a strong UN mission which is adequately resourced and present throughout the country. We, therefore, welcome the extension of UNAMA’s mandate for another twelve months.
To conclude, I would like to express my sincere gratitude and admiration for the work of the Special Representative and his team in Afghanistan. We are still mourning the death of four United Nations staff who died on 17 January in a heinous attack in Kabul. Under such difficult circumstances the UN continues to do great work in the service of the Afghan people. Germany will continue to extend its support to UNAMA in fulfilling its mandate.
Thank you, Madame President