Debate: The Situation on Afghanistan
(New York, July 6, 2011)
Statement by H.E. Ambassador Néstor Osorio Permanent Representative of Colombia to the United Nations
I thank the Special Representative of the Secretary General and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), Mr. Staffan de Mistura for his comprehensive presentation.
My delegation underlines the contribution of UNAMA in improving the stabilization and democratization process and its commitment to work in coordination with the Government to lay the foundations for sustainable peace and development in Afghanistan.
We consider it appropriate that in accordance with its mandate, UNAMA continues to focus on supporting the government in critical areas such as facilitating the political process for peace and reconciliation, security, governance, economic development and regional cooperation.
My delegation regrets the increase on the number of security incidents, including attacks on United Nations personnel and facilities. We welcome the activities conducted by the Special Representative to improve the safety of the staff and the Government's commitment to continue supporting UNAMA. However, of major concern is the increased frequency of public demonstrations against the international civilian and military presence. Attention should be paid to the evolution of the situation.
On the same line, we commend the efforts aimed at the transition towards greater Afghan ownership and leadership, and to continue working within the agreed timetable for Afghan forces to take the lead in security matters by the year 2014, a goal that should be guided by advances on the field. In this regard, the efforts of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and of the NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan are an important contribution to create the conditions that enable national authorities to gradually assume responsibilities for security and governance.
It is also necessary to continue building relationships with local authorities and community leaders that allow the establishment of inclusive dialogue processes to facilitate reconciliation with all segments of the population. The adoption of Resolution 1988, where the Security Council established an independent sanctions regime for individuals and entities associated with the Taliban and recognizes a central role to the Government on the delisting requests, is a decision that, undoubtedly, will contribute to the reconciliation process in Afghanistan and will help building trust between the parties.
Afghanistan faces many problems that may threaten the sustainability of the progress made so far. Violence remains one of the main factors affecting that progress and has resulted in an increased on humanitarian needs, as well as on the number of civilian casualties and internally displaced persons. We reiterate our call on all parties to the conflict to fulfill their obligations under International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and to take all necessary measures to ensure the protection of civilians.
We emphasize the importance of joint regional initiatives taken to combat the various aspects of the world drug problem that affect Afghanistan and the region. Constructive and ongoing participation from regional and extra regional actors involved in the implementation of common strategies on the fight of the world drug problem in all its aspects, under the principle of shared responsibility and in a balanced way, contributes to the stabilization and promotion of mutual trust between the neighboring countries and beyond the region. My country reiterates its readiness to strengthen bilateral cooperation with Afghanistan in order to address this and other manifestations of organized crime.
Security is an essential condition for strengthening the Rule of Law, the exercise of fundamental freedoms and the establishment of the foundations for economic development. In this sense, the completion of the Integrated Strategic Framework for greater coherence in the efforts of the Organization and in the implementation of programs in support of the Kabul process, is a positive step to ensure unity on the United Nations and the international community actions to contribute to the exercise of Afghan sovereignty in all aspects of the future of its people.
Thank you very much, Mr. President.