The situation in Afghanistan
|(The Presidency changes each month to the next member in alphabetical order)|
|Mr. Wang Yingfan
|Mr. Aguilar Zinser
Adoption of the agenda
The situation in Afghanistan
In accordance with the understanding reached in the Council’s prior consultations, I shall take it that the Security Council decides to extend an invitation under rule 37 of its provisional rules of procedure to His Excellency Mr. Hamid Karzai, Chairman of the Interim Administration of Afghanistan.
There being no objection, it is so decided.
On behalf of the Council, I extend a very warm welcome to His Excellency Mr. Hamid Karzai, Chairman of the Interim Administration of Afghanistan.
At this meeting, the Security Council will hear a briefing by the Chairman of the Interim Administration of Afghanistan, His Excellency Mr. Hamid Karzai. After the briefing, in view of the time constraints, I shall make a statement on behalf of all the members of the Security Council.
I now give the floor to Mr. Karzai.
I am privileged to address the Council on behalf of the people of Afghanistan.
Having experienced the ravages of war for 23 years and having been taken hostage by a group of terrorists, we are once again free to determine our destiny. We will strive to build a Government that responds to the wishes of our people and behaves as a responsible member of the international community, to which we owe a great deal. We could not have achieved our freedom without the sustained help and attention of the international community. The United Nations, and particularly this Council, played a pivotal role in making the historic Bonn Agreement possible.
On 22 December 2001, power was peacefully transferred to the Interim Administration of Afghanistan. A Loya Jirga is to take place by 22 June this year and we fully intend to abide by its decision to select a head of State and a transitional Government. A constitution is to be prepared during the transitional period and ratified by a constitutional Loya Jirga. Our people desire the creation of a democratic Government and we intend to act upon their wishes.
Our people understand and appreciate the efforts of the United Nations in laying the foundation of a peaceful Afghanistan. We are grateful to Secretary-General Kofi Annan for his personal and continued engagement in seeking a resolution of the Afghan crisis. The Afghan people are appreciative that he personally visited Afghanistan and took time to see for himself the devastated parts of the city of Kabul. Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, has earned the gratitude of our nation for his tireless efforts in making the Bonn Agreement possible and for his continued efforts to implement its provisions.
On 25 January 2002, we completed one of the major provisions of that Agreement. The United Nations appointed a 21-member commission to organize the emergency Loya Jirga. We count on the sustained engagement of Mr. Brahimi and the entire United Nations body to continue their partnership with us. I would also like to thank the United Nations staff and the international community for their continued and vital efforts in helping us deal with the ongoing humanitarian crises in Afghanistan.
Security is the foundation for peace, stability and economic reconstruction. I have personally spoken to hundreds of delegates from different parts of Afghanistan; all of them have strongly expressed that security is the key issue. Thanks to this Chamber’s resolve and unity, multinational forces have been deployed in the capital city, Kabul. Our people look upon the presence of these forces as a sign of the continued commitment of the international community to peace and security in Afghanistan. Our nation has been reassured of the commitment of many world leaders, many of whom are represented in this Chamber.
We are committed to creating the national institutions that would ensure the security of our people. The creation of a national police force and a national army, however, will require some time. Extending the presence of multinational forces in Kabul and expanding their presence to other major cities will signal the ongoing commitment of the international community to peace and security in Afghanistan. We hope that the Council will authorize an extension and expansion of the mandate of these forces.
Although the Interim Administration has been in place for one month, we have already agreed on a vision for the road ahead. Our vision is one of a prosperous, secure and peaceful Afghanistan. We are marching ahead with the objective of building a credible State with an efficient and transparent Government.
Our Government will be accountable to its citizens as well as to the international community. We will build an effective and competitive private sector, harnessing the entrepreneurial abilities of the Afghan people, and will develop a civil society with democratic institutions. Our goal is to establish the rule of law and an accountable, transparent governmental system. We will work hard to attract foreign direct investment, thus generating sufficient revenue to replace international assistance over time. This new Afghanistan will bring prosperity to its trading partners and stability to this region of the globe.
The Conference in Tokyo provided a venue for the international community to make an initial financial commitment to the reconstruction of Afghanistan. We intend to use these resources in an accountable, transparent and efficient manner. We will not permit the evil of corruption to rob our people of the opportunity to build prosperous lives.
We intend to reintegrate our women as full partners into every facet of our society, polity and economy. We will invest in the education of our children, particularly our girls. We intend to build a health delivery system that will offer affordable and effective health-care services to all. We will rebuild and modernize our agricultural sector and rehabilitate and expand our communication system. In short, we will make every effort to lay the foundation for an economy and polity that will lead us to self-reliance.
Our country became an exporter of narcotics and a haven for drug traffickers and terrorists. We are committed to taking vigorous action to contain and eliminate the cultivation of poppy. We have issued a decree imposing a complete ban on the cultivation of poppy. We look forward to the cooperation of the international community to help us design and implement a comprehensive strategy for dealing with this serious problem. We fully intend to expand the removal of mines — a sad legacy of the continued warfare — from our land.
Some 5 million of our people live as refugees. We look forward to the repatriation of our citizens. We hope, however, that our neighbours will assist us in designing and implementing programmes for the orderly and gradual return of our refugees. We will also address vigorously the plight of internally displaced Afghans.
We extend the hand of friendship to all of our neighbours. We are not prisoners of the past, but are interested in living peacefully with our neighbours in an atmosphere of mutual respect, based on the principles of sovereignty and self-determination, with an emphasis on open trade and regional economic cooperation.
Let me conclude by expressing our sincere thanks to the United Nations as an institution; the Secretary-General, Mr. Kofi Annan; his Special Representative, Lakhdar Brahimi; and the members of the Security Council for their invaluable help. We count on the international community to give us the necessary help as we proceed towards a democratic and prosperous Afghanistan. On our part, we are committed to meet the challenges that lie ahead of us. Together, I am sure we will fulfil the dreams of the Afghan nation, which has been immensely brutalized by the devastation of a protracted war and neglect.
Before I conclude, let me thank Mrs. Ogata and the Government of Japan.
I thank Mr. Karzai for his kind words expressed to this institution.
I shall now make a statement on behalf of the members of the Council.
On behalf of the members of the Council, let me extend once again a warm welcome to the Chairman of the Afghan Interim Authority, Mr. Hamid Karzai, and his delegation to the Security Council. We thank you for your statement on the situation in your country.
At the very outset, allow me to assure you of the Council’s unqualified and unreserved support for your quest for peace, justice and stability in Afghanistan. The Council remains committed to helping advance this process, which is on the right track. We stand ready to extend the necessary assistance to the people of Afghanistan, who have suffered virtually every privation known to mankind and who deserve a better future.
The Security Council reaffirms its wholehearted commitment to supporting the Interim Authority and the transitional process. In that light, we welcome the International Conference on Reconstruction Assistance to Afghanistan held in Tokyo and the efforts of the Afghan Support Group, as well as bilateral donors, as they are vital and integral to assisting the Interim Authority. Council members emphasize that rapid disbursement of assistance and good coordination in its delivery, in full cooperation with the Interim Authority, are essential.
The Security Council expresses its concern about the episodes of lawlessness in Afghanistan. It commends the efforts of those States contributing to the International Security Assistance Force and welcomes the progress the International Security Assistance Force is making in assisting in the restoration of security in Kabul and its surrounding areas. We emphasize that the United Nations and non-governmental relief operations must be allowed to operate in security and with full freedom of movement, particularly in those areas most in need of humanitarian assistance.
In all its decisions, the Security Council has stressed the point that it is for the people of Afghanistan themselves to freely determine their own future. The Security Council will continue to support all efforts based on the Bonn Agreement, leading to the formation of a Government in Afghanistan that should be broad-based, multi-ethnic and fully representative of all the Afghan people and committed to peace with its neighbours. It is essential for the Afghan Interim Authority and for a new Government of Afghanistan to fully respect the basic human rights of all Afghan people, regardless of gender, ethnicity or religion.
There is still a lot to do to assist the Afghan people in what appears to be one of the most challenging and imposing tasks of our time. For real success to be achieved in the Afghan political stabilization, we believe that the following two issues, among others, need urgent attention.
First, the reconciliation, reconstruction and rehabilitation process should not be derailed by any outside pressure or intervention. Here we appeal to the international community to continue extending its valuable support to the Afghan Interim Authority in order to take the country away from the legacy of war, misery and instability.
Secondly, it is high time that leaders and representatives of different ethnic groups within Afghanistan forwent their differences and invested in the construction of a nation with sound democratic credentials.
The members of the Security Council take good note of the decree banning the cultivation, production, processing, abuse and illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs, which was issued on 17 January under your signature, Sir. Likewise, we welcome the decree on the rights of women. Such bold steps prove that the Interim Authority is resolute in its objective of reinstating peace and stability in Afghanistan as well as creating the conditions for Afghans to lead a normal life. We also welcome the appointment of women to key positions in the new administration, including in the Cabinet. Council members recognize that the success of the Bonn Agreement will depend on the people of Afghanistan themselves.
The Security Council welcomes the central role played by the United Nations in assisting Afghanistan and expresses its full support for the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Ambassador Lakhdar Brahimi, in the accomplishment of his mandate.
It would be remiss on our part not to mention the significant contribution made by the humanitarian agencies and their staff, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and all the non-governmental organizations in Afghanistan. The Security Council underscores the importance of ensuring their security.
Finally, Sir, on behalf of the members, I appeal to all Afghans and to the United Nations Member States to build on the momentum created through your efforts and those of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, so that the institutions and mechanisms put in place by the Interim Authority could operate smoothly towards a better future for the Afghan people.
There are no further speakers left on my list.
The Security Council has thus concluded the present stage of its consideration of the item on its agenda.