|Date||24 February 2003|
The situation in Afghanistan
|(The Presidency changes each month to the next member in alphabetical order)|
|Members:||Mr. Gaspar Martins
|Mr. Zhang Yishan
|Mr. De La Sablière
|Mr. Aguilar Zinser
|Sir Jeremy Greenstock
Statement by the President
At the outset, I should like to explain how we shall conduct our consideration of the Afghanistan issue today. First, we shall hold this meeting, which will include a question-and-answer session. Because our Japanese colleague has come from Tokyo to provide us with information, I think the Council should have an opportunity to engage in dialogue with him and the other briefers after the briefing. Following that, the Council will hold a private meeting, because I understand that one of the briefers has a confidential document, which will be distributed and discussed then. If that is agreeable to the Council, we shall so proceed.
Adoption of the agenda
The situation in Afghanistan
I should like to inform the Council that I have received a letter from the representative of Afghanistan, in which he requests to be invited to participate in the discussion of the item on the Council’s agenda. In conformity with the usual practice, I propose, with the consent of the Council, to invite that representative to participate in the discussion without the right to vote, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Charter and rule 37 of the Council’s provisional rules of procedure.
There being no objection, it is so decided.
In accordance with the understanding reached in the Council’s prior consultations, and in the absence of objection, I shall take it that the Security Council agrees to extend an invitation under rule 39 of its provisional rules of procedure to Mr. Jean-Marie Guéhenno, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations.
There being no objection, it is so decided.
I invite Mr. Guéhenno to take a seat at the Council table.
I should like to inform the Council that I have received a letter dated 21 February 2003 from the Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, which reads as follows:
“I am writing in reference to the open meeting of the Security Council on the item entitled ‘The situation in Afghanistan’, which is to take place on Monday, 24 February 2003. I have the honour to request that, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Charter of the United Nations and rule 39 of the provisional rules of procedure of the Security Council, Mr. Mutsuyoshi Nishimura, Ambassador of Japan in charge of Afghan Aid Coordination, be permitted to participate in the above meeting and supply the Security Council with relevant information.”
That letter has been issued as a document of the Security Council under the symbol S/2003/209.
If I hear no objection, I shall take it that the Security Council agrees to extend an invitation under rule 39 of its provisional rules of procedure to Mr. Nishimura.
There being no objection, it is so decided.
I invite Mr. Nishimura to take a seat at the Council table.
I should also like to inform the Council that I have received a letter dated 20 February 2003 from the Permanent Representative of Germany to the United Nations, which reads as follows:
“I have the honour to request that Ambassador Harald Braun, Special Representative of the German Government for the training of the Afghan police force, be allowed to participate in the meeting of the Security Council on the situation in Afghanistan on Monday, 24 February 2003, under rule 39 of the provisional rules of procedure of the Security Council, and that he be granted the right to brief the Council.”
That letter has been issued as a document of the Security Council under the symbol S/2003/200.
If I hear no objection, I shall take it that the Security Council agrees to extend an invitation under rule 39 of its provisional rules of procedure to Mr. Braun.
There being no objection, it is so decided.
I invite Mr. Braun to take a seat at the Council table.
The Security Council will now begin its consideration of the item on its agenda. The Council is meeting in accordance with the understanding reached in its prior consultations.
The Security Council will hear three briefings: first by Mr. Jean-Marie Guéhenno, followed by Mr. Mutsuyoshi Nishimura and then by Mr. Harald Braun. After the three briefings, I shall open the floor to Council members who may wish to address questions to Mr. Nishimura and to the other two briefers, as Mr. Nishimura will not be joining us in the private meeting of the Council.
I now give the floor to Mr. Guéhenno.
As the focus of this meeting is the status of progress in security-sector reform in Afghanistan, I shall confine my comments to an update on recent developments since the last briefing to the Council on this item, followed by several observations on security-sector reform from the perspective of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). I shall limit my comments on security-sector reform to the interrelationships among the various activities, leaving the discussion of each specific sector to the lead nations concerned.
But, before beginning my briefing, I wish to inform the Council of some sad news. We have learned from press reports that an aircraft accident near Karachi has caused the death of the Afghan Minister for Mines and Industry, His Excellency Mr. Juma Mohammed Mohammedi, as well as that of a high official of the Pakistani Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Mohammad Farhad Ahmed, and of other Afghan and Pakistani colleagues. I should like to express our sincere condolences to the Governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan with regard to that cruel loss.
I now return to the subject of this briefing.
With respect to the implementation of the political transition outlined by the Bonn Agreement, there has been progress in the especially important process of drafting a new constitution. President Karzai’s office is currently preparing a decree that will establish the Constitutional Commission and detail the main elements of the constitutional process. The decree will provide the necessary clarity on that essential process, while signalling the Government’s strong support for the process. The nine members of the currently functioning Constitutional Drafting Commission will be made part of the larger Constitutional Commission, which should be established early next month. President Karzai’s office has compiled a list of almost 80 candidates for possible selection to the Commission.
An important part of the constitutional process will be the series of public consultations to be held between April and June that will solicit the views of Afghans on the political future of their country. Those consultations will take place in every province of Afghanistan, as well as among the diaspora in Iran and Pakistan, and possibly in other countries where there is a significant Afghan diaspora. The results of those consultations will be important elements for consideration in the work of the Constitutional Commission.
Technical assistance from UNAMA, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), bilateral donors and academic sources has been made available to the Drafting Commission and its secretariat. Of course, those resources will also be available to the full Commission. While support from international experts will certainly be a useful resource in the Commission’s work, we continue to believe that it is critical for the quality of the constitutional process that it remain Afghan-led, and for Afghans to decide among themselves, using the tools of dialogue and compromise, and to take the decisions on the most politically sensitive issues.
I am also pleased to inform the Council that there has been progress in the preparations for the elections to be held in June 2004. On 15 February 2003, President Karzai sent the Secretary-General a letter formally requesting UNAMA’s assistance in organizing the electoral process and coordinating international electoral assistance. A few days ago, the head of UNAMA’s electoral section arrived in Kabul and began to work on preparations for the elections. A core team of electoral experts, the first members of which have already arrived, is in the process of being deployed to the United Nations Mission. On the Afghan side, President Karzai has identified a number of candidates for membership in the electoral commission, which we expect will be formed in March. Once the commission is established, it will work with the UNAMA team to create an Afghan electoral authority to manage the electoral process. An electoral unit has also been set up in the Ministry of the Interior.
The Government is now engaged in a rigorous process of finalizing its budget for the next Afghan financial year, which begins on 21 March. Ministries are preparing proposals in consultation with the newly formed sector consultative groups, which bring together Government actors and the assistance community in a coordinated framework. That process is an important test of the Government’s inter-ministerial and Cabinet policy-making systems. The proposals will be subjected to an intensive Cabinet review and will be finalized so that they can be presented to the Afghanistan Development Forum, which will begin on 13 March in Kabul. In order to sustain the still-fragile Afghan peace process, I would urge all donors to participate in the Development Forum with the same generous spirit that was demonstrated at the meeting of the Afghanistan Support Group in Oslo last December.
Afghans are optimistic that the international community will fulfil the commitments it has already made for 2003. The Government looks forward to the provision of between $1.7 billion and $2 billion in aid this year. That optimism is, however, tempered by concerns about the slow pace of allocations. There is also a fear that, as donors monitor the current international situation, they may withhold funds for possible use elsewhere. As a result, these agencies are concerned that they might not be able to meet their existing assistance commitments to Afghanistan.
The human rights situation in Afghanistan continues to be undermined by the poor overall security environment. In the absence of effective State institutions, many Afghans are subjected to arbitrary rule by local commanders and have no recourse to legitimate judicial institutions. UNAMA human rights officers continue to hear of cases of extrajudicial executions, extortion and forced displacement.
UNAMA is maintaining its efforts to build the capacity of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission and to engage with local authorities to prevent abuses. Satellite offices of the Commission are in the process of being opened in Bamyan, Herat and Mazar-i-Sharif. With assistance from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR), the Afghan Human Rights Commission has begun to prioritize the more than 600 complaints that have been lodged with it. That exercise will help the Commission to decide the most pressing cases to investigate, while ensuring that its resources are used as effectively as possible and that positive results are demonstrated.
Turning to the main theme of today’s meeting, I would like to preface my comments on security-sector reform by describing some recent and worrying security trends in Afghanistan. Those trends highlight the imperative to both quicken the pace of security-sector reform and to consider immediate measures to improve security. Hopefully, those issues too will factor into our discussion today.
While the Bonn process has so far successfully averted full-scale fighting between major rival factions, Afghans continue to suffer on a human level from the insecurity created by the conjunction of weak national security institutions and strong local commanders. Council members will recall that when Mr. Brahimi briefed the Council, less than a month ago, an improvised mine had exploded on a roadside near Kandahar that same day, killing 12 bus passengers. Since then, several other incidents have occurred in Kandahar. On 12 February, a grenade exploded outside the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). That was the second grenade attack on United Nations premises in Kandahar in the last seven months. Fortunately, there were no injuries in either case. On 29 January, an explosive device detonated in the compound of the non-governmental organization Action Against Hunger, fortunately causing no injuries. A week ago, in the north-eastern city of Kunduz, a grenade was thrown over the wall of the compound belonging to the International Organization for Migration. The blast blew out windows in the building, but luckily there were no casualties. An hour later, a second explosion occurred in the centre of Kunduz.
In eastern Afghanistan, the Government’s poppy-eradication campaign continues to face strong opposition from local tribes who do not feel they have been offered sufficient compensation. United Nations activities have been suspended in four districts in Nargarhar as a result of that tension.
UNAMA has also recently received credible threats of the kidnapping of international staff in Kabul, Jalalabad and Kunar provinces. Enhanced security measures were implemented as a result. However, we remain worried about increasing threats and actions against international assistance agencies. Purely as a contingency, UNAMA has discussed with United Nations agencies and some foreign missions the response that should be made if the security situation deteriorates to the point that international operations become unsafe in any given area. In the light of the political importance of the international presence to the peace process, there is a common understanding that the overall approach will be to analyse security incidents on a case-by-case basis and conduct any potential withdrawal primarily to other locations in Afghanistan, while continuing operations in all other areas as long as this is feasible and safe. Caution and prudence will guide our actions, but never panic. I must stress that this is simply contingency planning and there is at present no sense among key actors in Afghanistan that there is any area that has, or is likely to, reach a state where withdrawal would be required.
Despite a general sense of concern about security conditions across the country, I am pleased to note the smooth handover of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) command from Turkey to Germany and the Netherlands on 10 February. I would like to thank Turkey for the leadership provided over the past seven months by General Hilmi Akin Zorlu and his staff, as well as for the professionalism and dedication that has been, and continues to be, demonstrated by the officers and soldiers of the 22 Member States that contribute to ISAF. I also thank, Mr. President, your Government and that of the Netherlands for assuming joint command under General Norbert van Heyst.
The challenges of reforming the Afghan security sector are significant: the national army needs to be built, factional armies need to be dissolved, and assistance needs to be provided to help ex-combatants reintegrate into civilian life. A national police force needs to be created, the rule of law re-established, the justice sector rehabilitated, and the cultivation of and trafficking in illicit drugs countered. Finally, the bloated and intrusive internal intelligence structures must be reformed so that they no longer inspire fear among the people that they are expected to protect.
Security sector reform is made all the more urgent by the complex political activities planned for the next 16 months. The security sector must be able to provide minimal conditions of stability to ensure that the Constitutional Loya Jirga and the national elections are meaningful and credible. Confirming this assessment, President Karzai has said that the reform of the security sector is his priority in the coming months.
Success will depend on a comprehensive, integrated approach that addresses the linkages between the security subsectors and unites the efforts of international actors and Afghan leaders at every level. For example, the creation of the new army and police is linked to the successful reintegration into civilian life of the members of existing security forces. That will require political consensus at the local and national levels and international commitment to deliver the required assistance.
Success will also depend on creating fully representative institutions of central government. The upper echelons of the Ministries of Defence and the Interior must reflect the regional and political diversity of the country, and they must be seen to work together in the interest of national unity. Only this will build the necessary trust in the national character of the new security forces. The decision on 20 February to effect changes in 17 high-level positions in the Ministry of Defence is therefore a welcome development and a strong signal of the Government’s determination to create a truly national army.
The creation of the army, the phasing out of factional militias and the effective demobilization, disarmament and reintegration (DDR) of former combatants constitute the linchpin of security sector reform. If those processes succeed, implementing the others, and the Bonn Agreement in general, will be much easier. While we hope that strong signals and actions at the national government level will help build confidence among various factions that must be disarmed, demobilized and reintegrated, it is also clear that the political support needed to complete the DDR process will probably have to be built, carefully and gradually, from region to region across the country. In terms of international support, a conference on DDR was just held in Tokyo on 22 February, and I am sure that we will hear more about that shortly.
As local militias are drawn down, a reformed national police will have to be created to provide the foundation of law and order across the country. The newly appointed Interior Minister, Ali Ahmad Jalali, has displayed a promising readiness to reform the police. Efforts are also being intensified to support the border police, which has just been moved from the Ministry of Defence to the Ministry of the Interior. Norway and other Nordic countries have expressed an interest in pushing that process forward. President Karzai and the Minister are also working on a draft decree to set the course of reform for the police and border guard, much as the 1 December decree did for the army.
The counter-narcotics effort has been spurred recently by the Government’s active poppy eradication campaign in the five core poppy-producing provinces. As mentioned, this law enforcement effort has created some tensions and will need to be accompanied by convincing alternative livelihoods programmes. We estimate that $20 to $40 million in various alternative livelihoods, infrastructure and employment generation projects should be available in the near to medium term. The magnitude of this problem is extremely well documented in a study on the opium economy released last month by the United Nations International Drug Control Programme. The study estimates that gross income from opium production at the farm level may have been as high as $1.2 billion in 2002. This is more than half of what the Government expects in total international aid.
All the activities under the rubric of security sector reform are closely linked to each other and to other critical political and economic developments under the Bonn process. Success therefore requires a great deal of cooperation, and I am pleased at the way the lead nations for each subsector and UNAMA have coordinated their efforts in Kabul. But the resources needed to carry out security sector reform are greater than those that the designated lead nations can provide on their own. For that reason, I would like to re-emphasize that those countries are working to attract and coordinate the assistance of others in their respective sectors. I urge Member States to provide the necessary financial and material support. The United Nations has established four trust funds for contributions to the police, the justice sector, DDR and the payment of salaries and the provision of non-lethal equipment to the Afghan national army.
While the international community can and must provide support, in the end the success of the reform project depends on the Afghans themselves. In the months ahead, the political underpinnings of security sector reform must be strengthened by the deeds and words of the Transitional Administration. The police, army and intelligence service are still viewed by too many Afghans as politically biased. The chances of successfully reforming the security sector will be much enhanced if the statements of Afghan authorities on national reconciliation are demonstrably upheld.
I would like to thank you, Sir, once again for focusing our attention on the important issue of security in all its dimensions. I look forward to a fruitful discussion on this topic, which, in the end, underpins the entire Bonn process.
Mr. President, thank you very much indeed for this occasion. I deeply appreciate this great occasion to brief the Security Council on disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR).
Following 23 years of war and devastation and one year after the cessation of the latest hostilities, Afghanistan is still replete with weapons and armaments. Despite some notable progress, there is a high level of tension between the armed formations. Nation-building cannot succeed under these conditions. Nor is national reconciliation achievable. Most crucially, the people who have suffered so much for so long cannot enjoy genuine security. That lack of security is a source of great concern to the Afghan people as they toil so hard to reconstruct their country. The restoration of peace and of the rule of law in their country is their greatest aspiration. Indeed, soldiers and officers also share that aspiration. They are tired of life in the army. They yearn to go home and to resume their normal lives.
The international community is also deeply concerned with the lack of security as it mobilizes resources, not just in Kabul but in the remote regions of the country, in order to help all Afghans in their reconstruction efforts. Lack of security prevents donors’ resources from reaching remote areas.
Lack of security is therefore the most serious challenge confronting Afghanistan today. It is no wonder, then, that there is unanimous agreement among all parties concerned that the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) of soldiers and officers is of the highest priority. Fewer soldiers mean greater security. More ex-soldiers in workplaces mean more peaceful development.
Nevertheless, DDR alone is not enough to provide security. Security in Afghanistan can be ensured only when the State exercises the sole enforcement capacity. This, of course, means the creation of a new national army and national police force.
Counter-narcotics actions are also critical in ensuring security. An independent judiciary is likewise necessary. All these elements must be in place in order for the nation to be able to exist under the rule of law rather than the rule of the gun.
Mindful of these considerations, on 1 December last President Karzai issued an important decree broadly outlining principles and conditions with respect to security, the military, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration.
The decree specifically states that a new Afghanistan National Army (ANA) will be created of not more than 70,000 soldiers. It will be an ethnically balanced organization. More importantly, the decree also stipulates that military formations, armed groups and any other military or para-military units that are not a part of the ANA shall be prohibited.
This will be a defining moment in the Government’s efforts to assert control nation-wide. A new national army will be built, and all regional military formations must disappear. It will be a remarkable development indeed.
On 11 January of this year, President Karzai took further steps to move ahead with DDR by issuing decrees establishing four Government commissions.
As recently as last Saturday, on 22 February, President Karzai announced in Tokyo his intention to disarm his country within one year of the commencement of the process. He said that he would announce a detailed DDR programme on 21 March of this year.
With all of these recent and remarkable developments in place, today I can report to the Council that in Afghanistan a solid foundation for DDR is being laid; that DDR will soon commence, promising to change the profile of Afghanistan from that of a nation in conflict to one that is developing peacefully; and that the entire international community is committed to supporting the programme.
The DDR process in Afghanistan is not different from DDR in other countries. Yet it is anticipated that DDR in Afghanistan will be difficult in view of the heavy legacy of factional rivalries. The fact that a new national army must be built in parallel with DDR adds to the complexity of the undertaking.
Here is the basic process: all soldiers to be disarmed must first pass through the Disarmament Commission and will have to decide to either join the new national army or to demobilize. Those wishing to join the new national army must then pass a number of tough recruitment tests. Those who fail the tests, as well as those who choose to get out of their armed formations, will be registered. They will be offered a variety of reintegration packages, including vocational training, credit schemes, employment through public works, land grants, cash compensation, community-based development projects and so on.
Additionally, demobilized soldiers will be able to take advantage of a wide referral network which will allow them to seek job opportunities around the country.
In terms of the administrative mechanism, the Afghan New Beginnings Programme (ANBP) will be created as the main executing body. With offices established in nine cities across the country, the ANBP will register individuals, assist them in choosing the most appropriate job training options and opportunities, and provide the necessary follow-up over a period of three years.
Let me briefly explain what the Government of Japan, as the lead nation, intends to contribute to this programme.
First of all, Japan is totally committed to the success of the DDR process. We will continue to play a cooperative role throughout the entire process, in cooperation with another lead agency, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).
On the financial side, the Government of Japan has pledged a contribution of $35 million to jump-start the Partnership for Peace Programme, which is the basic component of the DDR process. In addition to its financial contribution, Japan will consider extending assistance for the establishment of a large database, which will be indispensable for the implementation of DDR.
Another major area in which Japan is cooperating is vocational training. We will provide an extensive training programme, again in addition to the financial contributions mentioned earlier.
Moreover, we are looking at as many job-creation aid projects as possible in order to meet the requirements of DDR. It is our hope to employ as many ex-combatants as possible in such public-works-type projects.
The task ahead of us is truly daunting. We can expect to be met with numerous challenges and setbacks. But I am confident that the Afghan Government, the Afghan people as a whole and the international community will remain united and rise to the challenges.
Nonetheless, today, realist that I am, I can anticipate some of these challenges.
First, we will have to deal with the problem of how to reach agreement on the number of soldiers and officers to be released from the armed formations. The number of soldiers under arms is difficult to estimate. The definition of a combatant is itself problematic.
Developing a mechanism for the collection of light and heavy weapons and maintaining transparency in the process of weapons collection will also be a difficult issue.
Very careful consideration will have to be paid, in all phases of the programme, to ensuring a strong sense of fairness and impartiality.
In the country, where there is a strong legacy of strife and competition amongst various groups, any attempt which benefits one to the detriment of another is bound to fail. Confidence-building among all parties concerned will be the key to the success of DDR. Therefore, a sensitive approach is absolutely necessary, but at the same time, a practical attitude is also important. The task of disarmament must start where it is most likely to succeed so that it can build momentum for further successes.
The time line is another important factor. President Karzai said in Tokyo last week that, once it begins, the disarmament process would take one year. The idea behind this timetable is to have DDR play a role — of course, a positive one — in the context of the upcoming general election scheduled for June next year.
There is another thorny technical problem — how to treat commanders who still hold sway over large numbers of people and communities — and, of course, as always, there are problems of a financial nature. The donor contributions that have been committed will not be sufficient for the immense task ahead of us.
At the recent Tokyo Conference on DDR, as I said earlier, Japan pledged $35 million. The United States pledged $10 million; the United Kingdom, $3.5 million; and Canada, $2.2 million. This total of more than $50 million for the kick-off is a good record, yet future prospects are not necessarily encouraging and we must keep working on securing financing throughout the process. Finally, the success of DDR will ultimately depend upon the economic capacity of the country itself. How the Afghan economy and the international community will be able to generate enough job opportunities to absorb everyone is a very serious problem.
All these and other problems are sensitive ones which will ultimately require political decisions. Without broad political agreement, DDR will most likely not succeed. The single most important factor for the success of DDR is the steadfast commitment of all political and regional leaders.
If the Government in Kabul and all regional leaders are to achieve and maintain this commitment, it is absolutely essential that the international community as a whole remain committed to Afghanistan and provide it with all possible support and encouragement. In fact, the principal motivation which compelled the Government of Japan to organize the Tokyo International Conference on DDR in Afghanistan just three days ago was to reinforce this solidarity and support. As the Chair of the Conference, I urged all participating countries and agencies to join hands and embrace the Afghan people as they strive to rebuild their nation by restoring the peace and achieving genuine reconciliation.
In the view of Japan and UNAMA, DDR is absolutely crucial to the rebuilding of the nation of Afghanistan. The international community must stay engaged and give every support to our Afghan friends as they begin a courageous struggle, this time in order to achieve genuine peace and reconciliation.
It is quite obvious that the reconstruction of a functioning police system throughout Afghanistan is a vital pillar of the international efforts to create security for that war-torn country. Against this background and at the request of the United Nations and the former Afghan Interim Administration, Germany assumed the lead role in rebuilding the Afghan police force — a task that is closely linked to the four other security sectors that have already been mentioned several times.
What has been achieved so far in the police sector? An initial analysis carried out by German and Afghan experts in early 2002 showed that the Afghan police infrastructure had been largely destroyed in Kabul and throughout most of the country’s provinces. Many police officers had little or no training, were inadequately equipped, burdened with a multitude of non-police tasks and lacked health care and social security. Both the pay and the training systems had collapsed and relations with the public were often very poor.
The Interim Administration’s control over the police, as in many other fields, was mostly limited to Kabul. Certain police functions were at times executed by informal “back-door policemen”, mujahideen who were nominally affiliated with the police force but lacked adequate qualifications to fulfil police tasks and actual assignments. The so-called conscript patrolman system assigned men available for military service either to service in the army or to two compulsory years in the police force as patrolmen without pay.
Thus, the following tasks presented themselves: reorganization of the police force; restructuring the Ministry of the Interior and its relevant departments; reconstructing destroyed police buildings and re-equipping the police force; re-establishing a police training system; qualifying or demobilizing conscript patrolmen and “back-door policemen”; extension of the police rebuilding programme to all parts of the country and the creation of a nation-wide police structure; securing the role of a modern police force operating on the basis of new Afghan police legislation under the rule of law, in the professional ethos of the police and among the populace; and enforcing the State’s monopoly on the use of force and the central Government’s authority throughout the country.
Based on that assessment and in coordination with the other lead nations in the security sector, the following three-stage timetable was established. In the first stage, starting with the Bonn process in late 2001 and running to the Emergency Loya Jirga in June 2002, the basic structures of the new Afghan national police were created in Kabul. A second stage, currently under way and set to last until parliamentary elections are held in 2004, comprises the consolidation and expansion of central structures in Kabul and the gradual extension of these structures into the provinces. A third stage will ensure the functionality of federal and provincial police forces and their interlinking with other security structures, as well as our gradual withdrawal as a lead nation by the end of 2005. This is detailed in annex I of the printed version of my statement that is being circulated.
From the outset, it was very clear that certain framework conditions were going to be crucial to success. These are the full implementation of the Bonn Agreement by Afghanistan; Afghan ownership-based support for the Administration from international organizations and lead nations; the continuation of international support for the fight against terrorism in Afghanistan; sustained financial assistance from the international community; the continuation of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), at least on the current scale; diminished interference from regional leaders; and interaction in the fight against illicit drugs by the police force, justice system and armed forces.
We all know that not all of these conditions have been fully met in the past 12 months. While cooperation with the Afghan Transitional Administration and, in particular the Ministry of the Interior, was very good, the overall security situation has not significantly improved, with the exception of Kabul, where ISAF guarantees a reasonably secure environment. Regional cooperation in the effort to include all provinces in police training has not been uniformly satisfactory, and progress has also been difficult in the reconstruction of other security sectors, such as the army, and in the fight against illicit drugs.
Financing has been a problem, though not a restricting factor as yet. The principal source for police salaries — the Law and Order Trust Fund for Afghanistan (LOTFA), administered by the United Nations Development Programme — is struggling with insufficient funding, among other difficulties. The Fund’s current size, $11 million, falls far short of its target of $65 million. Furthermore, international contributions towards police reconstruction do not fully meet current needs. The overall cost of reconstruction, equipment and training for the national police over the next four years has been estimated at roughly 180 million euros — close to $200 million — excluding salaries. That does not include the border police, for which budget figures have not yet been established. The targeted amount of donor participation has to date fallen short of the mark.
Notwithstanding those restraining factors, we are on course with our timetable. The groundwork has been laid for a functioning police force in Kabul. Since August 2002, the reopening of the Police Academy and the successful train-the-trainers programme, as well as international contributions from, inter alia, the Netherlands, India, Norway, Finland and Turkey, have enabled the start of standard training for Afghan police recruits. Approximately 1,500 are now enrolled at the Academy in courses for commissioned and non-commissioned officers and are thus ensuring the permanent nature of the building of a police force committed to the rule of law and to human rights. For the first time in more than 20 years in Afghanistan, classes include female police recruits.
A structure for the further training of serving police officers has been created and training courses began last summer. Annex 2, which is supplementary to my printed statement, shows Police Academy training structures.
The infrastructures of the national criminal police and the national drug police have been re-established, with contributions from the United Kingdom, the United States and the United Nations International Drug Control Programme. The police force in Kabul is now able to work again, thanks to the reconstruction of its buildings and to new equipment.
The foundations for the re-establishment of the police health service have been laid through the creation of a medical care unit built on the Police Academy premises. A forthcoming contribution by Japan will further expand that nucleus.
The reorganization of the police and of the Ministry of the Interior is making good progress. A structure for the national police and a new Afghan border police, comprising border patrol and immigration units, has been established. Annex 3, supplementary to my statement, shows the structure envisaged for the national police and the border police.
The Ministry of the Interior is adopting a new, modern structure, as can be seen in annex 4. I understand that President Karzai gave his consent to the new Ministry of the Interior structure yesterday.
Payment of Kabul police officers and the students and staff of the Police Academy is guaranteed through LOTFA, thanks to contributions by Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Norway, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the World Bank. A nation-wide, computer-based police information system called POLIS is being established, starting with a central unit in Kabul, where police officers are currently being trained on its future use. Finally, Afghanistan became a member of Interpol in October 2002.
The integration of the provinces into the police rebuilding programme has begun. To date, 10 of the 32 provinces have been evaluated on the basis of their equipment, reconstruction and training needs. The information required for their inclusion in the reconstruction and local training programme and police pay system, as well as for staff restructuring, has been provided. A structure for police deployment in the provinces has been established and can be seen in annex 5.
I would like now to speak about the way ahead. The year 2003 will be decisive. We hope that it will see the consolidation of the work of the re-established central police institutions in Kabul, the further development of the training system and the inclusion in it of the country’s patrolmen, the build-up of a professional border police and, above all, the transfer of results achieved in Kabul to other parts of the country. The level of development and achievement will depend on positive developments in the general security situation and the participation of the international community.
A strategy for national police reconstruction through 2005 that is synchronized with advances in demobilization and armed forces build-up and that sets out milestones and benchmarks is currently being fine-tuned by the Afghan Ministry of the Interior. We are confident that it will be adopted shortly by the cabinet of the Afghanistan Transitional Administration and that a presidential decree will be issued, mirroring the presidential decree on the reconstruction of the armed forces.
Two critical features of that strategy are, first, the decision on a target size of 50,000 for the National Police and the build-up of a border police force of 12,000; and secondly, the conversion of the conscript patrolman system into a third professional pillar of the Afghan police structure. The conscript system was discontinued at the end of 2002. During the transitional period, current conscripts will be offered professional training programmes so that they can qualify as members of the police force under the nationwide trainer snowballing system, or they will be discharged. The United States of America has undertaken the organization and financing of that momentous task.
Extending police reconstruction to the provinces is a big challenge. In many provinces, the challenge will be chiefly financial and organizational. In others, it will also entail important security problems that cannot be tackled by police means alone. Instability resulting from fighting among regional commanders, ethnic groups and their militias must end in order to successfully integrate all provinces by the end of 2004.
Combating drug production and trafficking will be crucial litmus test with regard to the ability of lead nations in the security sector to achieve synergies in their overlapping fields of responsibility. This will continue to require well-coordinated efforts and commitment from all Afghan and international actors in the security sector.
Building the border police will be another vital task, linking both the anti-drug effort and the rebuilding of the Afghan National Army with the police project. We hope that the Nordic countries, led by Norway, will assume a prominent role in this task. Germany, as the lead nation for overall police reconstruction, is prepared and will be glad to support the Nordic countries with regard to concept and coordination. We are optimistic that initial structures, recently laid out by the Afghanistan Transitional Administration, can be built this year.
We regard lobbying the international community and taking responsibility for international coordination as the central functions of our role as lead nation for the reconstruction of the Afghan police and border police. On a technical level, we have established a catalogue of modules, including training courses, equipment and reconstruction projects, as a basis for potential contributions. Using this, we can implement any kind of support measures, whether directly, through the German project office in Kabul, which is currently staffed by 14 senior German police and border guard officers, through organizations acting on our behalf, or through the Afghanistan Transitional Administration.
I have already mentioned the international contributions that have made the police reconstruction project a success so far. I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate that sustained and additional support for the Afghan police is needed. We ask Council members to help us to carry that message to their respective Governments.
The upcoming reorganization of the Afghan Ministry of the Interior and the strategic decisions made on the future shape and structure of the police and the border police provide us with a solid basis on which to move forward in constructing a modern, professional Afghan police force committed to upholding the rule of law and human rights. But much remains to be done before the Bonn process becomes irreversible and before the Afghan Government and Administration grow stronger and gain the structures and experience necessary for carrying forward the building process on their own. Indeed, 2003 will be an important year in that respect, and we rely on the help and the contributions of Council members to make it a success.
I thank Mr. Braun for his briefing.
I shall now open the floor to Council members who wish to address questions to Mr. Nishimura and to the other briefers. I would suggest that we hear all the questions first; then I shall give the floor back to the three briefers to answer the questions raised and to provide further clarifications.
First of all, I should like to express the United Kingdom’s sincere condolences to Pakistan and Afghanistan with regard to the crash of the Cessna. A particular loss, in the context of today’s debate, is that of the Afghan Minister for Mines and Industry, Mr. Juma Mohammed Mohammedi, and we mourn that loss.
We very much appreciate this morning’s briefings by Under-Secretary-General Guéhenno, Ambassador Nishimura and Ambassador Braun, and we are very grateful to the Japanese Government for its input on disarmament, demobilization and reintegration and to the German Government for what it is doing on the Ministry of the Interior and on police reform.
I should like to seek a bit more detail from Ambassador Braun about the reconstruction programme in the Ministry of the Interior. It was very useful to hear the details in his briefing, and the intended structures seem very sensible, but how is the programme getting on with the recruitment of Afghan individuals for the jobs that are being laid out in the structure? Does the German programme think that, if the money is there, the right individuals with the minimum qualifications can be found to fill out the structure and the system within the time period that he has laid out?
With regard to international involvement, it was interesting to hear of the contributions of Nordic countries and of others. Is this international support broad enough, and is he looking for further particular input from the international community that we can get our Governments to look at specifically?
We, too, are grateful to Under-Secretary-General Guéhenno, to Ambassador Nishimura and to Ambassador Braun for the extremely interesting and very technical and useful briefings today. I believe that the material that they have given us will be important to us as we carry out our work in the coming years.
We have questions for all three briefers.
Our first question is addressed to Under-Secretary-General Guéhenno. There have been reports about the possibility of getting NATO involved in securing peace and security in Afghanistan. Have there been any contacts with the United Nations Secretariat in that regard?
Our second question is the following. Is work being done on the possibility of extending the security zone, which can be protected by international forces in Afghanistan, beyond the capital, Kabul?
Next, a question for Ambassador Nishimura. The disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) process will be difficult, given the very specific complications of the situation in Afghanistan. We will face a situation in which people are unwilling to give up their weapons voluntarily, not necessarily because they are part of an armed group, but because the situation is insecure and people might want to keep weapons merely to protect their families. From the briefings of Mr. Nishimura and of Mr. Braun, it seems clear that there is a desire to coordinate the disarmament process and to enhance the security situation in the country. But Mr. Nishimura said that disarmament would be completed within a year, and Mr. Braun said that police reform would require up to 2005. So our question is, are the problems encountered in demobilization the same in all provinces, and, if not, which parts of the country require greater efforts? How does Mr. Nishimura see the process being coordinated?
Finally, we have a question for Mr. Braun. As we understand it, one of the main tasks of the Afghan police — primarily the border police — will be combating drug trafficking. How does he see the interaction between the Afghan security forces and the services of the neighbouring countries, which are also trying to block the flow of drugs from Afghanistan? How could the United Nations assist more in that effort, and how could we accelerate such work?
This morning, my delegation learned of the airplane crash that occurred in Pakistan, in which the Afghan Minister of Mines and Industry, a high official of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Pakistan and other officials of the two countries died. Under these sad circumstances, my delegation would like to express its deepest sympathy to the Ambassadors of Pakistan and of Afghanistan.
My delegation thanks the three speakers — Mr. Guéhenno, Ambassador Nishimura of Japan and Ambassador Braun of Germany — for their very informative briefings.
We have two questions to ask. On 22 February in Tokyo, the conference on Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) in Afghanistan was held. On that occasion, several bilateral and multilateral donors confirmed their wish to support a DDR programme in that country. We welcome that.
Turning to my first question, I am concerned about possible links between the pledges made at Oslo and immediately thereafter and the commitments made at Tokyo. In other words, are the resources earmarked for the implementation of DDR to be additional resources or are they to be deducted from the $2 billion that has been pledged to Afghanistan as part of the Oslo process for 2003?
My second comment has to do with the links to be established between the functioning of the justice system — in particular as regards the functioning of the Judicial Commission — and eliminating insecurity, especially in connection with dealing with rebel warlords and the territory under their control. The briefers have referred to the debate that has taken place in Afghanistan. Do they believe that more emphasis should be placed on promoting peace and security rather than on consolidating the rule of law? How can those two aspects be reconciled given the atmosphere of clientism and the growing influence of warlords and their allies?
Those are the two questions I wanted to share with the members of the Council.
My delegation too would like to express its gratitude for the information that has been provided to the members of the Council by Mr. Guéhenno, Mr. Nishimura and Mr. Braun. In particular, we would like to thank Mr. Nishimura and Japan for their outstanding work in maintaining the international community’s commitment to Afghanistan’s reconstruction. We would also like to recognize and express appreciation for the work being done by Ambassador Braun and Germany in putting together a police force that will make possible the establishment of a reliable legal order in Afghanistan.
In that regard, I would like to know whether, in the light of the information provided to us by Ambassador Braun, a great effort is being made to establish a police force that will have a decisive presence throughout the country and that will secure the borders while providing domestic police enforcement. Given the prevailing circumstances in Afghanistan, we would like to know what mechanisms are envisaged to coordinate efforts to create a national police force with the establishment of provincial police forces. Is that an issue that will ultimately have to be resolved in the process of drafting a new constitution? The very decisive role that a national police force might play in contributing to the establishment of the rule of law vis-à-vis the various armed factions fighting for power in the provinces will in fact be a force for political stability. But in order to achieve that there will be a need to confront the various factions that are likely to dispute areas of jurisdiction. How would Ambassador Braun envisage that consolidation process taking place? What degree of conflict will arise in Afghanistan as a result of an attempt to establish a national police force with authority over any other armed or police forces in the provinces?
First of all, I would like to thank the delegations that have extended their condolences over the tragic air crash. I wish to join all of them in extending our deep condolences to our Afghan brothers over the tragic loss of the Afghan Minister for Mines and Industry in that crash.
We also wish to thank the three briefers for their comprehensive presentations. We express our deep appreciation for the efforts that the international community is making to bring about reform of the Afghan security sector.
Pakistan has also made a modest contribution to that cooperative process of the international community. We have offered equipment and facilities for the training of the Afghan army and police, as well as contributing to the strengthening of Afghanistan’s judicial system and narcotics-control mechanisms. We have also offered special training in the field of demining. I am sure it will be of interest to everyone here to know that only last week Pakistan donated to the Afghan Government a large quantity of arms, including 500 MP5A3 sub-machineguns, 180 82-millimetre mortars, 75 rocket-propelled grenades and substantial quantities of ammunition for those weapons. The delivery of those weapons is part of Pakistan’s commitment to support and strengthen the Afghan central Government and to assist in the raising of an Afghan national army, as envisioned at the Bonn Conference. We will continue to support efforts aimed at reforming the security sector in Afghanistan.
I have a few questions for Ambassador Nishimura. My first question is whether the design of Afghanistan’s disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) process will include measures to curb the smuggling of arms outside of Afghanistan. We would also like to hear his views about how the international community can ensure the full cooperation of all the factions, big and small, in participating in the disarmament process. He also talked about the financial aspects of the DDR programme. How can it be ensured that this process, and especially its reintegration aspect, remains adequately funded?
I thank Mr. Guéhenno and Ambassadors Braun and Nishimura for their briefings. And I thank the German presidency for this excellent initiative. The role of Germany and Japan, as lead nations for police and for disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, is very notable. Security and the strengthening of the central authority remain two of the main challenges that Afghanistan must face. This morning, the Council heard about the progress that has been made in those areas. But it also heard about all that remains to be done to ensure security throughout the territory.
Before asking a few questions, I would just like to recall that in the efforts that the international community must continue to make on security-sector reform in Afghanistan, France, together with the United States, is making a special effort in the area of training the unified Afghan army. In 2002, France trained two battalions. A third battalion is now being trained. By the end of 2003, 7,000 soldiers will have undergone basic training. My country will also begin special training for officers. We will thus train 270 officers in the course of this year. As we pursue our work, we plan to train Afghan officers in our military colleges.
I have one question for Mr. Guéhenno. He told us that President Karzai is currently preparing a decree on the reform of the police and the border police in line with the 1 December decree establishing the Afghan national army. That is indeed an essential issue. Could we have some information about the general features of that decree and about what possible difficulties might be encountered in the course of implementing that decree? What will be the concrete steps to implement that decree? That is a question for Mr. Braun, as well.
Ambassador Nishimura told us that the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration process must begin in those areas where it is most likely to be successful in order to get some momentum under way. I would like to ask Ambassador Nishimura whether he could tell the Council in which areas there is the greatest hope for generating such momentum.
Finally, I wish to say that next month we will be preparing a draft resolution to renew and to improve the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). The draft resolution will be a further opportunity for the Security Council to devote its attention to the question of security in Afghanistan, on which — as was said repeatedly this morning — the success of Afghan reconstruction in future years will depend.
The question I was going to ask has already been put forward by the representative of the Russian Federation. I would like, however, to express my sincere condolences to the delegations of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
We join others in expressing our condolences to Afghanistan and Pakistan.
I have just two quick questions. The first is for Ambassador Nishimura. I wonder whether he could provide some more detailed information on his estimates for the overall funding requirements for disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, including, for example, estimates for vocational training and other programmes such as he discussed in his presentation.
My second question is for Ambassador Braun. To build on the British intervention, can he discuss in more detail his efforts to recruit police and what difficulties he is running into. Later I will make reference to some of the challenges in recruiting members to be trained for the army.
Like preceding speakers, I should like to extend to the representatives of Pakistan and Afghanistan the sincere condolences of my delegation on the air crash that took the life of the Afghan Minister for Mines and Industry and a number of Pakistani officials.
I would like to thank Under-Secretary-General Guéhenno, Ambassador Nishimura of Japan and Ambassador Braun of Germany for their very useful briefings this morning. I especially thank Germany and Japan, together with other countries, for their important role in the reconstruction of Afghanistan.
I have one question for Mr. Nishimura with regard to opium production. If I understood correctly, opium production in 2002 amounted to $1.2 billion — an amount equal to more than half of international aid expected for Afghanistan. Given that that aid is slow in coming, I want to ask Mr. Nishimura what concrete steps he thinks must be taken to combat that scourge effectively. If opium production is not curbed, it will compromise the chances of getting the country on track. Everyone is aware of the damaging consequences of opium and other drugs in general. I believe that it is very important to formulate measures to curb the massive production of opium in Afghanistan.
First, I wish to join in the condolences that are being conveyed to the Governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan on the recent air crash. I also wish to thank of Mr. Guéhenno, Ambassador Nishimura and Ambassador Braun for their presence at this meeting. They have given us comprehensive information about developments in Afghanistan.
For the sake of brevity, I should like to ask just a few questions of Mr. Nishimura and of Mr. Braun. With respect to Mr. Nishimura’s briefing: bearing in mind the numerous problems that have been mentioned, in particular the influence of local chiefs and militia commanders in the various parts of the country, how does Mr. Nishimura think his work should be focused, and what is the most important challenge to be faced? Which parts of the country does he consider will be the most difficult to integrate into the programme?
I have a second question for Ambassador Nishimura concerning the disarmament and reintegration effort. We in the United Nations have quite a history of such efforts — some of them more successful than others. Perhaps he could indicate whether any of these experiences have served as a basis for his endeavours and to what extent that experience can be applied to the case of Afghanistan.
With respect to the comprehensive briefing that we received from Ambassador Braun, I should like to say first of all that we are sure that this is a very complex undertaking. We know that the Afghan Government lacks the resources to pay police wages and that therefore the contributions of the international community are essential.
I should therefore like to ask Ambassador Brown how he perceives this problem, and does he believe that these forces must have a balanced ethnic composition?
Allow me at the outset, Sir, to express my heartfelt condolences to the Governments of Afghanistan and of Pakistan with respect to the air crash that killed the Afghan Minister for Mines and Industry as well as several Pakistani officials.
We would like to welcome among us Mr. Guéhenno, Ambassador Nishimura and Ambassador Braun, and we thank them all for their important briefings. Mr. Guéhenno briefed us on the general security situation in Afghanistan, and Mr. Braun on the re-establishment of the civil police. We thank them for the detailed information they provided in this regard. Likewise, we would like also to thank Mr. Nishimura, who described the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) programme in Afghanistan.
In brief, we have a comment and a question. We heard Mr. Guéhenno say that the security situation in Afghanistan remains fragile and that the security environment has not been what we would have all wished for. Naturally, we believe that there is a connection between what Mr. Guéhenno has said and the facts presented by Mr. Braun and Mr. Nishimura. We think that, for us to be able to undertake Mr. Braun’s and Mr. Nishimura’s ambitious programmes, we must take into account the comments made by Mr. Guéhenno.
We believe that the DDR process will be lengthy and that therefore we must link the reconstruction efforts with the demobilization process.
How do Mr. Nishimura and Mr. Braun intend to bridge the gap between reconstruction and demobilization on the one hand and the security situation on the other?
I should like also to join other colleagues in conveying our condolences to the Government of Afghanistan and to the Government of Pakistan on the losses that they have suffered, which we learned of this morning. Afghanistan is a country which has been at war for a very long time and has known a great deal of suffering. In the post-war period, with reconstruction under way, it is still facing tragic situations.
I should like also to say that I was very pleased with the three briefings that were presented to us this morning by Mr. Guéhenno, Ambassador Braun and Ambassador Nishimura. These were very rich briefings on key questions. Disarmament, demobilization and reintegration is indeed what is required in a country following 23 years of war, and it is good to see a country like Japan take the lead in this respect.
In this connection, let me ask a few questions.
First of all, Mr. Nishimura mentioned the contributions received from various countries, totalling $50 million, adding that this is only a kick-off and that more is required. My question is, what are the prospects for further contributions, because, as has already been mentioned by previous speakers, this is going to be a long process that will require a great deal of funding, and in particular coordination and cooperation on the part of other countries with the lead country.
With respect to the police, during the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) process, police are trained, new police officers are incorporated, and it is useful to take advantage of those who are being demobilized or brought into the DDR process. What is the coordination between the two? How is it proceeding? Are there any problems in getting recruits and in getting this to move smoothly?
At last month’s briefing on Afghanistan, mention was made of the fact that the security situation could create problems for the 2004 elections. Today, I think, it was mentioned that elections are indeed supposed to take place in 2004. Is it, in fact, realistic to see elections taking place in 2004?
Before giving the floor to our briefers to answer the questions raised in the discussion, let me first of all join others in the condolences expressed to the Governments of Afghanistan and of Pakistan.
I give the floor to the representative of Afghanistan.
I am very grateful to Mr. Guéhenno, Ambassador Nishimura and Mr. Braun, who have given briefings that have elicited many very relevant questions about Afghanistan, even though some of these questions have already been answered to some extent. I, too, look forward to the answers that will be given.
I am grateful also to Mr. Guéhenno for having informed the Council of the death of a great Afghan patriot, Juma Mohammedi. The chartered aircraft he was in crashed, and a number of Pakistani officials were also killed. I extend my condolences to the representative of Pakistan.
Mr. Mohammedi was a man of tremendous experience. He was a hydrologist and also a management expert. Obviously, he was very familiar with Afghanistan’s extensive water resources. He was a member of the Afghan royal Government and a minister in the Daoud Republic. He left his post only when he was imprisoned as a cabinet member of Prince Daoud’s Government. Upon his release — a Marxist regime held power in Afghanistan at that time — he was immediately hired by the World Bank, which needed someone like him to work on the waterways extending from Turkey to Syria. The work was of a legal and technical nature and Mr. Mohammadi was occupied with it for several years. In his capacity as a former Government minister, he then joined Mr. Karzai’s Government.
He was a Pashtun from the Paktika region. He worked with colleagues and technicians from various ethnic groups. He was a true patriot and I trust that he will receive God’s blessing.
Allow me at the outset to join previous speakers in expressing my deep condolences to the Governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan over the tragedy that has struck them.
China listened carefully to the statements made by this morning’s three briefers. They were extremely detailed and very helpful to our understanding of the situation in Afghanistan. Many of our colleagues have already raised a number of questions, some of which were similar to those I had in mind. I will therefore not repeat them.
I want to ask only two questions. My first question is for Mr. Guéhenno. In his briefing, he referred to the repeated attacks against United Nations and other international personnel. One agency has suffered two grenade attacks; fortunately, there were no casualties. Have any specific measures been envisioned to reduce the incidence of such attacks?
My second question is for Mr. Braun, who mentioned in his briefing that Afghanistan is already a member of the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL). Does Mr. Braun have any specific plan to take full advantage of INTERPOL in building the police force in Afghanistan?
First of all, I would like to thank you, Sir, for organizing this important meeting on the security situation in Afghanistan and for giving us the chance to listen to such excellent briefings by Ambassador Nishimura, Ambassador Braun and Mr. Guéhenno. We do appreciate the work done and coordinated by Ambassador Nishimura and Ambassador Braun.
In that context, let me just join previous speakers in expressing our condolences over the tragic incident in which Pakistani and Afghan officials were killed in an air crash.
Let me inform the Council that, on 20 February, the third rotation of the Bulgarian contingent in the International Security Assistance Force took place in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the Security Council.
Because many questions have already been asked, I feel that it will be quite difficult for the briefers to answer all of them. Would it simply be possible for them to share with us some preliminary views on the efficiency of the measures taken up to now by the international community and the respective lead countries?
I really appreciate the great interest the Council has shown in what we have been doing.
There were several questions directed to me. I will group those questions into three or four broad categories.
First, Council members have expressed their doubts or uncertainties as to how we are going to proceed with the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) programme despite possible resistance on the part of various regional leaders. They may have thought that it is going to be a very difficult process. Indeed, I agree. We all know that we have a very difficult exercise ahead of us, but there are a couple of things to which I think I must draw the Council’s attention.
First and foremost, all the decisions which have been made so far by the Government in Kabul have been discussed and debated through the National Defence Council, which comprises all regional political leaders. Therefore, theoretically speaking, there is a general consensus amongst all those leaders to go ahead with the process of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of the soldiers and officers. Our problem, and the problem of Afghanistan, is to test in practice that agreement made in principle by all those political leaders. Therefore, that is the test of DDR programme as well.
I talked about a pragmatic attitude whereby we should start our work where it is most likely to succeed. Indeed, that practicality has something to do with this process. Our intention — and it is the intention of all parties concerned, including the Government of Afghanistan — is to start some kind of new wind in Afghanistan. There are communities and provinces which really wish to start those activities in their territories. Of course, this whole DDR programme entails economic packages and rewards. Communities are now seeing that those rewards can come their way. That is one positive element and we can therefore start in those areas. They are expressing their wish that this programme be started in their communities. Other communities are expressing the desire to see the programme start, because the soldiers themselves wish to leave their military formations. That readiness and disposition has been expressed in other cases. So yes, there will, of course, be lots of resisters, but there are provinces, cities and small villages that wish to go forward. In our view, that might create a new wind — a new tendency, a new current — which might be emulated and copied in other areas. That is our strategy.
The Russian representative asked whether they may wish to keep their weapons. Of course they may wish to do so. As a matter of fact, all weapons of all kinds will not be collected under the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) programme. As far as I understand it, there will be a category of weapons that must be collected and that there will be other sorts of weapons — light weapons — that will not be collected. There should be a clear distinction between those weapons that are to be collected and those that are not to be collected. This is, I think, the practice that has been adopted by other DDR exercises in other countries. There is nothing wrong with Afghanistan seeing small weapons remain in the hands of people. That is a question in its own right. But that question must be dealt with at a later stage. If you go there, I think the DDR process itself is going to be a huge exercise which the present mechanism and current financial resources cannot cope with.
The financial aspect has been of great interest in all of today’s questions. I also appreciate the interest expressed and understand the anxieties members may have had about the financial prospects for the programme. As a matter of fact, $50 million is the amount for the kick-off of this programme. That is not going to be enough for the entire programme, which may take at least two, three or four years. According to a United Nations Development Programme estimate, there will be a total requirement for three or four years amounting to $130 million to $150 million. So, as I said in my statement, we have to work together to ensure that the financial resources can be collected from the international community to fill those gaps. It is going to be a difficult task but, nonetheless, I think we have to proceed with it.
One thing which I think I have to mention in this respect is the fact that all donor nations can contribute to the United Nations Development Programme fund — which has been set up for the purpose of DDR — not just in financial terms, but by helping to meet the requirements of ex-combatants who have left the army and army formations. There are lots of public-works-type aid projects being offered to Afghanistan by many donor nations, and that is going to be a great help in providing job opportunities for those ex-combatants.
The representative of Cameroon questioned whether the pledges were additional or were part of earlier pledges. I really cannot speak on behalf of other countries, but my impression is that the contributions offered by donor nations are part of their earlier pledges, first made at the International Conference for Afghanistan held in Tokyo one year ago. As a matter of fact, one year ago the Tokyo Conference amassed $4.5 billion of contribution pledges from the international community. At the time the Tokyo Conference was held, no concrete projects were in place. It is therefore only natural for donor countries to contribute out of that total pledge amount as concrete programmes are developed.
As far as Japan is concerned, the $35 million that we have pledged to the programme is part of $500 million that the Government of Japan pledged for overall reconstruction activities in Afghanistan.
The representative of Chile asked about other types of DDR that have been developed in other countries. I am not very familiar with others exercises in this area; Mr. Guéhenno may be able to draw some parallels between those past experiences and the experiences we are having in Afghanistan.
The Syrian representative asked about bridging the gap between DDR and the development projects. I am not sure whether I can answer that question properly. Let me talk about the parallels that I am drawing all the time. It depends upon whom we talk to, but as for the number of soldiers to be released from the army formations, people have been talking about 100,000, 200,000 or 300,000 soldiers being released eventually under the DDR programme. I should also mention the 2 million refugees who have returned to the country since the cessation of conflict.
So, on the one hand, we talk about soldiers to be released from the army structure, but on the other hand, we have a huge number of refugees — almost 10 times as many refugees as soldiers. To attend to refugees and to internally displaced persons is a serious task in itself; we must take care of them. But at the same time, we must take care of soldiers, even though they are fewer in number, because to induce those soldiers to reintegrate into civilian life is clearly an important ingredient for the formation of the new Afghanistan as a country developing in peace.
Therefore, we must indeed deal with many aspects of the development process in Afghanistan, including taking care of refugees, building infrastructure and rehabilitating schools and hospitals, among many other things. We are doing — and we must do — all those things. But, at the same time, we must take care of all these soldiers and officers, because their returning to civilian life means that the country itself will change its basic profile.
I thank Ambassador Nishimura for his comments and clarifications. I now give the floor to Mr. Guéhenno.
The representative of the Russian Federation asked whether we had been approached by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). We have not. We have heard from press reports that such an idea might be considered, but thus far I am not aware of any North Atlantic Council decision with respect to Afghanistan.
The representative of France asked about the forthcoming decree concerning the police. As we understand it, the decree will provide information about the size of the police and border police forces, about the restructuring of the Ministry and about the creation of a road police as part of the transformation of the police structure in Afghanistan. What will the obstacles be? The obstacles will be of the same kind as those encountered in the creation of the Afghan national army: the questions of funding and of balanced representation among the various ethnic groups within the police and, generally, the question of how to improve the security situation. That is something that we have been discussing this morning. The police in a pacified Afghanistan will necessarily take the lead role vis-à-vis the army. We are not quite there yet. There is also the question of extending the national police beyond Kabul, and I think that will certainly be one of the most delicate and most important questions in moving peace-building forward in Afghanistan.
The Permanent Representative of Angola asked whether it would be realistic to have elections in 2004. Indeed, the challenges are considerable, and this morning’s discussion shows that, as far as improving security is concerned, there is still a long way to go. But was it realistic to have an Interim Administration two weeks after the Bonn Agreement? Was it realistic to have an Emergency Loya Jirga a few months later? I think that, ever since the beginning, we have been under a very tight timetable; that was a political decision. Thus far, we have met the various deadlines, and I think that is a tribute to the political will of the Afghan people — and also to the sustained commitment of the international community. If that political will and the commitment of the international community remain what they should be, then perhaps we will not say that it is unrealistic to have elections.
Ambassador Nishimura referred to me the comments of the representative of Chile about lessons learned from other experiences with disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR). There are many lessons indeed; I would focus on two of them. One is the question of financing, which is a perennial problem with any DDR programme and a concrete example of the importance of a sustained international commitment to Afghanistan. The other lesson — and I think this morning’s discussion has been an illustration of this — is that there must be a close link between the DDR programme and the reform of the security sector; they really go hand in hand. So I think that more and more coordination between those two facets of the consolidation of peace in Afghanistan is welcome.
The representative of China asked us how we could reduce attacks on United Nations personnel. I think there are two answers to that question. One is of a general nature. Attacks on United Nations personnel are only one disturbing aspect of the general security situation in Afghanistan. Everything that is done to reform the security sector — to consolidate local politics throughout Afghanistan through institutions, not through the power of the gun — will have a positive impact on the security of our people. That being said, the other response that we can give is that we must take precautions. We are doing that through the implementation of what we call Minimum Operating Security Standards (MOSS) — that is, we are instructing United Nations personnel in Afghanistan to follow strict procedures with respect to transit from one place to another — such as from their residences to the places where they work — so as to minimize risk for our people in Afghanistan.
I thank the Under-Secretary-General for his comments and answers. I now give the floor to Ambassador Braun.
I should like to group the numerous questions that have been addressed to me under several thematic headings, starting with the question by the representative of the United Kingdom about the recruitment of personnel to the Ministry of Interior and to the police and about their qualifications. I should like to include in this group the questions by the representatives of the United States, Chile and Angola.
It is difficult, but not impossible, to recruit qualified personnel. It seems that work in the police force is attractive to Afghan nationals, that it is prestigious and that it has a good tradition. When candidates were selected for the first intake of 1,500 in the police academy courses, starting in August of last year, it was possible to include qualified recruits from all 32 provinces, providing a proper ethnic mix reflecting of the population.
The second question by the representative of the United Kingdom was whether international support for the police project was broad enough. More international support is needed, as I said in my statement. How can it be increased? We have developed a catalogue of modules, into which the whole police project has been broken down. It is a living document that contains numerous modules of training, reconstruction and equipment details. I have had an opportunity to share this catalogue with a number of interested countries by travelling to capitals that had indicated interest. I would like to use this opportunity to let the Council know that the catalogue can be had from our United Nations Mission here in New York. It can also be had through Council members’ embassies in Berlin, as well as through our embassy and the police project office at Kabul.
We hold regular meetings in Berlin with countries that have been participating in the police project. At the last meeting there were 16 nations present. That is not a closed group. I would like to invite all members to let us know whether there is something they can do in order to support the project. I am pretty certain that in this catalogue of modules there is one that fits existing requirements and possibilities.
Mr. Guéhenno has already made some comments regarding the question raised by the representative of France on the presidential decree. Given that this concerns a presidential decree that is currently being prepared, it is probably not appropriate to address this matter in greater detail in an open meeting. However, I am prepared to share with the members of the Security Council, during the closed meeting that is to follow this one, the advice we have given the Administration in Kabul.
The representative of Russia asked about cooperation between Afghanistan and its neighbours in the sector of the police and the services. The representative of Guinea also mentioned this question of cooperation, particularly as regards the fight against illicit drugs. Cooperation has been completely insufficient in the past. It needs to be developed.
I mentioned in my briefing that the police information system (POLIS) currently being developed provides the necessary infrastructure to link Kabul with the provinces. It also provides the software necessary to go beyond borders and to link neighbouring countries into the information system.
A second aspect of regional cooperation is being studied, including through a project for a regional police conference on Afghanistan that is slated to be held in the second or third quarter of this year in a country of the region that has diplomatic relations both with Afghanistan and with all its neighbours.
The representative of Mexico asked about the relationship between national and provincial police forces. I probably did not make it sufficiently clear in my statement that the project is for the establishment of one national police force for the entire country. Provincial forces will be part of that national police force. The plan is not to have any independent police forces in the provinces, as was the case in the past. There will instead be one single, national unified police force, under the command of the Government in Kabul, which, of course, will appoint regional police commanders who will report to the central Government in Kabul. As Under-Secretary-General Guéhenno has mentioned, the implementation of this project is of course one of the biggest obstacles we face.
The representative of China asked about what could be done to get Afghanistan to take full advantage of its membership of the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL). Last year, Germany helped Afghanistan to fulfil the requirements for INTERPOL membership. That membership came about at the INTERPOL conference held in October last year. Part of the police reconstruction project is to build up the INTERPOL unit in the Afghan Ministry of the Interior. We hope that, with the development of that project, Afghanistan will be able to take full advantage of its INTERPOL membership, which of course has the greatest relevance in combating the international problem of drugs.
I thank all three briefers for the very valuable information they have given us.
In accordance with the prior understanding, I shall now adjourn this meeting and convene a short private meeting of the Security Council in order to give Ambassador Braun an opportunity to provide the Council with some additional information. I invite all non-Council members, observers and media personnel to leave the Chamber.