Security Council meeting 5744

Date19 September 2007
S-PV-5744 2007-09-19 17:20 19 September 2007 [[19 September]] [[2007]] /

The situation in Afghanistan

The meeting was called to order at 5.20 p.m.

Adoption of the agenda

The agenda was adopted.

The situation in Afghanistan

The President

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 consideration 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 consideration of the item, 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.

At the invitation of the President, Mr. Tanin (Afghanistan) took a seat at the Council table.
The President

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.

Members of the Council have before them document S/2007/548, which contains the text of a draft resolution prepared in the course of the Council’s prior consultations.

Members of the Council also have before them document S/2007/492, which contains the text of a letter dated 13 August 2007 from the Permanent Representative of Afghanistan addressed to the President of the Security Council.

It is my understanding that the Council is ready to proceed to the vote on the draft resolution before it. Unless I hear any objection, I shall put the draft resolution to the vote now.

There being no objection, it is so decided.

I shall first give the floor to members of the Council who wish to make statements prior to the vote on the draft resolution.

Mr. Churkin (Russia)

The Russian Federation has traditionally supported the activities of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, as well as extend its mandate for an additional period of 12 months. The International Security Assistance Force is combating the terrorist threat from the Taliban, Al-Qaida and other extremists, and is making an important contribution to stabilizing the situation in Afghanistan. We look forward to the further enhancement of the effectiveness of those efforts.

However, I should like to note that, during the process of reaching agreement on the draft resolution, no clarity was provided with regard to the proposed new wording pertaining to the coalition Force’s maritime interception component, which has not appeared in any of the Security Council’s previous resolutions on Afghanistan. As the Security Council is aware, the activities of the coalition are carried out outside the context of the United Nations, and the Council has not been informed in detail about them. We believe that the maritime component is necessary solely to combat terrorism in Afghanistan and should not be used for other purposes.

On the basis of those considerations, during the final stage of the Council’s work, the Russian Federation proposed including in the draft resolution wording that has already been tested by the Security Council. Unfortunately, our proposals were not duly discussed. The draft resolution was hastily put to the vote, although there is still a month remaining to ISAF’s current mandate. That is not in keeping with the Council’s normal working practices. The Russian Federation will therefore not be able to support the draft resolution.

The unity of the Security Council has been sacrificed for the sake of undue haste.

The President

If no other delegation wishes to take the floor, I shall put the draft resolution to the vote now.

favour against
abstain absent

favour=14 against=0 abstain=1 absent=0

Belgium, China, Congo, France, Ghana, Indonesia, Italy, Panama, Peru, Qatar, Russia, Slovakia, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States

The President

There were 14 votes in favour, none against and one abstention. The draft resolution has been adopted as resolution 1776 (2007).

I shall now give the floor to those members of the Council who wish to make statements following the adoption of the draft resolution.

Mr. Mantovani (Italy)

My delegation was honoured to coordinate the process that has led us to the adoption of today’s resolution. I wish to thank all delegations for the invaluable contributions made throughout the process.

The adoption of the resolution is an important signal of the Council’s cohesion on a critical issue at a critical juncture. In extending the mandate of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), the Security Council is reiterating its full support for an operation that, in the words of the Afghan Foreign Minister, “has played a key role” in promoting security and stability in Afghanistan.

In the same letter, the Afghan Government expressed its hope that the Security Council would continue to reflect the paramount importance of fulfilling ISAF’s mandate. To answer that call, my delegation tried to reflect in the text all the daunting and emerging challenges that ISAF has faced since its expansion throughout the country. In our view, it is particularly important that, by the resolution, the Council is sending a signal of strong attention to all the aspects surrounding ISAF’s operations. The concept of a comprehensive approach combining military, political and economic efforts requires such attention.

In the resolution, we have not hesitated to address politically sensitive issues. That has made the process more complex than in previous years, but we feel rewarded by the outcome. We are convinced that in refusing to ignore the challenges, the Council has lived up to its responsibility as mandating authority for the operation.

Mr. Liu Zhenmin (China)

The Chinese delegation voted in favour of the resolution just adopted. As a friendly neighbour of Afghanistan’s, the Chinese Government attaches great importance to the situation in that country. The Chinese Government firmly supports the people and Government of Afghanistan in their efforts to achieve peace and stability. We hope that the adoption of today’s resolution will help to promote peace and stability in Afghanistan.

We would also like to thank the countries concerned for their efforts in connection with the resolution.

I would like to take this opportunity to make one point. We believe that we should spare no effort to reach consensus and unanimity when we work to adopt a draft resolution of the Security Council in the future. The unanimous support of the 15 members of the Security Council is important for any resolution.

We hope that the manner in which the resolution was adopted today will not set a precedent. Rather, we hope that the members of the Council will consult with one another to endeavour to adopt all draft resolutions by consensus.

The President

The Security Council has thus concluded the present stage of its consideration of the item on its agenda. The Council will remain seized of the matter.

The meeting rose at 5.30 p.m.
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