"THE SITUATION IN AFGHANISTAN"
Statement by Ambassador Ronaldo Mota Sardenberg
Permanent Representative of Brazil to the UN
Security Council, New York, 25 August 2004
take this opportunity to express the Brazilian Government’s sorrow to the
people and Government of the Russian Federation for the tragic deaths as a
consequence of last night’s aerial disasters, and also to extend our heartfelt
condolences to the bereaved families.
would like to thank you for convening this meeting.
My delegation is grateful to SRSG Jean Arnault for his valuable
presentation of the report of the Secretary-General on the situation in
Afghanistan, which covers the period since March 19th last.
SG’s report describes the state of affairs in Afghanistan in all its
complexity. Its Paragraphs 53 and
54 may well be the synthesis of the present situation: on one side, the
Government is making commendable progress in areas such as public
administration, fiscal management and aspects of private sector and economic and
social development; on the other, there is timid advance in areas such as the
rule of law, land management, disarmament and counter-narcotics.
The report makes it very clear that difficulties arise whenever “the
reform process comes up against entrenched informal actors and networks whose
interests are abetted by a weak State that is unable to apply force or to impose
formal rules throughout the country”.
depends ultimately in promoting an increased legitimacy of the Government –
thus the core importance of the electoral processes – and the effectiveness of
its organs and institutions, including the police, courts and armed forces.
It is the responsibility of both the Afghan themselves and the
international community, working together, to create the conditions for a better
for elections has made sizable progress, even against the unfavorable backdrop
of violence and terrorism. The
registration of voters, closed last Friday, totaling more than 10 million
Afghans, and the significant proportion of women (41,4%) among them, is indeed a
positive, although uneven, development. Also,
the accreditation of 18 candidates for the 9 October Presidential elections, as
well as the registration of 30 political parties, seems to reflect the interest,
diversity and the mobilization of the Afghan people regarding the political
accomplishment of a truly representative vote will depend, however, on the
provision of adequate security for the five thousand polling sites operating
across the country. We concur with
the Secretary-General that a net increase in international security assistance
is, therefore, indispensable, in time to protect the electoral campaign in early
September and beyond the holding of the parliamentary election.
is no secret that the already fragile security situation in Afghanistan has been
deteriorating in the last months. Terrorist
attacks in the whole territory against targets of the Transitional Authority,
the Afghan Army and the international presence have become commonplace and risk
undermining the peace effort. An
eloquent reminder of how lack of security is compromising the viability of
humanitarian assistance was given last month when ‘Médecins sans Frontières’
felt compelled to interrupt its humanitarian activities in the country. Further deployment of troops by NATO, following the recent
summit in Istanbul, is taking place, as it seems that the expansion of the ISAF
presence in Afghanistan is needed.
we note with satisfaction the gradual strengthening of the Afghan National Army,
and the commitment of the international community to increase its support to the
National Police reconstruction. National
capacity building in the enforcement of the rule of law is a key factor for
long-term stability and should be carried out in parallel with the actions taken
by the international community.
thorough DDR process also is required for any improvement on the security field,
and to tackle the power of warlords and terrorists determined to sabotage the
peace process. The report shows,
though, that DDR is facing considerable challenges and remains behind schedule. Containment of rising activities by militias throughout the
country depends on some vigorous progress in this area.
Drug trafficking became a thriving and lucrative activity that finances
acquisition of illegal weapons and the formation of militias, with all kinds of
destabilizing consequences. The
alarming drug situation requires further action.
Eradication initiatives have had very limited success, and drug traffic
still accounts for more than half the gross domestic product.
More effective strategies to combat drugs must be urgently devised and
pursued. The recent issuance by the
Council of Ulemas of a religious decree condemning narcotics and other related
activities can be instrumental in discouraging the cultivation of opium poppy.
Also, we welcome the follow-up in the implementation of the
‘Declaration on Counter-Narcotics within the Framework of the Kabul
Declaration on Good-Neighborly Relations’.
disquieting reports point out that systematic human rights violations continue
to take place. The situation of women has shown little progress.
We reaffirm our conviction that the programs of the Independent Human
Rights Commission of Afghanistan are key in dealing with systematic human right
violations that still occur in the country, and that such programs must be
reinforced and supported by local and international authorities.
problems in the security area, as well as in the promotion of human rights
affect the commendable role of UNHCR in repatriating hundreds of thousands of
Afghans still internally displaced or taking refuge in neighboring countries. This has been the case, last week, when some 13,000 Afghans
were prevented from returning home due to the clashes in western Afghanistan.
Promoting security and stability in Afghanistan remains a vital challenge. The new heightening of violence, factionalism and of the narcotics industry expose the frailty of the achievements reached since the Bonn Conference. These achievements risk being reverted if effective responses are not provided. The current state of affairs, being so complex, demands the energetic engagement not only of Afghans themselves but of the international community in living up to the many commitments made in the past. The upcoming elections certainly constitute a crucial test in the road towards democracy and peace in Afghanistan.