“REPORT OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL ON THE SITUATION IN AFGHANISTAN AND ITS IMPLICATIONS FOR INTERNATIONAL PEACE AND SECURITY COUNCIL"
wish to thank Special Representative Jean Arnault for the invaluable briefing on
the situation in Afghanistan and the preparations for the upcoming elections.
January2004, when Brazil was starting its present term in the Security Council,
Afghanistan was completing an important initial step on its way to
reconstruction and normalcy, with the adoption of its Constitution, approved by
the Loya Jirga.
then, with international assistance, the country has progressed steadily in
rebuilding its institutions and in repairing its infrastructure, in promoting
disarmament and reconciliation, and in empowering its own society finally to
assume entire responsibility for their destiny as a nation.
peaceful holding of the Presidential elections last year made clear Afghans’
attachment to the democratic process and their determination to leave behind
decades of war and destruction and inaugurate a new era of peace and
this time, Brazil has had the opportunity to support in the Council the
achievements in fulfilling the Bonn agenda, and in particular the international
community’s strong resolve to bring the process about in a free and peaceful
the last time this Council discussed the situation in Afghanistan, much progress
was made in the preparations for the upcoming legislative elections of September
18, which will mark the completion of the Bonn process. The report of the
Secretary-General indicates that the technical preparations for the vote are on
schedule. It is encouraging that some 5.800 candidates have been qualified to
run for the 249 seats in the lower house of the national assembly and for the
420 seats in provincial councils, which is an evidence of keen interest and
confidence in the political process.
the already daunting obstacles to the electoral process became even more
significant in recent weeks. The present upsurge of violence carried out by
insurgents and anti-government elements is a threat to the stability of the
country. A relentless war is being waged, aimed not only at derailing the
electoral process, but also at eroding the legitimacy of Afghan institutions and
thwarting the broader effort by the international community for the
reconstruction of the country. Meanwhile, the wave of violence in Afghanistan is
estimated to have taken more than 1000 lives since last March.
insecurity is compounded with many alleged cases of intimidation against
candidates, especially women. But no candidates have so far resorted to the
protection provided by the system of complaints put in place by the Joint
Electoral Management Body, which points to the need of improving the system.
this context, I stress once again the paramount importance of achieving and
maintaining a suitable security environment. The DDR program has achieved a
significant success. The training of the national security forces is ahead of
schedule. Although the Afghan Government continues to work hard to improve
security, much remains to be done, notably the disbanding of the more than 1800
illegal armed groups. The decided international support and the commitment of 30
thousand troops on the ground, matched by an unequivocal support from
neighbouring countries, is key to prevent the current security threats from
degenerating into an even more serious and widespread problem.
spite of the estimated slight decline in the area cultivated with poppy for
2005, drug trade continues to be, along with the action of the insurgency, an
extremely worrisome obstacle to putting the country into the track of normality.
In our view, the search for alternate livelihoods for poppy growers must be
combined with a tougher stance against processors and traffickers.
conclude, I would like to stress the need to address specifically the economic
and humanitarian problems that have been imposing immense suffering to the
Afghan people, and especially to its most vulnerable segments. Indicators
regarding health, sanitation, education, human rights and many others continue
to be low. The effect of natural disasters has been amplified by a lack of
adequate response capacity. Furthermore, the return of more than 3 million
refugees added burdens to the effort of improving the socioeconomic conditions
of the population.
reconstruction of Afghanistan will succeed completely only when even the poorest
of its citizens will have hope for a better future, free not only from war and
violence, but also from plights such as misery, hunger and disease.