Statement by H.E. Ambassador Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti,
Permanent Representative of Brazil
to the United Nations
Debate of the Security Council on the situation in Afghanistan and its
implications for internacional peace and security
30 June 2010
I would like to thank Mr. Staffan
de Mistura and Ambassador Erteğrul Apakan for their briefings,
respectively on the latest report of the Secretary-General on Afghanistan and
on the Security Council mission to Afghanistan. We sincerely appreciate
Ambassador Apakan’s able leadership. We commend Mr. De Mistura for his
admirable work in a very short time and under challenging circumstances.
I also thank Ambassador Zahir Tanin
for his remarks and, through him, the Afghan Government and people for the
hospitality extended to the Security Council delegation.
The SG’s report and the firsthand
comments gathered from Afghan interlocutors last week highlight the progress
made since the London Conference as well as the challenges still ahead in
building a peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan. Today I would like to address
some of these challenges, namely: security; reconciliation and reintegration;
regional cooperation; elections and aid coherence.
On the security field, the progress
in the force generation and training of Afghan National security forces –
slightly ahead of the interim targets spelled out in London – is
encouraging. The level of coordination of Afghan and international security
forces that the Security Council mission witnessed both in Kabul and in
Jalalabad is also to be commended. In order to promote a sustainable and
successful transition to full Afghan responsibility, the international
community should further enhance the quality of the training of the Afghan
forces and timely provide them with all the necessary equipment and enablers.
Despite progress in the London
commitments, the significant rise in insecurity, especially in complex suicide
attacks and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) incidents, remains a cause of
concern. Curbing the upward trend in violence is key. Improving the capacity
of the Afghan national and subnational authorities to provide not only
security but also governance and development to the affected populations can
certainly contribute to that end.
We note with appreciation that the
efforts of the international forces to reduce civilian casualties continue to
bear fruit. These are steps in the right direction that must continue,
including with regard to “escalation of forces” incidents and practices
that deeply affect the sensitivity of the Afghan people, such as night raids.
The armed opposition continues to be responsible for the largest majority of
civilian casualties, including those of United Nations staff. Perpetrators
should be stopped. We strongly condemn the latest attack on UNAMA. We were
saddened by the loss of another UN staff member in an attack in the streets of
Kabul yesterday. We reiterate our support to the efforts of the
Secretary-General and the SRSG to enhance Mission staff security.
The Consultative Peace Jirga
resulted in strong support and several recommendations from the Afghan people
for an Afghan-led reconciliation and reintegration process. It is clear that
the Afghan conflict cannot be solved through military means and that most low
and middle rank insurgents can be reintegrated. At the same time, as the
Council delegation could see firsthand, there are divergent views as to when,
how and with whom to pursue reconciliation talks. We believe that President
Karzai laid out important criteria in his inauguration speech. Peace should
not come at the expense of either the fundamental rights of Afghan women and
men or the accountability for egregious crimes.
Afghanistan’s long term stability
and prosperity depend as much on internal reconciliation as on regional
cooperation underpinned by mutual respect and non-interference in internal
affairs. Brazil is encouraged by the several trilateral and regional
initiatives to that end. In this context, we welcome the launching of the
Kabul Silk Road Initiative.
The Security Council mission to
Afghanistan coincided with the beginning of the official launching of the
campaign for the Wolesi Jirga. We welcome the adoption of the implementation
guidelines for the electoral process. Those guidelines reinvigorated electoral
institutions and led to a number of women candidates even higher than in 2005.
Provincial Electoral Complaints Commissions are being set up in order to
respond more swiftly to possible irregularities. Such measures help to draw
practical lessons from the 2009 polls. Ensuring the security of the
campaigning and the polling is now crucial. We call on the Afghan National
Security Forces and ISAF to redouble their efforts in this regard.
On aid coherence, the SG report
once again notes significant progress in prioritizing the Afghan National
Development Strategy and in improving the financial and managerial capacity to
implement it. The development clusters system, in particular, is exceeding the
initial expectations of the London Conference. The donor community should
match these achievements with comparable progress in its commitments towards
channeling aid through the Afghan budget. Donors should also do their best to
re-align their assistance behind Afghan-led priorities and projects and
improve transparency on off-budget aid. The attachment to national ownership
and mutual accountability must be measured in deeds.
The very initiative of holding the
Kabul Conference, the first international meeting on Afghanistan to be held in
Afghan territory, sends a strong message of increasing ownership by the Afghan
Government and its people of their future. The Conference is being envisaged
as a contract between the Afghan Government and its people that the
international community will be called to support. The international community
has a fundamental role to play in assisting the Afghans, whose stability and
prosperity are linked to those of its neighbors, near neighbors and allies. We
should all remain steadfast in our long-term commitment to Afghan stability.