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

 

 

Mr. President,

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.

Mr. President,

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.

Mr. President,

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.

Mr. President,

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.

Thank you