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21 November 2011, GA, Permanent Representative's Statement Statement on The Situation in Afaghanistan

 

Mr. President, at the outset I would like to thank the Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-moon, for his last valuable report issued in document (A/66/369). I would also like to express our appreciation for the efforts made by his Special Representative in Afghanistan for consolidating security and stability in this friendly country.

Mr.President, despite the great efforts made by the international community over the last years to achieve security and stability in Afghanistan, this country still faces challenges resulting from the continued violence and insecurity, which inflicted severe damage to all aspects of life in Afghanistan and its infrastructure, including transport, communications, electricity, water, education and health services.

The UAE, which is concerned about the ongoing insecurity and instability in Afghanistan and the ensued increasing loses of life among civilians and international humanitarian workers, affirms that the primary responsibility for putting an end to this violence lies with the Afghan parties, who must take concrete steps to incorporate universal human rights in their policies and practices, and provide the necessary protection to civilians.

In this context, we renew our support for international efforts aimed at establishing security, peace and stability in Afghanistan. We also extend our support to Kabul Process on handing over the power to an Afghani leadership so as to enable the Government of Afghanistan to shoulder its national responsibilities, notably in the fields of governance, territorial sovereignty and security, and in achieving economic and social development. We also affirm that long-term stability and development in Afghanistan can only be achieved through dialogue and inclusive reconciliation among all parties in the country. In this regard, we support the good offices of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, the Mission of Norway and the Joint Afghan-Pakistan Committee for reconciliation and peace.

Mr. President, events in Afghanistan have proved that regional efforts play a vital and prominent role in promoting peace, security, reintegration and stability in Afghanistan. We, therefore, welcome the positive outcome of Istanbul Conference, held on the second of this month, including the agreement reached on a comprehensive package of confidence-building measures and multilateral cooperation in areas such as: security, reconstruction, health, countering terrorism, extremism and production & trafficking of drugs in Afghanistan. We also look forward to a successful outcome for the international conference on Afghanistan scheduled to be held in Bonn next December.

The UAE stood by the Afghan people from the very onset of their crisis, and provided distinct political and economic support to efforts aimed at rebuilding their country and strengthening its security and stability. The UAE is keen to furthering its contributions to Afghanistan, reinforced over the last ten years, within the efforts of the international community aiming at implementing aid and humanitarian assistance relief programs in Afghanistan. The UAE will also continue its support for the implementation of infrastructure projects and other vital development projects, including the reconstruction and rehabilitation of its institutional, health, agricultural, social and security sectors. We also extend our support for the rehabilitation projects of Afghanistan’s national economy, in order to restore security and stability in all parts of the country, reduce the suffering of its people and improve all aspects of their life.

The total contributions of the UAE Government to Afghanistan to advance its economy stands around US 1.5 billion, in addition to private assistance from humanitarian foundations such as Sheikh Khalifa Foundation, which extended in collaboration with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, an estimated contribution of US 50 million, earmarked for the immunization program for the Afghani Children. The UAE also announced last August a grant of US 250 million, to be managed by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, for development projects in Afghanistan, particularly in the areas of ​​providing housing for widows, orphans and the disabled, as well as the rehabilitation of Kabul and other provinces. This is in addition to the other contributions made directly by the UAE since 2007 t support international efforts aimed at reconstruction and providing development assistance to the Afghani people. The UAE also participated in the implementation of many government and non-governmental Afghani projects, including the project of building training centers and roads, the reconstruction of infrastructure project, and the demining project in Kandahar, which is expected to be completed within four years at a cost of US 28 million.

Mr. President, the UAE, which believes that security and stability of Afghanistan is closely linked to regional security, especially that of the Arab Gulf region, strongly condemns all terrorist attacks in Afghanistan, including those targeted elements from international forces and humanitarian and diplomatic missions. The UAE affirms that it will continue its endeavors in cooperation with partners from other states to support Afghanistan’s national programs in order to implement a comprehensive strategy of reform and security training to combat activities of armed groups, acts of terrorism and extremism, and production and trafficking of drugs.

Mr. President, in conclusion, we call for a strengthened role for the United Nations in Afghanistan, including the efforts aimed at providing support to all development sectors in Afghanistan so as to enable it to consolidate peace, development and stability in all its regions, and restore its stature at regional and international levels.

Thank you Mr. President,