Statement by Turkey at the UN General Assembly meeting on the Situation in Afghanistan

Bilge Koçyiğit Grba 10.12.2020
Mr. President,

Turkey is pleased to co-sponsor the draft resolution before us today on the situation in Afghanistan. We welcome the successful completion of the negotiations led by Germany and we thank all delegations that have exerted genuine efforts to this end.

We deem this draft resolution very important as it not only highlights the achievements to date, but also guides the future efforts and responsibilities of both Afghanistan and the international community.

Afghanistan is continuing its journey of political, security and economic transformation. The country is going through a crucial phase that should lead to a lasting and comprehensive peace agreement by putting an end to the ongoing bloodshed, safeguarding the human rights of all Afghans, including women and children, and upholding the rule of law.

Achievements of the last two decades in Afghanistan need to be consolidated. This requires a comprehensive approach that addresses the security, development and political tracks at the same time.

We would all like to see peace in Afghanistan. But peace gained at the price of these achievements is no peace.

We welcome the recent agreement on the procedural framework in the intra-Afghan negotiations. This is a heartening sign for the future of the peace talks. It shows the perseverance of negotiating parties to continue the peace talks and their capability to find a common ground. We hope that this development will pave the way for substantive discussions and give momentum to the peace process.

Having said that, the agreement on the procedural rules is only one step. It is essential to sustain the peace talks patiently, in particular on major issues such as the political roadmap and ceasefire, which are expected to be more challenging matters.

Mr. President,

Despite recent progress in the peace talks, violence in Afghanistan remains at worrying levels and we strongly condemn these terrorist attacks. At this critical juncture, it has become ever more important to achieve a comprehensive ceasefire. A significant reduction in violence is necessary to create a conducive environment for the talks.

Representation of all Afghans, including women in the process is key for reaching a lasting peace. We welcome the first meeting of the High Council for National Reconciliation and hope that it will contribute to further advancing the peace process. We also welcome the finalization of the cabinet in the Parliament. It is our hope that Afghan political leaders will work in harmony in an inclusive manner for the well-being of Afghan people.

Mr. President,

A sound economic development is vital in the peace efforts. We are heartened by the renewal of international support to Afghanistan’s development at the 2020 Geneva Conference. Despite economic difficulties faced globally due to COVID-19, continuation of international assistance provides hope for a better future.

In line with our strong commitment towards Afghanistan, we announced a pledge of 75 million US Dollars for the next two years.

We will continue to support efforts aiming at reaching a lasting peace, which upholds the achievements made in the fields of democracy, human rights and in particular women’s rights.

This also entails efforts through regional mechanisms, such as the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process enjoying a vast membership and a large area of expertise. This platform has greatly proved its value over the years on critical issues for Afghanistan. The establishment of the first-ever confidence-building measure on women empowerment in the Istanbul Ministerial Conference last year has been the latest stunning example. We reiterate our call to utilize Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process as an umbrella platform at this critical time as well as to assist post-peace stabilization efforts.

To conclude, Mr. President, our support to Afghanistan is crucial to preserve and expand on the economic, social and political gains made since 2002. The role assumed by the UN and UNAMA in this process will continue to be central. Turkey remains committed to stand by the people of Afghanistan, as it has always done.

Thank you.