Statement by Turkey on Situation on Afghanistan at UN Security Council Debate

Levent Eler 17.03.2014
Thank you Mr. President.

I would like to begin my words by thanking Special Representative Jan Kubis for his comprehensive briefing. I would also like to extend my condolences to the Afghan people on the passing away of First Vice President, Mohammad Qasim Fahim, an exemplary Afghan leader who has been known for his conciliatory approach and bridge-building capabilities.

Mr. President,

Afghanistan stands at a crucial crossroads, with key political, security and economic transformation processes underway. The following months, especially following the April 5 Presidential and Provincial Elections, will have an enormous impact on how the following decade will unfold.

The resolution on UNAMA comes at a timely point. At a time when change and uncertainty dominates the Afghan agenda, the maintenance of the comprehensive UNAMA mandate is a tangible assurance the United Nations can provide to the Afghan government and people. We believe that Afghanistan’s future should be based on a conscious strategy that draws strength from local ownership and seeks to pull together various strands of efforts into a meaningful sum. This understanding is fully reflected in the resolution.

Mr. President,

Despite significant improvements in health, education, development, infrastructure and human rights, Afghanistan will continue to need the support of the international community in many years to come. Security, accessibility and inclusiveness will be the three grave challenges for the upcoming elections. Following the elections, security threats are likely to continue, even increase in the short run. Meanwhile, good governance, aid transparency and combatting corruption will need to be prioritized in line with the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework, while agreements on legal frameworks to determine the nature of the military assistance of the international community will need to be sought. These tasks, which the newly elected government will face, are daunting in nature.

At this vital juncture, the international community should keep investing in positive scenarios for the future of the country. Such a scenario, in the short run, entails the successful conduct of the April elections and the preservation of the current level of security and stability. More crucially, perceptions of a power vacuum that can be filled by terrorist or organized crime groups must be broken. International support to capacity building and good governance must continue. In addition, we must continue to support responses to the humanitarian challenges faced.

Mr. President,

We fully support the human rights mandate of UNAMA. Addressing grave human rights matters, particularly violence against women and girls, and the issue of civilian casualties should be another priority, both in the short and long run. Local ownership of human rights matters is essential for durable solutions in human rights. Since this is the week of the 58. Commission of the Status of Women, I would like to extend my strong appreciation to Afghan officials and human rights defenders, who face daily threats and challenges in their work to enhance the human rights of Afghan women and girls.

There is heightened awareness about the problems of Afghanistan among its regional partners, as well as increased ownership. The Istanbul Process, that maintains a comprehensive regional approach for integrating Afghanistan to the region and facing regional challenges as a whole, is a reflection of this spirit. We look forward to the next Istanbul Process ministerial meeting in China. We also continue to support all trilateral, quadrilateral and multilateral initiatives that aim the well-being of the Afghan people. In this context, the most recent trilateral dialogue between Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkey which taken place on 12-13 February 2014 in Ankara, has been useful and successful.

Mr. President,

While concluding my words, I would like to voice our strong support to the crucial role the UN will continue to play during and post transition. Our commitment to the needs of the UN in Afghanistan is insurance for protecting the achievements of the past 13 years on the ground. I would particularly like to commend the valuable efforts of the UN and UNAM, which should be supported by the necessary means and resources. Taking this opportunity, I would like to extend my heartfelt condolences to the families and colleagues of all victims of the heinous terrorist attack in Kabul this January, among which there were 4 UNAMA personnel who lost their lives working for peace and stability in Afghanistan.

Turkey will always remain in solidarity with the Afghan people and continue to contribute to a safe, secure and prosperous Afghanistan, as we have done for many decades.

Thank you.