Виступ делегації України на дебатах РБ ООН щодо ситуації в Афганістані

Виступ делегації України на дебатах РБ ООН щодо ситуації в Афганістані

Mr. President,

Ukraine aligns itself with the statement of the European Union to be delivered later today. I now would like to raise several points in my national capacity.

Three months ago, this Council discussed the situation in Afghanistan and adopted the Presidential statement in support of this country’s efforts to address security, economic and development challenges.

Has it made a positive impact on the ground? To a certain degree, it has.

First, some encouraging progress is achieved in countering corruption and deterring terrorist threats.

Second, the Brussels Conference, held this October, secured pledges in support of Afghanistan’s state-building and socio-economic development.

Third, a peace deal that was signed with one of moderate armed factions - Hezb-i-Islami - became a useful contribution to the restoration of normalcy and reconciliation in the territories under control of this grooping.

Forth, regional cooperation was strengthened by investment and infrastructure projects, which laid the foundation for improving Afghanistan’s trade capacities, and building a business-friendly environment.

Fifth, efforts were redoubled to counter narcotics trafficking and production, in particular by promoting saffron as a substitute crop for poppies.

Mr. President,

Despite these developments, much remains to be done.

Rivalry between Afghan high-level officials and political tensions between parliamentary and legislative branches, as well as another postponement of long-awaited parliamentary elections directly affect the country’s ability to adequately promote good governance, the rule of law, anti-corruption measures and human rights.

We believe that this is high time for all Afghan stakeholders to demonstrate a real unity in efforts to achieve a sustainable and comprehensive peace and national reconciliation.

Yet, the prospects of these endeavors are still dim. Repeated flat refusal of the Taliban leaders to negotiate, undercut attempts of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group to create a conducive environment for a peace process. In this regard, we see the need for the QCG to try finding common ground with representatives of Taliban’s moderate wing.

Many times we heard in this room statements that the national reconciliation process must be Afghan-owned and Afghan-led. At the same time, we have seen continued attempts, behind the back of the government of Afghanistan, to negotiate with the Taliban, and even grant safe haven to terrorists, train them and provide them with military assistance.

In light of this, calls to lift this Council’s sanctions on the Taliban leadership as an incentive to bring them to negotiating table look somewhat unconvincing, to say the least. This is particularly indicative, when these calls echoe similar demands by this terrorist organization.

We find it unacceptable that 6 months after his election as the new leader of the Taliban, is still not on the UN sanctions list, and support the relevant call just made by the delegation of Afghanistan.

Ukraine believes that the sanctions is the effective tool persuading terrorists to renounce aggression against the Afghani nation and earnestly participate in peace negotiations. Their removal from the list should be possible only when their words match their deeds. This means disarmament of combat units, reinstatement of peace and functioning of public institutions, as it was the case with the Hezb-i-Islami.

Regional cooperation should also focus on finding ways to effectively disrupt Taliban and other terrorist groups’ financing by suppressing the narcotics trade.

Speaking of the latter, the recent findings of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime in the Afghanistan Opium Survey 2016 are alarming. Regardless of national and international efforts to combat narcotics threat, the total area of opium poppy cultivation has even grown which coincided with the major decrease in the activities to eradicate it. What is extremely worrying, is that according to reports, farmers continue to resist these operations, directly attacking eradication teams even in the government-controlled areas.

Protection of civilians in Afghanistan continues to be an increasingly complex challenge. Although the government announced a national policy on civilian casualty mitigation, the numbers of collateral victims, especially among women and children, are still growing. And the causes, in particular indiscriminate shellings or bombings, are attributable to both parties of the conflict. Beyond all doubt, fighting terrorism threat is a top priority. However, it could hardly be seen as a victory when the number of neutralized terrorists equals the number of civilians, who lost their lives in the course of respective counter-terrorist operations.

We urge the Afghan government to ensure that all such violations of international humanitarian law are thoroughly investigated with the support of UNAMA, and that the victims and their families are provided with appropriate remedies.

The implementation of National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security is also of paramount importance for the sake of creating a stable future for the country through the suspension of gender-based violence and the elevation of women as full and equal partners.

Moreover, the deterioratingdisplacement crisis in Afghanistan requires urgent attention. The Afghan authorities should address the needs of IPDs and returnees, including to urgently scale up humanitarian aid to provide them access to basic services and support their sustainable reintegration.

Mr. President,

Without doubt there are numerous obstacles that make it difficult for Afghanistan to resolve most of the outlined challenges on its own, that is why the international community has to continue assisting the country in need.

I hope that during the next debates the list of problems I mentioned today will be much shorter, as some of them will be addressed by the Afghan government.

I thank you.