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EU Presidency Statement - UN Security Council Debate on Afghanistan
Sommaire: EU Presidency Statement - UN Security Council Debate on Afghanistan (New York, 14 March 2006)
United Nations Security Council, Open Debate on Afghanistan; Statement by Ambassador Gerhard Pfanzelter, Permanent Representative of Austria to the United Nations, on behalf of the European Union.
- I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union. The Acceding Countries Bulgaria and Romania, the Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro, and the EFTA country Liechtenstein, member of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova align themselves with this
- Afghanistan has achieved considerable progress over the past four years in partnership with the international community. The political transition process as set out in the Bonn agreement has been successfully completed with the inauguration of the Afghan National Assembly on 19 December 2005. It is now vital to deepen and consolidate the progress achieved so far. With the major political state institutions now in place in the centre, it is important that those institutions extend their
capacity to provide, in an efficient manner, security and essential public services to the population throughout the country.
- Another milestone was the launching of the Afghanistan Compact at the London conference on Afghanistan on 31 January/1 February. The EU welcomes the Afghanistan Compact on the basis of partnership between the Afghan Government, with its sovereign responsibilities, and the international community, with a central and impartial coordinating role for the United Nations. The compact is based on Afghan priorities and ensures thus Afghan ownership. This is in line with the EU's long-standing
support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of an Afghanistan accountable to its citizens, able to assume its rightful place in the international community and to contribute to regional stability. The EU fully supports all three pillars of activity identified by the Compact (security, governance, rule of law and human rights; sustainable economic and social development), as well as the cross-cutting priority of counter-narcotics.
- We remain committed to long-term support for the efforts of the Afghan Government and people of Afghanistan in each of these areas and will further enhance the effectiveness of our action. The EU-Afghanistan Joint Declaration of 16 November is a clear expression of that. Our assistance will mainly aim at fostering the establishment of a democratic, accountable and sustainable Afghan State capable of exercising its sovereignty and protecting the rights of its citizens, while stressing Afghan
ownership in the process. In this context, we will build on our already extensive engagement in the political, security, development and humanitarian fields, and will ensure that counter-narcotics is mainstreamed throughout its activities in each of these areas. The challenges of the phase following the successful completion of the Bonn process call for the deepening and consolidation of progress achieved so far.
- Counter-narcotics will remain a cross-cutting priority in our overall EU policy toward Afghanistan. We will sustain and increase our efforts in support of the priorities highlighted in the Government of Afghanistan's National Drugs Control Strategy. Specifically, we will support the development of strong and effective counter-narcotics institutions, law enforcement and criminal justice agencies, including through the provisions of mentors and trainers, and will provide financial support for
efforts by the Government of Afghanistan to strengthen and diversify sustainable opportunities for legal rural livelihoods.
- The human rights situation remains a cause for concern, in particular with regard to women and children. The EU will continue to give priority to this cross-cutting issue. We welcome the efforts put into drafting an Interim National Action Plan for the Women of Afghanistan. This document will be a vital instrument to promote participation of women and ensure their rightful place in Afghan public life. In the continued efforts to end the culture of impunity and to promote reconciliation, the
EU regards transitional justice as a crucial component. Equally important, we will continue to support the strengthening of a viable Afghan Civil Society as a way to consolidate democracy in Afghanistan.
- Furthermore, the EU will pay special attention to governance and administrative reform and anti-corruption strategies, including at provincial level, and to promoting human rights and the rule of law. We will increase financial support for justice sector reform at both central and provincial level. In this regard, we will directly support PRT civilian activities led by EU member states, which will include activities focused on rule of law and good governance at provincial level.
- The security situation remains a cause for concern and continues to undermine reconstruction efforts outside the cities. We will increase support for security sector reform, including by providing training and increased financial support for the creation of an effective and sustainable Afghan National police and by making available further contributions to support the disarmament and reintegration of former combatants. In this context, the EU welcomes the Doha Declaration on Border
Management in Afghanistan and the Declaration on Closer Cooperation on Border Police, both agreed in Doha on February 28. EU member states continue their substantial role in supplying military and civilian resources to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force.
- The EU will continue to support Afghanistan's sustainable economic and social development, and its efforts to achieve its Millennium Development Goals. We will provide assistance within the framework of the Afghan National Development Strategy and the Afghanistan Compact. Programmes and projects will be coordinated with the Afghan Government in order to ensure that they are consistent with its priorities and that donor activities are rationalised. The EU will, where appropriate, provide
assistance directly through the budget and will continue to encourage the Afghan Government to reach greater financial self-sustainability.
- I would like to conclude by stressing that the EU looks forward to continuing to cooperate closely with the rest of the international community, drawing on the Afghanistan Compact and the EU-Afghanistan Joint Declaration as frameworks for cooperation. The EU supports the continued central role of the UN, including in the monitoring and coordination of donor activity by the international community. In this context, the EU welcomes the recommendations of the Secretary-General in his latest
report on Afghanistan regarding the future mandate of UNAMA. UNAMA will thus continue the important role it had in the implementation of the Bonn agreement. However, progress is dependent on long-term political commitment by all stakeholders both in Afghanistan and among the international community. The EU will continue to coordinate closely its actions and programmes with the UN, its agencies, and other relevant international organisations.
*Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.
- Ref: PRES06-047EN
- Source UE: Présidence UE
- UN forum:
- Date: 14/3/2006
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