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Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the UN Address the Security Council on Situation in Afghanistan

Dr. Zahir Tanin, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations, addressed the meeting of the Security Council on the Situation in Afghanistan on March 20.  The meeting convened to consider the report of the Secretary General which covered developments in Afghanistan since the publication of the previous report of 11 September 2006.  The meeting also heard statements from Special Representative of the Secretary General for Afghanistan Tom Koenigs,  Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime Antonio Maria Costa, members of the Security Council, as well the general membership of the UN.     

In his address before the Council, Ambassador Tanin highlighted the challenges facing Afghanistan, particularly in areas of security and development, and called for renewed commitment of the international community to Afghanistan to meet the benchmarks of the Afghanistan Compact.  

He cited the prevailing security situation in the country as the main challenge facing Afghanistan, and underscored the importance of a comprehensive approach in dealing with the issue. “Improving the security in Afghanistan will require a comprehensive and multi-faceted approach, one which will address both the internal and regional dimensions of the problem,” said Ambassador Tanin.  In this regard, he advocated the importance of accelerating the training and recruitment of soldiers of the national army and police and the provision of additional resources to Afghanistan’s security institutions in order to effectively combat a revitalized enemy force.

Highlighting the regional dimension of the security problem, he cited the presence of foreign sanctuaries which trained, recruited, equipped and indoctrinated extremists conducting attacks in Afghanistan.  “It has by now become evident that unless the external sources of insecurity are addressed in a comprehensive and resolute manner, our efforts to achieve a stable and prosperous Afghanistan may go in vain,” he added.    

While commending the role of the international community in providing security, he also mentioned that regional cooperation would be indispensable to achieving peace and stability in Afghanistan.  In this regard he welcomed the recent arrest of Mullah Obaidullah, former Minister of Defense of the Taliban, by the Government of Pakistan, and expressed hope that such measures would continue in a sustained manner.  He also alluded to preparations that were underway to convene a cross-border Jirgah of tribal figures, with a view to improving security along the affected parts of the country.  

Moreover, he also advocated the importance of maintaining the level of international consensus on Afghanistan and underscored the need for the sustained support of the international community to meet the objectives of the Afghanistan Compact and interim Afghan national development strategy.  He also emphasized the important role of the United Nations in coordinating international assistance to Afghanistan, and welcomed the recent decision taken by the UN to expand the presence of UNAMA to additional provinces throughout the country.

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