Afghanistan: France supports the fight against terrorism [fr]
Débat trimestriel public sur l’Afghanistan - Intervention de Mme. Anne Gueguen,
Représentante permanente adjointe de la France auprès des Nations Unies - Conseil des sécurité - 21 juin 2017
I would first like to reiterate France’s condolences to the Afghan people and the families of the victims of the terrible attack of 31 May in Kabul and the incidents that followed it.
France stands with the Government of Afghanistan in the fight against terrorism.
I would like to warmly thank Mr. Tadamichi Yamamoto, Special Representative of the Secretary-General, for his informative briefing, and pay tribute through him to the United Nations personnel who are working every day, in difficult conditions, for Afghanistan’s recovery.
France associates itself with the statement to be delivered later by the observer of the European Union.
France is deeply concerned about the deterioration of the security situation in Afghanistan, first because the principal victims of the conflict continue to be civilians, especially women and children, and, secondly, because the increasing numbers of attacks serve only to destabilize the country even more, despite the considerable progress made by the Afghan security forces, whose commitment and courage I pay tribute to today. We should therefore treat the establishment and spread of armed and terrorist groups in Afghanistan very seriously. Lastly, the deterioration in security is exacerbating an already fragile humanitarian situation that has recently been intensified by the large-scale return of refugees from Pakistan and Iran. In that regard, France encourages the Afghan Government to focus on ensuring equal treatment for all refugees and displaced persons. We also welcome the work being done by the United Nations, particularly by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
In this highly volatile security situation, it is more important than ever for the Afghan Government to remain united. The best response to the terrorists is to display unity, to rally to the cause and to demonstrate a determination to deepen and consolidate Afghan democracy.
The Government should continue to make a priority of working to achieve the reforms to which it is committed, especially electoral reform and the fight against corruption and drug trafficking, which continues to fuel the Taliban’s insurgency. I would like to emphasize that last point in particular, since in view of the fact that in 2016, drug production in Afghanistan reached a new record of 4,800 tons, the Afghan authorities’ implementation of its national anti-drug plan of action is urgent.
On the human rights front, the situation of women and children continues to be extremely precarious. It is vital to ensure that the Afghan authorities continue to work to fully implement their commitments to women’s rights and the protection of children.
Besides the Government’s implementation of reforms in both the short and long term, lasting stability in Afghanistan can be achieved only through national reconciliation. France welcomed President Ghani’s initiative on 6 June in convening the Kabul process for peace and security cooperation, for which we reiterate our full support. While it is up to Afghans to lead the process of restoring peace in their country, the wholehearted commitment and unambiguous support of all its neighbours is essential. We urge them to work with renewed energy and concrete efforts to that end. We have a collective responsibility to actively support the stabilization of Afghanistan and contribute to establishing lasting peace there.
In that context, support for Afghanistan by the international community in general, and the United Nations in particular, has never been so important, as the Secretary-General’s recent visit emphasized. In that regard, France and the European Union continue to be fully committed to Afghanistan’s cause.
We await with great interest the conclusions of the strategic review of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) next month. We value the Mission’s role in exercising its good offices. We also have to ask what the role of the United Nations and UNAMA in supporting Afghanistan’s reconciliation and peacebuilding efforts will be. Ultimately, simplifying the coordination mechanisms that are in place could very likely bring about an improvement in the effectiveness and visibility of United Nations assistance.
In conclusion, I would like to reiterate my country’s full support to Afghanistan and its Government and to the activities of the United Nations in aid of their efforts.