Afghanistan continues to move forward in its transition [fr]
Afghanistan - Statement by Mr. François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - Security Council - 21 June 2016
Allow me to begin by warmly thanking Nicholas Haysom and Ambassador Saikal for being with us today and for their respective briefings. I should like in advance to align myself with the statement to be made on behalf of the European Union and to make three comments.
I should first like to welcome the fact that Afghanistan continues to move forward in its transition, as reflected by the continued reforms undertaken by the Government since September 2014. The recent appointments to senior Government posts and governors’ posts are also to be welcomed. France reiterates its full support to the Afghan Government and encourages it to continue its efforts. I should like also to reiterate my country’s commitment to cooperating with Afghanistan in the areas set out in the important Franco-Afghan Friendship and Cooperation Treaty, which has bound our two countries since 2012.
Secondly, as the report of the Secretary-General (S/2016/532) points out, the circumstances remain difficult and the challenges manifold. Beyond the need to sustain political and economic reforms, the priority continues to be ending the fighting and re-establishing lasting security. The recent attacks, particularly that of yesterday and the one carried out on 19 April last in Kabul, which left 64 people dead and 327 wounded, show that the situation remains fragile. On behalf of France, I wish to express once again our deep condolences in connection with these tragic events and to pay tribute to the courage and resilience of the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces, which, in addition to the Taliban, must also deal with the challenge caused by terrorist groups affiliated with Da’esh.
The refusal by the Taliban to respond to the offer of direct talks with the Afghan Government made by the Quadrilateral Coordination Group on Afghanistan is of course a disappointment for the international community. It can only continue to pointlessly prolong the violence and the suffering of the Afghan people. Frances hopes that the dialogue can resume as soon as possible so as to put an end to the conflict and move towards national reconciliation. France also calls upon all countries of the region to actively support the stabilization of Afghanistan and to contribute positively to the establishment of lasting peace in the country. In that context, prospects for an economic opening towards Central Asia and Iran are positive.
The illicit economy, corruption and the production and trafficking of drugs must be actively combated by Afghanistan and its regional partners, because these are also major obstacles to the re-establishment of security in and the development of the country.
Thirdly, and finally, this fragile context makes the international community’s support for Afghanistan even more important in order to help the country make progress towards greater stability, prosperity and democracy. The support of the United Nations in particular remains crucial, particularly in the provision to the population of basic services and international assistance.
France is particularly committed to UNAMA’s good-offices role. Resolution 2274 (2016), adopted in March, allowed the international community to reassert its determination to maintain its support for Afghanistan. It is essential that the United Nations continue to have the resources necessary to achieve the objectives set out in the resolution. The NATO Summit, to be held in Warsaw on 8 and 9 July, and the Brussels conference on Afghanistan, to be held on 5 October, must reaffirm the international community’s support to Afghanistan and the process that led to the National Unity Government.
In conclusion, allow me again to pay tribute to the work carried out by Nicholas Haysom as Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNAMA and to wish him much success in his future duties. France is pleased to continue to cooperate very closely with his successor, Mr. Yamamoto.