International community’s efforts must continue for the long-term to support Afghanistan - 22 June 2015 [fr]
Afghanistan - Statement by Mr. Alexis Lamek, Deputy Representative of France to the United Nations - Security Council - 22 June 2015
I, too, would like to begin by thanking the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Haysom, for his presentation. I also thank the Ambassador of Afghanistan, Mr. Tanin, for his statement, and I associate myself in advance with the statement to be delivered by the observer of the European Union.
Like many before me, I would like to express France’s strongest condemnation of this morning’s attack on the Parliament in Kabul by the Taliban. France stands by the Afghan authorities and the Afghan people in their fight against terrorism, and we will continue to support democracy and the rule of law in that country. We also offer our full support to Spain in ensuring that the Council can react as quickly as possible to this unacceptable new terrorist attack.
As underscored by the Secretary-General in his report (S/2015/422), the political progress being made in Afghanistan is noteworthy, and we welcome the recent appointments in the Government. With the presidential elections already a year ago, the National Unity Government must be able to work at its full capacity, and we welcome the efforts made towards that end. We hope that the reform agenda will be upheld, in particular with regard to electoral reforms which will make it possible to maintain the democratic momentum that began during the holding of the presidential elections in 2014. We also recall the importance of the senior officials’ meeting scheduled for 5 September in Kabul, which should enable the adoption of a revised Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework.
But many challenges remain. On the security front, the spring offensive led to an unacceptably sharp increase in the number of civilians killed. We also deplore the attacks carried out against the institutions of the Afghan State, including that on Parliament this morning and also those against judicial bodies or their representatives. Such attacks are a reminder of the need to maintain our decisive support for the rule of law in Afghanistan.
On the human-rights front, the lynching on 19 March of a young woman, Farkhunda, is shocking. It is a reminder of the extent to which women continue to be the victims of violence in Afghanistan. We hope that Afghan civil society and the authorities will continue to mobilize to ensure that the law on the elimination of violence against women is implemented fully and effectively.
In addition, we are counting on the continued mobilization of the Afghan authorities against drug trafficking. This is a subject of great concern for France because it is a major destabilizing factor for Afghanistan and its neighbours. We encourage the authorities to continue their work to curb drug production and trafficking.
In Afghanistan we are still facing a difficult environment, and, in that context, the efforts of the international community must continue for the long-term so as to support the country and enable it to achieve stability, prosperity and a democratic future. The commitments made during the London Conference on Afghanistan in December 2014 must be upheld, because Afghanistan, more than every before, needs the support of its partners. The agreement signed with the International Monetary Fund is an important element of support for the long term. France will continue to stand with Afghanistan within the framework of the Franco-Afghan Friendship and Cooperation Treaty. We are contributing to the European Union commitment to Afghanistan in the amount of €1.4 billion for the period from 2014 to 2020.
Finally, regional support is an important requirement for guaranteeing the conditions conducive to a lasting peace in Afghanistan. We welcome the efforts made along those lines by Afghanistan’s regional partners.
Let me now say a word about the role of the United Nations. While Afghanistan is at a turning point in its history, the United Nations will continue to play a decisive role during this Transformation Decade. The support provided by the United Nations and its agencies to the Government remains key, particularly in order to enable the population to benefit from Government programmes and international assistance. But that role must evolve and be adapted to the situation. In that regard, we welcome the establishment of a dialogue mechanism between the United Nations, Afghanistan and donors on the desirable evolution of the support provided to the country by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan. France will be involved in that dialogue and will pay particular attention to the initial results of consultations.
In conclusion, I would like to commend all of the United Nations personnel, who, under the leadership of Mr. Haysom, are working in particularly difficult conditions in Afghanistan. They have our sincere admiration.