23 September 2007

Statement by H. E. Mr. Manouchehr Mottaki 

Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran 
in the High- Level Meeting on Afghanistan

New York- 23 September 2007

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful


Mr. Secretary General,

Allow me to begin by extending to you and H.E. President Karzai our thanks and appreciation for having convened and for co-chairing this important and timely meeting.

In our view, the JCMB is an effective and appropriate mechanism to monitor and coordinate the developments in Afghanistan, particularly those related to the Afghanistan Compact. As a responsible and committed neighbor, the Islamic Republic of Iran has just started its second phase of developmental assistance to Afghanistan at a demanding time when insecurity in this country is unfortunately at rise. We are now spending, with the coordination of Afghan Government, the new amount of 50 million dollars that we have allocated to our new package of assistance to Afghanistan. This will be spent to develop public infrastructures such as building railroads and the like.

As you are aware, the achievements and progress made in Afghanistan are yet to be satisfactory and adequate, and have been overshadowed by the present challenges prevailing in the country. Challenges such as insecurity, lack of infrastructures, narcotic drugs and the issues related to the refugees remain to be resolved. In our view, insufficient progresses in the processes such as delegating full authority to Afghans, strengthening solidarity among Afghan leaders, creating home- grown security and engaging the high officials of Afghanistan in the reconstruction of the country, have lead to insufficient capacity building and the slow trend in establishing government institutions.

It is crystal clear that the narcotic drugs problem is one of the most serious challenges that Afghanistan is facing today. This menace has hindered the advancement of the country towards development and has put the security of Afghanistan along with that of the region in danger. Drug traffickers are carrying on their vicious activities. Moreover, narcotic drugs, as the financial source of terrorism, has worked as a breeding ground for terrorists, extremists and illegal groups who attempt to destabilize the Afghan Government. Undoubtedly the increase in poppy cultivation in Afghanistan in the current year, which according to the UNODC amounts to 18 percent, plays an important role in reinforcing terrorism and insecurity in Afghanistan. The unabated increase in poppy cultivation and drug trafficking in Afghanistan indicates that the preventive measures have not yielded the expected results and that the international community has unfortunately failed to curb this menace so far. We strongly believe that those who carry the responsibility to combat narcotic drugs on behalf of the international community should be held accountable for their wrong policies in this regard.

Mr. Secretary General,

We are of the view that implementing the important guidelines envisaged in the Afghanistan Compact including the timely rebuilding and empowerment of the Afghan national army and police can help improve the situation in Afghanistan. Moreover, certain important steps such as allocating the amount of money that is expended for the presence of foreign forces to the reconstruction of infrastructures in Afghanistan, focusing on home grown security provided by afghan national security forces, complete ownership of Afghans over their own country’s issues and developments,  capacity building in Afghanistan and utilizing regional potentials and capacities for the reconstruction of Afghanistan can equally contribute to the improvement of the general situation in the country.

In conclusion, Mr. Secretary General, I wish to reiterate that we commend the essential role played by the United Nations in Afghanistan and support the continuation of this central role in leading the international community’s efforts in the reconstruction process of the country.

Thank you

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