19 December 2012
H.E. Mr. G. Hossein Dehghani
Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of
the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations
“The Situation in Afghanistan”
Security Council of the United Nations
19 December 2012, New York
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
It gives me a great pleasure to address the Council today on the situation in Afghanistan which is an issue of great significance to us, our region and the world. I express my thanks to the Secretary General for the report contained in document S/2012/907. Let me convey my warm welcome to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Ján Kubiš. We thank him for presenting a comprehensive report on UNAMA work and for his analysis of the situation in Afghanistan.
Recently there have been notable political, economic and development changes in Afghanistan. On political scene one important development is the reduction of foreign forces, as we head towards the target date for the complete withdrawal of foreign combat troops. On the issue of national reconciliation process in Afghanistan, we believe that it should be Afghan-owned and Afghan-led process. The national reconciliation is an important component to settle endured internal conflict in Afghanistan. In the light of the two resolutions adopted by this Council this Monday as contained in documents S/RES/2082 and S/RES/2083 and while supporting Afghan Government peace and national reconciliation efforts, we believe that there is a need to draw a fine line with extreme diligence. The Afghan people endured a great deal of suffering stemming from the extremist policies and terrorist acts for so many years. Rebuilding Afghanistan and a new Afghan society requires, inter alia, repudiating those policies and acts. Thus, any efforts towards national reconciliation should be undertaken without appearing to be rewarding the perpetrators of those acts and policies.
In the economic field, the international and regional partners should concentrate their efforts at laying the foundations for a sustainable economic growth and better conditions for livelihood in Afghanistan. For this purpose there is a need for accelerated progress on economic cooperation with the regional and international partners in accordance to the national objectives set forth by Afghan Government. It goes without saying that expansion of the infrastructural projects and industrial and agricultural and transportation projects have the priority. The Islamic Republic of Iran is ready as before to have its share over implementation of such projects.
The production and trade in narcotic drugs is still rampant. According to the joint Opium Survey 2012, carried out by the Ministry of Counter-Narcotics and UNODC, opium cultivation in Afghanistan has risen by 18 per cent in 2012. UNOCD warns that the rise in cultivation came despite the Afghan government’s latest increase in efforts to destroy poppy fields and help farmers find alternative sources of income. This Survey sends a strong message that the international community should not remain at ease in the face of this problem. A strong commitment is needed from both Afghani and international partners to curb the menace of drug cultivation and drug trafficking that breeds extremism. In that regard, we commend the initiatives fighting drugs with the help of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime particularly that the drug production has been a major source for funding terrorist activities in Afghanistan.
The issue of refugees remains a challenge not only for Afghanistan, but for neighbouring States as well as the international community. Additional efforts must be undertaken in order to repatriate refugees and ensure that they are reintegrated into Afghan society. At present, more than 1 million Afghan refugees are registered in Iran, while an even greater number of unregistered Afghans are also living in our country. Afghan nationals have continued to enjoy Iran’s educational and welfare facilities among others and to benefit from the same subsidies that our own people receive. We urge the international community, to continue to strengthen and expedite its efforts in creating the conditions conducive for the sustainable repatriation of refugees and their full rehabilitation and reintegration in their homeland.
The Islamic Republic of Iran has always firmly supported Afghanistan in its efforts to its national sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, and to realize enduring peace and stability. We hope that the international community will adhere to the principle of an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process and continue to support the Government and the people of Afghanistan in their efforts towards peace and stability. In this regard we empathize on the United Nations role in coordinating the issues related to Afghanistan. As our official indicated in their meeting with Mr. Ján Kubiš during his visit to Tehran, we support UNAMA in fulfilling its mission for providing assistance for peace and reconstruction of the country within its mandate and through a robust regional engagement of neighboring countries in issues such as border security, immigration, refugees and drug control.
Building a sustainable, stable Afghanistan is crucial, not only for the future of the Afghan people, but also for peace and stability in the region, Asia and the world. It is our sincere hope that we will soon witness more development, progress and prosperity and full friendship between Afghanistan and its neighbors.