17 December 2013
Statement by H.E. Ambassador Khazaee Permanent Representative
of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations
On the Situation in Afghanistan
Before the United Nations Security Council
New York, 17 December 2013
In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful
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I would like to thank you, Mr. President, for organizing this meeting. My thanks also should go to Ambassador Tanin, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan, for his statement. I should also thank Mr. Ján Kubiš, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan, for his briefing and hard work. We continue to support him and his team in the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) for the dedicated work that they are doing in Afghanistan.
The role of UNAMA, in our view, is definitely very important and needs more support. UNAMA should continue playing its active role in the post-2014 period. It should expand its cooperation with the neighboring countries in order to enhance stability in Afghanistan and promote its sustainable socioeconomic development. Basically, the United Nations support for Afghanistan is crucial, especially in the post-2014 period.
We are glad to hear that significant progress has been made in the political and socioeconomic areas in Afghanistan. It is also promising that the United Nations and the international community of States, in particular in the region, are resolute in their strong long-term commitment to a secure, stable and prosperous Afghanistan. Those are essential, especially on the eve of the year 2014, when two significant events – namely, the presidential election and the withdrawal of foreign forces – will take place in Afghanistan, with their large impact in shaping the country’s future. We hope that the active participation of Afghans will ensure the holding of successful elections, which is indeed essential to enhancing the political stability and national unity of Afghanistan and its advancement in all other areas.
Likewise, the peace and national reconciliation efforts of the Government of Afghanistan, leading to an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation process, need to be continued. In such a process, Afghanistan’s Constitution should be observed and any external pressure or interference or rewarding of the extremist and terrorist groups should be avoided.
In line with those developments, enhancing the security of Afghanistan should continue to be the highest priority, as it is a prerequisite for the success of efforts in all other areas. Accordingly, we believe that the complete withdrawal of foreign forces should be followed by the strong support of the international community in equipping Afghan forces commensurate with the existing security threats, in particular those posed by terrorists, illegal armed groups and organized criminals.
For the Islamic Republic of Iran, as an immediate neighbor of Afghanistan, the security and stability of Afghanistan are a vital element for its neighbors and the region. During all these years, the Islamic Republic of Iran, in cooperation with Afghan Government, has been trying to assist Afghanistan in various areas. We believe that special attention should be paid to combating the interlinked sources of insecurity and instability in Afghanistan, in particular the production of and trade in narcotic drugs as the financial source of terrorist, extremist and illegal armed groups.
In that regard, continued international support for the Triangular Initiative on cooperation on countering narcotics among Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan is essential not only to strengthening the security and stability of Afghanistan, but also to alleviating the serious concerns of neighboring States and transit and destination countries of drug trafficking.
Unfortunately, millions of Afghan refugees still continue to live in host countries and an alarming drop in their voluntary repatriation in 2013 underlines the importance of meeting the reasonable needs of repatriated refugees in Afghanistan in order to reverse that trend, and underscores the necessity for rendering more international support to the host countries of Afghan refugees pending their repatriation.
In conclusion, the Islamic Republic of Iran will continue its full support for the promotion of security, stability and comprehensive and sustainable development in Afghanistan. In his recent visit to Tehran, President Karzai held fruitful negotiations with his counterpart, the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and with other Iranian officials, and he was assured of the continued cooperation and support of my country.
I thank you Mr. President.