16 March 2014
Statement by H.E. Mr. G. Hossein Dehghani Ambassador and Charge d’Affaire a.i.
the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations
On “The Situation in Afghanistan”
Before the Security Council of the United Nations
16 March 2014, New York
In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful
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I would like to start by thanking Special Representative Ján Kubiš for his briefing and comprehensive report on UNAMA work and for his analysis of the current situation in Afghanistan. I also thank Mr. Ambassador Tanin for his statement today at the Council. I express my thanks to the Secretary General for the report contained in document S/2014/163.
I would like briefly to touch upon a few points regarding the prevailing situation in Afghanistan:
1- This year Afghanistan is approaching a very critical point in time in its history. The upcoming presidential election, the security and political issues associated with the transition of power and the end of the presence of International Forces are all culminate during coming months. We hope with the efforts of Afghan Government and the United Nations this process would lead to better preserving and strengthening peace, stability and security in Afghanistan and the region.
2- As a neighboring country of Afghanistan, we share critical interests in Afghanistan’s security and long-term stability and its socio-economic development. The continuing engagement between Afghanistan and its neighbors and regional partners in the areas of trade, economic exchanges and developmental projects must be supported and strengthened. These economic ties cement the stability in Afghanistan and the region. In this regard, we have continue our bilateral cooperation, particularly on security matters, counter-narcotics efforts, developing projects and economic cooperation in the fields of infrastructures , roads, rails, energy, mining and minerals‚ agriculture etc.
3- We are expecting military drawdown by international forces this year, at the same time there are some security concerns involved , as the report of the Secretary General indicates the United Nations recorded 20,093 security incidents in Afghanistan in 2013, an increase of 14 percent casualties inflicted upon Afghan civilians; a reversal trend from 2012’s decline. A part of it caused by military operations of the international forces in Afghanistan. I would like reiterate here that attacks on civilians under whatever pretexts and by whoever is condemnable and must be halted.
4- On the return of refugees, We look forward to full implementation of related agreements with the Government of Afghanistan and the United Nations on 31 March 2013 in setting up a team to seek joint solutions and integrated approaches for refugees. We urge the international community, 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.
5- On the Counter-narcotics efforts, We are concerned about the possible increase in opium poppy cultivation particularly in north and north-east of Afghanistan. We welcome the initiative taken by the Afghan Minister of Counter-Narcotics to organize a Good-Neighborly Relations Declaration conference in Kabul on 28 and 29 January 2014 with the participation of Ministers or Heads of Anti Counter-narcotics institutions from China, Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. With the strong support and commitment of the international donors, Afghan authorities and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) the menace of drug cultivation and drug trafficking, a main source of income for extremist and terrorist groups could be curtailed to a great extend.
6- We support UNAMA as well as UN agencies in fulfilling their mission for providing assistance to peace, stability and reconstruction of Afghanistan through a robust regional engagement on issues such as border security, immigration, return of refugees and drug control measures. The role of UNAMA should further strengthened in the light of the developments expected in Afghanistan this year. The future role of the United Nations in Afghanistan is going to grow , become more multi-faceted and sometimes much more complicated. Thus, We regret to learn about the recent reduction from UNAMA budget for this year.
7- As indicated during recent visits of Mr. Ján Kubiš to Tehran, we are ready to support UNAMA and its activities
8- I also use this occasion o join those delegation who congratulated the people of Afghanistan on the occasion of Nowruz , that since 2010, has been recognized by the General Assembly as the International Day of Nowruz.
I thank you for your kind attention.