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Threats of violence depress political and developmt efforts : UAE tells UN

posted on 15/03/2008: 666 views

New York - The United Arab Emirates has voiced its deep concern over the continuing threats of violence which said were hindering development and political efforts in Afghanistan and placing lives of innocent civilians, aid workers and diplomats under threat.

'The UAE, which stood by the Afghan people since the beginning of this crisis and made generous contributions towards its emergency humanitarian relief programs and economic recovery and rehabilitation, is deeply concerned at the increasing threat of violence which continues to impede the political and development efforts made in this country and which prevented the affected population in more 36 provinces from having access to humanitarian supplies, H.E. Ahmed Al Jarman, Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates, said Wednesday in a statement at the meeting of the UN Security Council on the situation in Afghanistan.

The threat of violence, Al Jarman added, had also a direct impact on the lives of innocent civilians, the UN personnel, the humanitarian workers, the international assistance force personnel and the members of diplomatic missions, where a member of the UAE Diplomatic Mission in Kabul was critically injured last January in an armed attack.

'The political transition process in Afghanistan continues to face serious challenges due to the unsafe and volatile environment, the slow implementation of national reform programs and initiatives, the notorious lack of resources, and the poor infrastructure of the country, 'he noted.

This, he indicated, took place in spite of the positive progress made in Afghanistan over the past 6 years by the international community since the conclusion of the Bonn Peace Agreement, particularly in the areas of advancing the economic recovery, developing the infrastructure, reforming the judiciary system and improving a number of educational, health and local governance services.

He welcomed the appointment of the Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Algeria, Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi, as the Head of the Independent Panel on the Safety and Security of United Nations Personnel and its offices around the world.

However, he affirmed the importance for all parties to honour their obligations in maintaining the security and safety of international workers and members of the diplomatic missions in accordance with the Vienna Conventions on Diplomatic Relations (1961) and Consular Relations (1963) and the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons, including Diplomatic Agents.

In this context, the UAE called for re-evaluating the national security structures and the judicial system in the country and implementing a comprehensive strategy aiming at reforming, training and developing the capacities of the security personnel and the national army of Afghanistan, especially in the areas of fulfilling the requirements of security, balancing the needs of law enforcement in the country, and combating armed groups.

It also stressed the importance of strengthening and mobilizing various forms of assistance to the Government of Afghanistan in order to enable it to build its capacities and improve its performance, particularly in achieving national reconciliation, extending its central authority over all the territories of Afghanistan, providing development support to its councils and establishing alternative development with the support of the international partners.

'Assistance will also help the government to implement the national strategy for poverty reduction, provide essential health, social and educational services and alleviate the suffering of the Afghan population, in which many are deprived from electricity and energy until this day,'he maintained.

The UAE also underlined the need for strengthening the central and neutral role of the UN in leading the efforts of the international community in Afghanistan and in coordinating the humanitarian assistance and activities of the donors in Afghanistan in accordance with the needs of its people, especially the vulnerable.

The role of the United Nations, he told the meeting, must be also strengthened in areas of reconstruction, provision of technical and financial support to the election process, which is scheduled to be held next year, and in addressing the landmines problem which continues to pose a great danger to the Afghan People and impedes its economic recovery.

'In this regard, we confirm our support to the proposal of Afghanistan for holding an international conference on the return and integration of the Afghan people at a later date this year.

He indicated that the UAE highly appreciated the substantial efforts made by the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, under the leadership of the NATO, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan and the other partners in the international community with a view to bringing security and stability to Afghanistan and achieving the goals proclaimed within the framework of the Afghanistan Compact 2006 for improving the lives of Afghan people.

'We emphasize the importance of focusing on the priorities of the national development strategy of Afghanistan and its enforcement mechanisms in order to achieve its goals, especially those concerning the advancement of peace, development, reconstruction and stability in this friendly country,' he concluded. – Emirates News Agency, WAM


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