Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative Anna Evstigneeva at an open VTC of UNSC members on Afghanistan

Mme.President,

We thank Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNAMA Ms. Deborah Lyons for her considerations and assessments of the situation in Afghanistan. We believe UNAMA plays a meaningful role in coordinating international assistance to that country. We closely followed the remarks of UNODC Executive Director Ms. Ghada Fathi Waly who presented assessments of the drug threat. We also thank Executive Director of the Afghan Women’s Network Ms. Mary Akrami for her statement. We welcome the participation of Minister for Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan Mohammad Haneef Atmar in this debate.

Today’s meetings convenes against the backdrop of withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan announced on 14 April. The deteriorating situation in the country causes our growing concern. As of now, the power balance in the country is little inspiring, violence thrives.

Like more than 20 years before, the terrorist threat remains a serious challenge for Afghanistan. Throughout these years, the situation at this track has aggravated due to the emergence of ISIL and other terrorist organizations and affiliated groups in the country. Militants keep sleeper cells in northern and eastern Afghanistan, build capacity to strengthen positions inside Afghanistan and channel terrorist activity from within this country to the entire Central Asia. Afghani wing “ISIL-Khorasan” remains capable of organizing large-scale terrorist attacks in various parts of the country, including Kabul. For this purpose, they use both suicide bombers and IEDs. Among their most recent atrocities are heinous attacks on girls’ school in May and a team of de-mining workers in June. ISIL attacks on representatives of religious and ethnic minorities remain a sad trend. Apart from civilians, including women and children, terrorist activity day-to-day causes deaths of Afghani military and police officers. We pay tribute to their courage and heroism. It is clear that terrorists to sow fear and a feeling of unstopping violence among ordinary Afghanis.

The drug problem is inextricably linked to the terrorist threat. Unfortunately, the situation with manufacturing and trafficking of drugs raises great concern – despite all the efforts to counter it. Afghani drugs ensure financial recharge for terrorism and constitute a source of terrorists’ income. We find it discouraging that Secretary-General’s report but scarcely covered this topic. It is unacceptable to tone down or minimize terrorist and drug threats that exist for Afghanistan, especially given the current circumstances.

We remain committed to our obligations to provide assistance to countering the drug threat in a comprehensive manner, i.a. jointly with the UN Office on Drug and Crime. Our practical steps, including on SCO and CSTO tracks, also correspond to this approach. We will continue contributing to the training of drug police from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asian countries in cooperation with a wide range of states, including Japan. We will keep assisting our Afghani friends, i.a. in the framework of the Paris Pact.

Mme.President,

We regret to say it, but the peace process in Afghanistan has stalled. Attempts to organize an international meeting were unproductive. In order for such an event to be successful, the organizers need to work painstakingly with all sides to ensure participation of both the Government and the “Taliban” movement. Russia consistently supports the Afghani-led peace process. We are genuinely interested in its advancement and subsequent stabilization in the country. It is our firm conviction that peace, stability and national reconciliation will be beneficial to everyone: Afghanistan, its regional neighbors and the whole world.

We largely contributed to launching a national reconciliation process and direct intra-Afghani dialogue. ‘Troika' plus Pakistan also remains committed to this goal. Unlike many previously created formats, the extended ‘troika’ proved effective and highly demanded in deeds rather than in words. It also proved capable of giving extra momentum to the process of peaceful settlement. This is confirmed by the meeting that took place in Moscow on 18 March and brought together the delegations of both the Government and the ‘Taliban’, as well as the Doha meeting on 30 April. Both events adopted joint statements that reflect shared approaches to peaceful settlement, prospective political structure of Afghanistan, 1988 sanctions regime, and other critical issues.

We take note of the world’s growing understanding of the important regional dimension of settling the conflict in Afghanistan. Regional consensus remains a solid asset that can help solve the problem. We should employ the capacity of mechanisms that have proved their worth, first of all the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and specifically its revitalized SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group. Also, we believe that enhanced interaction between Afghanistan and CSTO could build extra capacity.

Today it is important as never before to consolidate all international and regional efforts.

Mme. President, 

As a longstanding friend and partner of Afghanistan, we advocate for peace that this much-suffering land has been awaiting for too long. To achieve this, it will take strategic perseverance and readiness for compromise leading to reconciliation of all patriotic political forces and their further consolidation on the platform of Afghanistan’s revival. Otherwise the conflict will only exacerbate. Our shared goal is to preserve a united and integral Afghani state which is reigned by tolerance and where numerous ethnic groups live side by side in peace and harmony.

Thank you.