Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative Vladimir Safronkov at the Security Council meeting on Afghanistan
At the outset, let me express gratitude to Jamila Afghani for her frank statement. Dear Jamila, we know too well, that when we help women, we help the entire Afghanistan. We are also thankful to our brave UN women, who stand at the helm of this global organization – First Under-Secretary-General A.Mohammed and Under-Secretary General R.DiCarlo – for their reports. It is very important that you visited Afghanistan and obtained first-hand experience. Your visit to Afghanistan, as well as the Security Council country visit to this State in January 2018 reiterated that the situation in the country remained not just complicated, but critical.
Heinous acts of terror (that take place i.a. in Kabul) concuss the country; casualties among civilians, (i.a. women and children) become more frequent. The toll among the Afghani military and police forces, whose selflessness in fight against terror we recognize and highly appreciate, is also growing. There is a need for coordinated measures to counter this malicious trend.
We are seriously concerned by the presence of terrorist organization ISIL in Afghanistan. Despite sporadic success of Afghani enforcement authorities, militants continue to strengthen their position and enhance influence, i.a. in the North and the South of the country. They replenish their ranks with foreign terrorist fighters who relocate from Syria and Iraq. We are concerned about how ISIL diversifies its methods and channels of recruitment of young people.
The drug problem is inextricably linked to the terrorist threat; and it also poses a serious threat to Afghanistan, the region, and the whole world. Drug dollars ensure financial recharge for terrorism. We believe it vital to set forth action to improve global efforts and counter this evil.
We highlight the professional operation and measures taken by CSTO to counter drug trafficking. Russia will help Afghanistan develop as a peaceful, independent and thriving State that will produce no terrorist or drug threats. We will continue to interact with our Afghani friends in order to eradicate threats to security that come from ISIL and Al-Qaida in the first place, and to strengthen capacity of civil, security and drug control establishments.
Despite the complicated military and political situation in Afghanistan, we see a “window of opportunity” for peaceful settlement and national reconciliation with participation of broad public and political circles of the country. At this stage, international assistance is building around settlement of a regional conflict in Afghanistan. We believe this is a step in the right direction. This process should not turn into a “fair of vanity and political competition”. Our shared task is to preserve a unified and indivisible, ethnically diverse Afghanistan that ensures equal living conditions for all groups of the population, including women.
Russia consistently supports the aspirations of the people of Afghanistan to build sustainable peace. We are genuinely interested in promoting Afghani-led and Afghani-owned national reconciliation with subsequent stabilization of the country. A peaceful, stable and thriving Afghanistan – this is our shared goal. We stand ready to provide every kind of assistance in order to achieve this. This is the goal we were guided by when making efforts at this track, whereby we organized the second session of the Moscow format of consultations in November 2018 with participation of a maximum number of interested stakeholders, and provided platform for inter-Afghani discussion with a Taliban delegation in May 2019.
We appreciate our constructive confident relations with the people and political forces of Afghanistan. We will work to develop these relations in a comprehensive manner.
We support the course at making the pending political process in Afghanistan as inclusive as possible. It should involve all public and political forces of the country, including women. We are convinced that a broad discussion is a key to achieving peace in Afghanistan. It is positive that the Inter-Afghani dialogue that was launched in Moscow on 5-6 February and was the first format to bring together women, leading politicians and Taliban representatives, continued in Doha on 7-8 July. The government of Germany is known to have contributed a lot to organizing this meeting.
The two rounds of talks reiterated the genuine aspirations of Afghanis to achieve peace and reconciliation. We commend that in Doha, just like in Moscow, the participants came up with a final statement that reflected the intentions of the sides to make consecutive steps towards an inter-Afghani peace.
We believe the most important channel for cooperation on Afghanistan is trilateral consultations at the level of special representatives of Russia, the U.S. and China, who met in Washington in March, in Moscow in April and in Beijing in July. It is important that the meetings in Moscow and Beijing resulted in the adoption of joint statements that my Chinese colleague has told us about in detail. We welcome that Pakistan joined the consultations of the “troika” in Beijing. We are convinced that Iran can also play a constructive role in these talks. In general, the participation of key regional stakeholders in this format would have a positive impact on decision-making process regarding post-conflict building, because it is only good neighborly relations and cooperation that will make it possible to solve the urgent problems of present-day Afghanistan.
Promotion of assistance efforts for Afghanistan should involve the activities of reputable mechanisms. We see immense potential in the work of contact group “SCO-Afghanistan” and in fostering counter-terrorist and counter-drug cooperation between Afghanistan and SCO.
Afghanistan is at the threshold of presidential elections scheduled for September 2019. We proceed from the assumption that the elections should become a powerful consolidating factor for the Afghani society.
The criterion of unification should determine both the planning of the process, and the efforts to achieve national reconciliation.
This is the approach that made it possible to consolidate the dignified status of women, who have always been and still are not just an adornment of modern Afghanistan, but an embodiment of the courage of the Afghani people in the area of countering terrorism, policy and diplomacy, journalism, parliamentarism, national reconciliation and social and economic revival of the country. That is why any steps that should define the future of Afghanistan should be acceptable for all Afghanis, including women.