General Assembly Security Council


Mr. President,
Thank you for organizing this debate. We thank the SRSG Ambassador Yamamoto, and the other briefers for their insights into the continuing difficult situation faced by Afghanistan. 
Mr. President,
2. The deterioration of the security situation in Afghanistan over the last few months is a matter of serious concern. 
3. Terrorists continue to attack the most vulnerable, including the sick in hospitals, children in schools, devotees in mosques and even mourners at funerals. Terrorist groups have gained territory.
4. The continued resilience shown by the Afghan people and security personnel has been exemplary but hopes of a better future still appear distant.
5. Our regular consultations and the work done by the Council have not been enough to more effectively reverse the situation on the ground.   
Mr. President, 
6. It has been painfully clear since long that the security situation in Afghanistan has implications not only for the region but the entire world. This is not a local problem. 
7. While new threats emerge from the Daesh, the Security Council cannot even decide whether to designate the new leaders of Taleban or to freeze the assets of the slain leader of the group more than a year after the issue was brought to its attention. 
8. The support for terrorist organisations like the Taleban, the Haqqani Network, Daesh, Al Qaeda and its designated affiliates such as Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed from outside Afghanistan, must be forced to stop. All safe havens and sanctuaries available to such groups outside Afghan borders must end. Security Council has an important responsibility in this regard in our collective interest. 
Mr. President, 
9. The rise in opium production and increase in the areas under opium cultivation in Afghanistan, as highlighted in the UNODC report, are cause for serious concern, especially because of the role in perpetuating the cycle of terrorism. 
10. This drug trafficking is also not a local concern. The international networks that control this illegal trade have to be identified and tackled. The problem needs to be addressed through verifiable measures and actions. 
11. The Security Council can effectively utilise the 1988 sanctions regime in the context of funds that the terrorist networks are generating. This has not happened. 
12. We welcome the recent visit of the Chair of the 1988 sanctions committee to Afghanistan and the upcoming visit by the Security Council to the country early next month. 
13. We need to go after the leaders of the terrorist organsations. We need to investigate and designate the illicit drugs trafficking business in the country. 
Mr. President,
14. Support for an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled peace and national reconciliation process within the framework of Afghanistan's Constitution has to be pursued with all sincerity. 
15. Any meaningful progress requires cessation of violence, renunciation of links with international terrorism, respect for rights of common Afghan people, especially women and children. 
16. While the international community's commitment to Afghanistan is renewed every year through various international efforts and those of UNAMA, respect for Afghanistan's sovereignty and their direction and ownership of the peace processes should be paramount. 
Mr. President,
17. We congratulate Afghanistan on its recent first-ever election to the Human Rights Council. Afghanistan's active engagement at the United Nations on various issues of importance continues to grow. 
Mr. President, 
18. Development cooperation is one of the most significant aspects of our longstanding friendship with Afghanistan. 
19. Recent visits to India by President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah in the past three months have provided impetus to the wide-ranging 'New Development Partnership' that both our countries launched in September. This covers diverse areas, including education, health, agriculture, infrastructure, renewable energy, drinking water supply and human resource development. Our people-to-people contacts extend from colleges and cricket fields to trade and investment.
Mr. President, 
20. The importance of connectivity and transit for trade and energy linkages to bring peace and prosperity in Afghanistan, a landlocked country, is clear. Regrettably, normal overland transport and transit access between Afghanistan and a large economy like India continue to be blocked for many years. This hurts the welfare of the Afghan people. 
21. We are working with our partners to address this issue. Last month, the first consignment of wheat grain assistance from India reached Afghanistan through Chabahar port in Iran. This marks the beginning of a new era of enhanced, reliable and robust connectivity for Afghanistan. 
Mr. President,
22. The challenges are well-known. The tools available with this council and the international community to address these need to be utilized effectively. This requires a collective will and targeted action. 
I thank you Mr. President.