New York, 29 September 2010
Statement by H.E. Mr. Ivan Barbalić, Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the United Nations
at the UN Security Council Debate
on the situation in Afghanistan
Report of the Secretary-General on the situation in Afghanistan and its
implications for international peace and security (S/2010/463)
At the outset, I should like to express my thanks to the Secretary-General for his comprehensive report (S/2010/463), as well as to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. De Mistura, for his valuable briefing. I should also like to thank His Excellency Mr. Zalmai Rassoul, Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, for his valuable contribution to today’s debate.
Bosnia and Herzegovina commends the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) for their committed efforts in organizing inclusive, transparent and credible elections despite the difficult security environment and logistical challenges. We encourage the ECC to continue investigating complaints in a fully independent manner in order to eliminate any assumption of fraud. Furthermore, we note the important role of the Afghan Security Forces in ensuring a safe environment for the electorate.
However, we are saddened to learn that, despite their efforts, human casualties have been reported from attacks on polling stations. While welcoming the participation of the 397 women candidates, we firmly condemn the intimidation of and violence against certain female candidates and their campaign workers.
We welcomed the holding of the Kabul Conference on 20 July, co-chaired by the Afghan Government and the United Nations. That Conference was of critical importance for advancing the Kabul process, which emphasizes the need for Afghan ownership in the fields of security, governance and social development as a necessary precondition for a sustainable Afghanistan. In this light, we fully support the designed strategy for a transfer of lead responsibility for security matters on a province-by province basis.
The Afghan peace and reintegration programme represents a promising way forward towards the establishment of a peaceful security environment. We command the creation of its committees and we encourage the efforts of Special Representative De Mistura to assure broad representation of religious, ethnic and civil society groups, including women, in the High Peace Council of the programme.
With respect to the Consolidated List of individuals and entities subject to sanction measures, we support the de-listing of individuals and entities in accordance with the guidelines of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to the resolution 1267 (1999), which provide clear procedures for placing individuals and entities on the consolidated list and for removing them. At the same time, Bosnia and Herzegovina reiterates the importance of ending impunity and bringing all alleged perpetrators of crimes to justice. That is an important condition for building sustainable peace and reconciliation of the society.
Bilateral and multilateral dialogue and cooperation are essential to addressing security concerns and increasing economic cooperation, thereby enhancing peaceful relations. In this respect, we welcome and encourage the ongoing bilateral talks between the Afghan and Pakistani Governments as well as President Karzai’s participation in the fourth trilateral summit meeting, held in Tehran on 5 August, and the meeting in Sochi, Russia, on 18 August.
Bosnia and Herzegovina remains particularly concerned about the rising human cost of the ongoing conflict. The findings of the report on the protection of civilians in armed conflict in Afghanistan, released by UNAMA, are in fact extremely alarming. We learn with the deepest concern that casualties among Afghan children and women have substantially increased over the past year. Therefore, we demand that effective measures to protect Afghan civilians are urgently given high priority. Needless to say, we give full support to initiatives aimed at fostering the observance of human rights.
We are also deeply concerned about increasing drug dependence among the Afghan population and about the findings presented in the Afghanistan Drug Use Survey 2009. We call upon all relevant governmental, international and civil society actors to increase their efforts in the area of drug prevention and dependence treatment as an important component of health care and development programmes.
Finally, Bosnia and Herzegovina congratulates UNAMA staff and Special Representative De Mistura on their tireless work and dedication. We also express our full support for the establishment of a support office and a disaster recovery and business continuity centre and the planned upgrading of existing offices, which will strengthen the Mission’s activities in support of the Afghan peace process and of improvement of the everyday lives of the Afghan people.