New York, 30 June 2010
Statement by Ms. Mirsada Čolaković, Minister Counsellor,
Deputy Permanent Representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the United Nations
at the UN Security Council Debate
on the situation in Afghanistan
Report of the Secretary-General pursuant to paragraph 40 of resolution 1917
Letter dated 14 June 2010 from the President of the Security Council
addressed to the Secretary-General (S/2010/325)
Let me first thank the Secretary-General for his detailed report on the latest developments in Afghanistan and the United Nations activities in the country (S/2010/318). I would like to welcome Special Representative Mr. Staffan de Mistura and to express our gratitude for his comprehensive briefing.
Furthermore, we would like to express our appreciation to Mr. De Mistura and his team for having organized a very successful visit of the Security Council’s members to Afghanistan.
Our thanks also go to Ambassador Apakan and the Turkish Mission for their leadership during our visit. Our gratitude also goes to the Afghan Government and Ambassador Tanin personally. I would like to take this opportunity, if I may, to thank the Secretariat and its team, which was of great help during our trip.
Bosnia and Herzegovina is fully aware that the forthcoming September parliamentary elections led by the Government of Afghanistan are of crucial importance to the future political and security development of the country.
In that context, we commend the leading and efficient role of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) in providing the coordination of international technical and logistical support to the electoral process.
We are particularly encouraged by the successful work of the Independent Electoral Commission in candidate registration for the election and by the valuable contribution of the Electoral Complaints Commission to those efforts. These achievements give us hope that Afghanistan will succeed in building up the necessary State infrastructure to guarantee the development of a democratic society based on the rule of law and human rights, in particular women’s and children’s rights.
We commend the realization of the advanced draft of the peace and reintegration programme and the successful organization of the Consultative Peace Jirga hosted by the Afghan Government. We also take positive note of the preparations for the 20 July Kabul Conference and we look forward to seeing concrete outcomes, in particular the Afghan-led plan for improving development, governance and security. We believe that these steps can facilitate efforts towards the adoption of the framework for an intra-Afghan dialogue and give confidence in further discussions on how to reach a sustainable peace process.
Bosnia and Herzegovina is deeply concerned by the security situation in the country. During the reporting period, the number of victims considerably increased, particularly among civilians and children. The sad number of 332 children killed or maimed during the past three months is terrifying testimony to the reality in which Afghan children live. We therefore call upon all sides to the armed conflict in Afghanistan to take all possible measures to preserve the lives of children and civilians.
We recognize the important work of UNAMA in providing advice on the drafting of the national threat assessment, as well as its assistance in the development of the Ministry of Interior’s National Police Strategy and the National Police Plan.
We also want to emphasize the importance of the existing good cooperation between the International Security Assistance Force, NATO and UNAMA. We hope that practice will be continued in the future.
Bosnia and Herzegovina believes that regional cooperation is indeed of critical importance to achieving a climate of security in the country. Therefore, we highly commend the efforts of the Special Representative and the Afghan Government aimed at promoting and developing relations between Afghanistan and neighbouring countries, in particular Pakistan and Iran. In addition, we believe that Afghan-led reconciliation and reintegration processes are also crucial for sustainable peace and stability in the country. For that reason, we welcome UNAMA’s contribution in that area, in particular its technical support to the preparations of the Consultative Peace Jirga, as well as in providing advice on the design of the Afghan Government’s programme for peace and reintegration.
In the area of governance and justice, we take positive note of UNAMA’s continuing work with justice institutions and the donor community on reform in the context of the National Justice Sector Strategy.
An efficient justice system is one of the preconditions for lasting peace and security. Afghanistan still has enormous humanitarian needs. The remarkable efforts made by UNAMA to respond to the difficult humanitarian situation of thousands of displaced persons and families in Helmand province deserve great commendation. More generally, in our opinion, UNAMA’s role in overall aid coherence is also an important contribution to the long-term development strategy for Afghanistan.
Assisting the Afghan Government in identifying priorities and indicating to donors where gaps and aid duplication exist are among the most essential elements for the better effectiveness of the entire international effort to provide aid support. In that context, we welcome in particular the Afghan Government’s progress in establishing four development clusters intended to support economic growth and job creation.
Bosnia and Herzegovina supports all efforts aimed at the return of refugees. We are especially encouraged by the return of 48,000 Afghan refugees from Pakistan through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees programme. We sincerely hope that this trend will continue when it comes to the 2.7 million registered Afghans in Pakistan and Iran.
The international community should take the leading role in creating conditions for their sustainable return. In that regard, Bosnia and Herzegovina believes that UNAMA can also contribute to that goal, in concert with the Afghan Government.
Finally, Bosnia and Herzegovina is particularly sensitive to the issue of mines in Afghanistan. As many observers in the field have reported, children, and especially young boys, are the most frequent victims of mines in Afghanistan. Mine clearance is a long-term process. Providing mine-risk education to the population, with particular focus on children, is essential to the prevention of mine incidents. We therefore commend the United Nations support for the Mine Action Coordination Centre of Afghanistan and its activities in the field.
In conclusion, Bosnia and Herzegovina would like to express its full support for UNAMA and its entire staff for their efforts. We would also like to express our support for their request for further arrangements to enable UNAMA to address the recruitment of badly needed staff to fulfil the Mission’s mandate.
I would also like to extend our condolences to the family of the victim of yesterday’s attack and to UNAMA staff.