New York, 6 January 2010
Statement by H.E.Mr. Ivan Barbalic, Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the United Nations
Delegation of Bosnia and Herzegovina would like to offer congratulations to you, Sir, on your assumption of the Presidency of the Security Council for the month of January. I would like to thank the Secretary General for his insightful report on the situation in Afghanistan, and Special Representative Kai Eide for his thorough briefing. I wish in particular to thank and to commend the committed personnel of UNAMA, who have recently suffered grievous losses in the performance of their duties. Bosnia and Herzegovina would like to express its deepest sympathies to their families and to their countries.
Bosnia and Herzegovina deplores these brutal attacks and the current critical security situation in Afghanistan. The increase in both the scale and the scope of the violence since the Secretary-General’s last report is alarming. The upsurge in civilian and military casualties and the spread of violence into hitherto peaceful areas are especially worrying. We are cognizant that this is a critical conjuncture for peace and security in Afghanistan.
Moreover, the flaws of last year’s presidential elections provoked grave concern. It is encouraging, however, that this serious matter was also addressed through Afghan institutions. Bosnia and Herzegovina welcomes UNAMA’s efforts to strengthen independent Afghan institutions such as the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC). Stemming from our own experience, Bosnia and Herzegovina is of the belief that building such institutions is quintessential for the practice of democracy. We appreciate the intense diplomatic endeavors which helped resolve an acute political crisis, with resonance well beyond Afghan borders.
In view of the forthcoming parliamentary elections, we believe that holding elections is essential as the ultimate expression of democracy. So too is the probity of the electoral process which confers legitimacy on the results. Therefore, Bosnia and Herzegovina strongly encourages the government of Afghanistan and the international community to foresee and forestall weaknesses in that electoral process.
With these considerations in mind, Mr. President, we share with the Secretary-General and his Special Representative a distinct sense of urgency regarding the coordination of the international effort in Afghanistan. We support closer coordination between civilian and military efforts in building peace and security.
We concur that the enhancement of Afghan law enforcement and security agencies is vital for the transition strategy to domestically-maintained stability. The projected increase in the training and numbers of police and army personnel is a prerequisite for that transition. It may be further advanced by the Community Defence Initiative’s promise of nimble, locally-knowledgeable security forces. We believe that the development of a transparent institutional framework to coordinate these security agencies could only increase their effectiveness. For such security reforms to reap their greatest harvest, an Afghan-led national reconciliation process will be significant.
Bosnia and Herzegovina feels particular empathy for the problems faced by the quarter of a million displaced persons inside Afghanistan, and for the plight of the refugees who returned in markedly lower numbers in 2009. The solution to their displacement is an integral part of long-term stability for Afghanistan.
Against this sober backdrop, it is important to recognise the positive developments of the last three months. We applaud the draft law on the elimination of violence against women currently under consideration by Parliament. The provincial council elections drew an appreciable turnout, further evincing the Afghan people’s strong desire for democracy and peace. An intensive diplomatic effort averted a constitutional crisis, and a busy schedule of meetings in the coming months, including the London conference, augurs well for the advance of peace and security in Afghanistan. Bosnia and Herzegovina will continue to support such advances with all means at its disposal.
In conclusion, we would like to recognize once more the significance of UNAMA’s personnel’s work and would like to stress the vital importance of ensuring their safety.
Thank you Mr. President.