15/01/2004
Press Release
SC/7979
AFG/244



PRESS STATEMENT ON AFGHANISTAN BY SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT


Following is the press statement on Afghanistan delivered today by Security Council President Heraldo Muñoz (Chile):


Members of the Security Council expressed their deep gratitude to the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Lakhdar Brahimi, for his exceptional leadership during the peace process in Afghanistan.  The members of the Council commended his tireless efforts.  Mr. Brahimi has played a highly valuable role in the last two years.  His mediation was crucial for the successful conclusion of the Constitutional Loya Jirga.


In commending this very significant step on the path towards a peaceful, prosperous and democratic Afghanistan, the Members took due note of the substantial challenges which remain for a successful implementation of the Bonn Process, as presented by Mr. Brahimi and by the Secretary-General.


In particular members noted the necessity to support efforts for the upcoming national elections called for by the Afghan Constitution in accordance with the Bonn Agreement.  They agreed that the creation of a secure environment and the provision of sufficient funding remain important conditions to hold national elections mandated by Bonn.


Credible countrywide elections in 2004, as well as the reconstruction and development in all parts of Afghanistan, will be essential for the lasting stabilization of Afghanistan.


Recalling that the responsibility for providing security and law and order throughout the country resides with the Afghans themselves, the Members of the Security Council reaffirmed the commitment of the international community to help complete the Bonn process in continuing cooperation with the Afghan Authorities.


The Members expressed their intention to examine in greater detail the conclusions of Mr. Brahimi and to respond to his proposals, also in light of today’s meeting, in the near future.


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