10 October 2013
Security Council
SC/11143

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Security Council

7041st Meeting (AM)


Security Council Extends Authorization for International Security Assistance Force


In Afghanistan, Adopting Resolution 2120 (2013)


Welcoming the progress made towards the complete transfer of lead security responsibility in Afghanistan to the country’s Government, the Security Council today extended its authorization of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) until 31 December 2014.


Unanimously adopting resolution 2120 (2013) under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the Council authorized States participating in ISAF to take all necessary measures to fulfil their mandateIt welcomed the agreement between the Government of Afghanistan and the countries contributing to the Force to “transfer full security responsibility […] to the Afghan Government country-wide by the end of 2014”.


Welcoming Afghanistan’s transition process, ongoing since 2011, the Council called on States to contribute personnel, equipment and other resources to ISAF — which is led by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) — and to continue their support for the country’s security, stability and transition.


By other terms, the Council welcomed the Afghan Government’s strong commitment to develop — with the support of ISAF nations — an Afghan National Security Force governed by the Constitution and capable of ensuring peace, security and stability for all Afghans, in accordance with the rule of law and in respect of human rights, including those of women.


The Council also welcomed the commitment by NATO and the Afghan Government to develop the 2010 NATO-Afghanistan Enduring Partnership until 2014 and beyond, notably the intention to provide sustained practical support for improving the country’s capacity to tackle security threats.


Stressing the importance of continued cooperation to develop the Afghan National Security Forces, the Council encouraged ISAF to train, mentor and empower them towards the goal of self-sufficiency, accountability and ethnic balance.  It called on ISAF and the NATO Senior Civilian Representative to continue close consultations with the Government and the Secretary-General’s Special Representative.


The Council stressed the need for coordination between ISAF and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), taking due account of the evolving nature and adjusted size of the international community’s presence.


The meeting began at 10:10 a.m. and ended at 10:15 a.m.


Resolution


The full text of Security Council resolution 2120 (2013) reads as follows:


The Security Council,


Reaffirming its previous resolutions on Afghanistan, in particular its resolutions 1386 (2001), 1510 (2003), 2011 (2011), 2041 (2012), 2069 (2012) and 2096 (2013),


Reaffirming also its resolutions 1267 (1999), 1368 (2001), 1373 (2001), 1822 (2008), 1904 (2009), 1988 (2011), 1989 (2011), 2082 (2012) and 2083 (2012), and reiterating its support for international efforts to root out terrorism in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations,


Recalling its resolutions 1265 (1999), 1296 (2000), 1674 (2006), 1738 (2006) and 1894 (2009) on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, its resolutions 1325 (2000), 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009), 1889 (2009), 1960 (2010) and 2106 (2013) on women and peace and security, and its resolutions 1612 (2005), 1882 (2009),1998 (2011) and 2068 (2012) on children and armed conflict, noting as well the reports of the Secretary-General on sexual violence in conflict (S/2013/149) and children and armed conflict (S/2013/245) and the conclusions of its Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict (S/AC.51/2011/3),


Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Afghanistan,


Recognizing that the responsibility for providing security and law and order throughout the country resides with the Afghan Authorities, stressing the role of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in assisting the Afghan Government to improve the security situation and build its own security capabilities, and welcoming the cooperation of the Afghan Government with ISAF,


Underlining the pivotal importance of strengthening Afghan ownership and leadership, consistent with the Kabul Process, in all fields of governance,


Welcoming the conclusions of the International Conference on Afghanistan in Bonn (S/2011/762) which declared that the Process of Transition, to be completed by the end of 2014, should be followed by a Transformation Decade (2015-2024) in which Afghanistan consolidates its sovereignty through strengthening a fully functioning, sustainable State in the service of its people, and welcoming further the strategic consensus between the Government of Afghanistan and the International Community on a renewed and enduring partnership for this Transformation Decade based on firm mutual commitments, and welcoming the conclusions of the Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan (S/2012/532) and the adoption of the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework to support the sustainable economic growth and development of Afghanistan, in which the Afghan Government and the International Community reaffirmed their mutual commitments, as well as the outcome of the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework Senior Officials Meeting held in Kabul on 3 July 2013,


Recognizing once again the interconnected nature of the challenges in Afghanistan, reaffirming that sustainable progress on security, governance, human rights, rule of law and development, as well as the cross-cutting issues of counter-narcotics, anti-corruption and accountability are mutually reinforcing and that governance and development programmes prioritized for implementation in transition should be consistent with the goals set forth in the Tokyo Declaration and the National Priority Programmes and welcoming the continuing efforts of the Afghan Government and the international community to address these challenges through a comprehensive approach,


Stressing in this context the need for further efforts by the Afghan Government to fight corruption, promote transparency and increase its accountability, in line with the Afghan Government’s commitment to strengthen measures to combat corruption as reinforced in the Tokyo Conference Conclusions and the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework,


Welcoming the long-term commitments taken by Afghanistan’s international partners, including NATO, the European Union (EU), neighbouring States and regional partners to continue supporting Afghanistan beyond transition, including during the Transformation Decade, welcoming also the process by which Afghanistan and its regional and international partners are entering into long-term strategic partnership and other agreements, aimed at achieving a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan, and stressing the importance of their complementary nature, including with future bilateral partnerships decided by the Government of Afghanistan,


Underlining the significance of the agreement reached between the Government of Afghanistan and countries contributing to ISAF, at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Summit in Lisbon, to gradually transfer full security responsibility in Afghanistan to the Government of Afghanistan countrywide by the end of 2014, welcoming continued progress towards the completion of the security transition, notably the 18 June 2013 milestone when all areas of Afghanistan entered the transition process and Afghan forces assumed the lead for security nationwide, underlining ISAF’s continuing role, in support of the Government of Afghanistan, in promoting a responsible transition and the importance of the enhancement of the capabilities of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF),


Acknowledging the progress made and the challenges remaining in security sector reform and governance, welcoming the continued commitment of international partners, including NATO and the European Union, to helping the ANSF and the Afghan security sector, welcoming support and assistance extended to the Afghan National Police by the NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan, the European Union police mission (EUPOL Afghanistan), and the European Gendarmerie Force (EGF) and, in the context of transition, welcoming the increased capacities and capabilities of the ANSF, stressing the need for Afghanistan together with international donors to further strengthen the Afghan National Army and the Afghan National Police, urging, inter alia, continued professional training measures to ensure Afghan capability to assume, in a sustainable manner, increasing responsibilities and leadership of security operations and maintaining public order, law enforcement, the security of Afghanistan’s borders, the preservation of the constitutional rights of Afghan citizens, and the protection of the rights of Afghan women and girls, as well as to increase its efforts in disbandment of illegal armed groups and counter narcotics, as outlined most recently in the Chicago Summit Joint Declaration and the Tokyo Declaration,


Welcoming the Chicago Summit Joint Declaration on Afghanistan which stresses the long-term commitment, beyond 2014, to lasting peace, security and stability in Afghanistan, noting the responsibility of the Government of Afghanistan to sustain a sufficient and capable ANSF supported by the international community, welcoming, in this context, the decision of the international community, taken at the International Conference on Afghanistan in Bonn on 5 December 2011, to support the training, equipping, financing and capability development of the ANSF beyond the end of the transition period, welcoming as reaffirmed in the Chicago Summit Joint Declaration the financial sustainment of the ANSF with a clear view to the assumption, no later than 2024, of full financial responsibility for its own security forces by the Government of Afghanistan, welcoming the decision of the Government of Afghanistan and NATO for NATO to work towards continuing to train, advise and assist the ANSF post-2014, and noting that any new mission should have a sound legal basis, as stated in paragraph 14 of the Chicago Summit Joint Declaration on Afghanistan,


Welcoming the commitment of Afghanistan and its regional partners, with the support of the international community, to strengthen regional security and cooperation for a secure and stable Afghanistan, welcoming regional initiatives on Afghanistan such as the Heart of Asia Process on Regional Security and Cooperation for a Secure and Stable Afghanistan, the Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA) initiative, as well as initiatives such as those being implemented in the framework of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), the EU, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and other relevant initiatives aimed at increased regional economic cooperation with Afghanistan such as enhanced trade, infrastructural connectivity and strengthened local and regional networks of transportation along historical trade routes, energy supply, integrated border management, welcoming the outcome of the “Istanbul Conference for Afghanistan: Security and Cooperation in the Heart of Asia” of 2 November 2011 and the follow‑up “Heart of Asia-Ministerial Conference — Kabul” on 14 June 2012, and the Heart of Asia Ministerial Conference in Almaty on 26 April 2013, at which implementation plans of all confidence-building measures in the areas of disaster management, counter-terrorism, counter-narcotics, regional infrastructure, trade, commerce and investment opportunities and education were adopted, and theSenior Officials Meeting in New York on 23 September 2013, and looking forward to the Fourth Heart of Asia Ministerial Conference in Tianjin, China, in 2014, noting that the Heart of Asia process is intended to complement and cooperate with, and not substitute for, existing efforts of regional organizations, particularly where they relate to Afghanistan,


Recognizing the importance of the contribution of neighbouring and regional partners as well as regional organizations including the EU, OSCE, SCO, CSTO and SAARC to the stabilization of Afghanistan, stressing the crucial importance of advancing regional cooperation as an effective means to promote security, governance and development in Afghanistan, welcoming and supporting increased regional efforts towards the continued implementation of previous declarations of good-neighbourly relations,


Stressing the central and impartial role that the United Nations continues to play in promoting peace and stability in Afghanistan by leading the efforts of the international community, noting, in this context, the role of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) as transition moves forward, stressing the need for coordination and mutual support between ISAF and UNAMA, taking due account of their respective designated responsibilities and the evolving nature and adjusted size of the international community’s presence,


Expressing its serious concern about the security situation in Afghanistan, in particular the ongoing violent and terrorist activities by the Taliban, Al-Qaida and other violent and extremist groups, illegal armed groups and criminals, including those involved in the production, trafficking or trade of illicit drugs, as described in the reports of the Secretary-General since the adoption of UNSCR 2011 (2011), and the strong links between terrorism activities and illicit drugs, resulting in threats to the local population, including children, as well as to the national security forces and international military and civilian personnel,


Welcoming the efforts of the Government of Afghanistan to update and improve the National Drug Control Strategy, with a particular emphasis on a partnership approach to ensure joint, effective implementation and coordination, encouraging ISAF to further, effectively support, within its designated responsibilities, Afghan-led sustained efforts, including efforts by the ANSF, to address drug production and trafficking, in cooperation with relevant international and regional actors, recognizing the threat posed by illicit drug production, trade and trafficking to international peace and stability in different regions of the world, and the important role played by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in this regard, and remaining concerned at the serious harm that opium cultivation, production and trafficking and consumption continue to cause to the security, development and governance of Afghanistan, as well as to the region and beyond, and commending the Paris Pact Initiative as one of the most important frameworks in the fight against opiates originating in Afghanistan,


Expressing also its concern over the harmful consequences of violent and terrorist activities by the Taliban, Al-Qaida and other violent and extremist groups and illegal armed groups on the capacity of the Afghan Government to guarantee the rule of law, to provide security and basic services to the Afghan people, and to ensure the full enjoyment of their human rights and fundamental freedoms,


Reiterating its support for the continuing endeavours by the Afghan Government, with the assistance of the international community, including ISAF and the Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) coalition, to further improve the security situation and to continue to address the threat posed by the Taliban, Al‑Qaida and other violent and extremist groups and illegal armed groups, and stressing in this context the need for sustained international efforts, including those of ISAF and the OEF coalition,


Condemning in the strongest terms all attacks, including improvised explosive device (IED) attacks, suicide attacks, assassinations and abductions, indiscriminate targeting of civilians, attacks against humanitarian workers and targeting of Afghan and international forces and their deleterious effect on the stabilization, reconstruction and development efforts in Afghanistan, and condemning further the use by the Taliban, Al-Qaida and other violent and extremist groups and illegal armed groups of civilians as human shields,


Welcoming the Afghan Government’s achievements in banning ammonium nitrate fertilizer, and urging continued action to implement regulations for the control of all explosive materials and precursor chemicals, thereby reducing the ability of insurgents to use them for improvised explosive devices, and calling upon the international community to support the Afghan Government’s efforts in this regard,


Recognizing the continuing threats posed by the Taliban, Al-Qaida and other violent and extremist groups and illegal armed groups, as well as the challenges related to the efforts to address such threats, and recognizing the role of measures introduced by the Security Council in resolutions 1267 (1999), 1988 (2011), 1989 (2011), 2082 (2012) and 2083 (2012) in combating these threats and supporting the Afghan-led peace and reconciliation process,


Expressing its serious concern with the high number of civilian casualties in Afghanistan, in particular women and children, the increasingly large majority of which are caused by Taliban, Al-Qaida and other violent and extremist groups and illegal armed groups, condemning in the strongest terms the high number of attacks targeting schools, including their burning and forced closure, their use by armed groups, and the intimidation, abduction and killing of education personnel, particularly those attacks targeting girls’ education by armed groups including the Taliban and welcoming, in this context, the listing of the Taliban in the annex of the report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict (S/2013/245) pursuant to Security Council resolution 1998 (2011), condemning also the increased targeted killing of women and girls, in particular high-level female officials, reaffirming that all parties to armed conflict must take all feasible steps to ensure the protection of affected civilians, especially women, children and displaced persons, including from sexual violence and all other forms of gender-based violence, calling for all parties to comply with their obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law, and for all appropriate measures to be taken to ensure the protection of civilians, and recognizing the importance of the ongoing monitoring and reporting to the United Nations Security Council, including by ISAF, of the situation of civilians and in particular civilian casualties, and noting in this regard the work of the ISAF Civilian Casualties Mitigation Team,


Recalling that women play a vital role in the peace process, as recognized in Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) and related resolutions, welcoming the commitment by the Government of Afghanistan to develop and implement Afghanistan’s Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) National Action Plan and to identify further opportunities to support the participation of women in the Afghan-led peace and reconciliation process, the presentation by the Government of Afghanistan of its first progress report on the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, and efforts to continue to accelerate full implementation of the National Action Plan for Women in Afghanistan, to integrate its benchmarks into the National Priority Programmes and to develop a strategy to implement fully the Elimination of Violence Against Women law,


Taking note of the further progress made by ISAF and other international forces in minimizing the civilian casualties, as recognized in the 2013 midyear report by UNAMA on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, urging ISAF and other international forces to continue to undertake enhanced efforts to prevent civilian casualties, including the increased focus on protecting the Afghan population as a central element of the Mission, and noting the importance of conducting continuous reviews of tactics and procedures and after-action reviews and investigations in cooperation with the Afghan Government in cases where civilian casualties have occurred and when the Afghan Government finds these joint investigations appropriate, as well as continuing cooperation with the ANSF towards the further institutionalization of protection of civilians, especially women and girls,


Expressing its strong concern about recruitment and use of children by Taliban forces in Afghanistan, as well as the killing and maiming of children as a result of the conflict, and attacks on schools and hospitals in contravention of applicable international law, supporting the decree by the Minister of the Interior reaffirming the Government’s commitment to preventing violations of the rights of the child dated 6 July 2011, welcoming the progress made on the implementation of the Action Plan, and its annex, on Children Associated with the ANSF, signed in January 2011, in particular the establishment of the Afghan Inter-Ministerial Steering Committee on Children and Armed Conflict, the appointment of a focal point on child protection, and the endorsement by the Afghan Government of a road map to accelerate compliance with the Action Plan, calling for the full implementation of the provisions of the plan, in close cooperation with UNAMA, recognizing in this regard NATO’s high-level commitments on children and armed conflict and NATO’s positive response to the request by the Special Representative for Children and Armed conflict to assist in the full implementation of the Action Plan and its annex, and encouraging ISAF to assist the Afghan Government with its full implementation,


Stressing in this context the importance of further progress by the Afghan Government in ending impunity and strengthening judicial institutions, in the reconstruction and reform of the prison sector, and the rule of law and respect for human rights within Afghanistan, including for women and girls, and in particular women’s rights under the Constitution to fully participate in the political, economic and social spheres of Afghan life, and welcoming, in this regard, the National Police Plan and the objectives set therein for increased training in human rights, including gender issues, and increased recruitment of women, as well as continuing ISAF support for the ANSF towards increased recruitment, training and retention of women,


Reiterating its call on all Afghan parties and groups to engage constructively in peaceful political dialogue as within the framework of the Afghan Constitution and to work together with international donors for the socioeconomic development of the country and to avoid resorting to violence including through the use of illegal armed groups, supporting the aims of the High Peace Council, and recognizing the importance of regional support for advancing the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process,


Reiterating its firm commitment to support the Government of Afghanistan in its efforts to advance the peace and reconciliation process, in line with the Kabul Communiqué and the Bonn Conference Conclusions, and within the framework of the Afghan Constitution and application of the procedures introduced by the Security Council in its resolutions 1988 (2011) and 2082 (2012), as well as other relevant resolutions of the Council,


Welcoming the continuing efforts of the Afghan Government to advance the peace and reconciliation process, including by the High Peace Council and the implementation of the Afghanistan Peace and Reconciliation Programme, to promote an inclusive, Afghan-led dialogue on reconciliation and political participation as laid forth in the 20 July 2010 Kabul Conference Communiqué on dialogue for all those who renounce violence, have no links to international terrorist organizations, including Al-Qaida, respect the Constitution, including its human rights provisions, notably the rights of women, and are willing to join in building a peaceful Afghanistan, and as further elaborated in the principles and outcomes of the 5 December 2011 Bonn Conference Conclusions supported by the Government of Afghanistan and the international community, with full respect for the implementation of measures and application of the procedures introduced by the Security Council in its resolutions 1267 (1999), 1988 (2011) and 2082 (2012), as well as other relevant resolutions of the Council, calling on all relevant States to remain engaged in the peace process, and recognizing the impact terrorist attacks have on the Afghan people and risk having on future prospects for a peace settlement,


Recognizing that an increased number of the Taliban have reconciled with the Government of Afghanistan, have rejected the terrorist ideology of Al-Qaida and its followers, and support a peaceful resolution to the continuing conflict in Afghanistan, recognizing also that notwithstanding the evolution of the situation in Afghanistan and progress in reconciliation, security remains a serious challenge in Afghanistan and the region,


Recognizing also the increased number of reintegrees that have joined the Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Programme (APRP), and encouraging further efforts to address remaining operational challenges, including through an appropriate vetting mechanism, and further encouraging the international community to support this Afghan-led effort,


Recalling the Government of Afghanistan’s commitments, most recently at the Tokyo Conference, to strengthen and improve Afghanistan’s electoral process, including long-term electoral reform, in order to ensure that future elections will be transparent, credible, inclusive and democratic, welcoming, in this regard, the adoption of a legal framework to govern elections, the appointment of new members and the election of new Chairpersons for the Independent Election Commission and the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission, and reaffirming that Afghanistan’s peaceful future lies in the building of a stable, secure, economically sustainable State, free of terrorism and narcotics and based on the rule of law, strengthened democratic institutions, respect for the separation of powers, reinforced constitutional checks and balances, good economic governance, including in the fight against corruption and the guarantee of citizens’ rights,


Welcoming the efforts of the international community carried out to strengthen the coherence of military and civilian actions, including those within the framework of ISAF,


Welcoming also the continued coordination between ISAF and the OEF coalition, and in-theatre cooperation established between ISAF and the EU presence in Afghanistan,


Expressing its appreciation for the leadership provided by NATO and for the contributions of many nations to ISAF and to the OEF coalition, which operates within the framework of the counter-terrorism operations in Afghanistan and in accordance with the applicable rules of international law,


Determining that the situation in Afghanistan still constitutes a threat to international peace and security,


Determined to ensure the full implementation of the mandate of ISAF, in coordination with the Afghan Government,


Acting for these reasons under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,


“1.   Decides to extend the authorization of the International Security Assistance Force, as defined in resolution 1386 (2001) and 1510 (2003), until 31 December 2014;


“2.   Authorizes the Member States participating in ISAF to take all necessary measures to fulfil its mandate;


“3.   Recognizes the need for ISAF to meet all its operational requirements, welcomes the agreement between the Government of Afghanistan and countries contributing to ISAF to transfer full security responsibility in Afghanistan to the Afghan Government country-wide by the end of 2014 and the ongoing implementation of the transition process since July 2011, and calls upon Member States to contribute personnel, equipment and other resources to ISAF and to continue to pursue their efforts to support security, stability and transition in Afghanistan;


“4.   Welcomes the strong commitment of the Government of Afghanistan to further develop, with the support of ISAF nations, an ANSF which is governed by the Afghan Constitution and is capable of providing peace, security and stability to all Afghans operating under effective civilian leadership and in accordance with the rule of law, and respecting and promoting human rights, including the rights of women, and capable of contributing to the region’s security through the stabilization of the situation in Afghanistan;


“5.   Welcomes the commitment by NATO and the Afghan Government to further develop the NATO-Afghanistan Enduring Partnership signed at Lisbon in 2010 in all its dimensions, up to 2014 and beyond, and in particular the intention expressed therein to provide, within the framework of the Enduring Partnership, sustained practical support aimed at improving and sustaining Afghanistan’s capacity and capability to tackle continued threats to its security, stability and integrity, and to contribute to the region’s security through the stabilization of the situation in Afghanistan;


“6.   Stresses the importance of continued cooperation to develop ANSF capabilities including, in a comprehensive framework, the functionality, professionalism and accountability of the Afghan security sector, encourages ISAF and other partners to sustain their efforts, as resources permit, to train, mentor and empower the Afghan National Security Forces, in order to accelerate progress towards the goal of self-sufficient, sustainable, accountable and ethnically balanced Afghan security forces providing security and ensuring the rule of law throughout the country, welcomes the increasing leadership role played by the Afghan authorities in security responsibilities throughout the country, and welcomes the substantial progress made in the expansion and capability of the Afghan National Army and the Afghan National Police and stresses the importance of supporting the further professionalization of these institutions;


“7.   Calls upon ISAF and the NATO Senior Civilian Representative to continue to work in close consultation with the Afghan Government and the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General in accordance with Security Council resolution 2096 (2013), as well as with the OEF coalition in the implementation of the ISAF mandate;


“8.   Requests the leadership of ISAF to keep the Security Council regularly informed, through the United Nations Secretary-General, on the implementation of its mandate, including through the timely provision of quarterly reports, and its final report in December 2014 should be a comprehensive one;


“9.   Decides to remain actively seized of this matter.”


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For information media • not an official record