18 September 2014 There is “quite simply no better way forward” other than a unity government in Afghanistan, United Nations envoy Ján Kubiš, told the Security Council from Kabul in his final briefing in that capacity.
Mr. Kubiš, who is the head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), told Security Council members via videoconference that the current political deadlock is deepening a crisis which has already taken a heavy political, security and economic toll in the country with “real risks for the future.”
“There is quite simply no better way forward other than a government of national unity led by an elected President, as certified by the Independent Election Commission,” he said. Mr. Kubiš stressed that “I continue to emphasize that in a government of national unity there will be no losers – only partners.”
The main phase of the UN-supervised audit of the 14 June presidential run-off election was completed on 4 September and the announcement of updated results is expected shortly.
Top UN officials, including Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, have in meetings and telephone conversations with Afghanistan’s two presidential candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, underscored the world body’s call for a successful conclusion to the country’s election process.
Mr. Kubiš told the Security Council today that “if there is not agreement by the time of the certification of results, new dynamics will be set in play with the potential to trigger further uncertainty, even the risk of conflict.”
“The time remaining is now short – and by this I mean one or two days,” he said.
In his briefing, the UN envoy also gave an update on the serious and growing challenges faced by Afghanistan.
He noted a tactical shift in the insurgency that has seen attempts to exert control over territory across Afghanistan, and that civilians continue to bear the brunt of the conflict.
In the first eight months of this year, civilian casualties rose by 15 percent compared with the same period last year with more than 2,300 killed and more than 4,500 injured, the envoy said.
Mr. Kubiš said the briefing today will be his last as Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Afghanistan, where he has served since January 2012.
He noted the confidence placed by the UN by all parties, including amidst the current events, and that “going forward, the United Nations will continue to have an important role both in Afghanistan and the region.”
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