November 18, 2002

Message of H.E. Hamid Karzai
Head of State of Afghanistan

On the Open-ended panel of the General Assembly on "Afghanistan: one year later"

Let me begin by thanking Your Excellency, Mr. Jan Kavan, President of the General Assembly, for having convened and for presiding over this open-ended panel of the General Assembly on "Afghanistan: one year later".

Mr. President,

I am happy to inform you that the implementation of the Bonn Agreement and the peace process in Afghanistan are in line with what we had envisioned in Bonn on 5 December 2001. Afghans are enjoying their newfound peace and hope to benefit from the reconstruction of their country, and they are determined to take every step necessary to avoid a relapse into conflict and lawlessness.

We have established various Commissions, such as the Constitutional Commission in charge of drafting Afghanistan´s new Constitution, the Judicial Commission to rebuild the justice system, the Civil Service Commission to reform the entire administration and impose a merit based system, and a Human Rights Commission to protect human rights, women´s rights and civil liberties.

Mr. President,

Assistance to Afghanistan has been discussed in major international meetings, including the Tokyo Conference in January 2002, which was the first major gathering on the subject of assistance to Afghanistan.

I was happy to participate in an ad-hoc meeting, "Friends of Afghanistan" , on the afternoon of 13 September 2002, at the United Nations in New York, where Heads of State, Ministers of Foreign Affairs and other major personalities of countries closely interested in Afghanistan were in attendance.

We welcome and are grateful to Your Excellency for making today´s meeting happen. We find that this meeting, in the form of a panel, will serve to be instrumental in bringing further awareness to the problems facing Afghanistan, including a further reminder to donor countries to implement their commitments of assistance to Afghanistan. We owe gratitude to the donor community for its assistance to Afghanistan thus far. However, if I may, I would like to, once again, say to the donor community that reconstruction and security go hand in hand - one cannot be achieved without the other.

Mr. President,

I am sure that through Your Excellency´s efforts, today´s panel will also have an important and positive impact on the preparation of the resolutions on Afghanistan, still in drafting stage, to be adopted under your presidency by the General Assembly on 6 December 2002.

Thank you, Mr. President.








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