5038th Meeting (AM)
Security Council extends authorization for Afghanistan Security Force
for 12 months, unanimously adopting resolution 1563 (2004)
Reaffirming the importance of the progressive expansion of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan to other urban centres and areas outside Kabul, the Security Council today extended authorization of the Force for a further 12 months, beyond 13 October.
Acting under Chapter VII, the Council voted unanimously to adopt resolution 1563 (2004), by which it authorized the Member States participating in the Force to take all necessary measures to fulfil its mandate.
The Council recognized the need to strengthen the Force and, in that regard, called on Member States to contribute personnel, equipment and other resources to it, and to contribute to the Trust Fund established by resolution 1386 (2001).
In a related provision, the Council called on the International Security Assistance Force to continue to work in close consultation with the Afghan Transitional Administration and its successors and the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, as well as with the Operation Enduring Freedom Coalition in the implementation of the Force mandate.
It asked the Force’s leadership to provide quarterly reports on implementation of its mandate to the Council through the Secretary-General.
The meeting began at 10:50 a.m. and was adjourned at 10:53 a.m.
The full text of resolution 1563 (2004) reads as follows:
“The Security Council,
“Reaffirming its previous resolutions on Afghanistan, in particular its resolutions 1386 (2001) of 20 December 2001, 1413 (2002) of 23 May 2002, 1444 (2002) of 27 November 2002 and 1510 (2003) of 13 October 2003,
“Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Afghanistan,
“Reaffirming also its resolutions 1368 (2001) of 12 September 2001 and 1373 (2001) of 28 September 2001 and reiterating its support for international efforts to root out terrorism in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations,
“Recognizing that the responsibility for providing security and law and order throughout the country resides with the Afghans themselves and welcoming the continuing cooperation of the Afghan Transitional Administration with the International Security Assistance Force,
“Reaffirming the importance of the Bonn Agreement and the Berlin Declaration, and recalling in particular annex 1 of the Bonn Agreement which, inter alia, provides for the progressive expansion of the International Security Assistance Force to other urban centres and other areas beyond Kabul,
“Stressing also the importance of extending central government authority to all parts of Afghanistan, of conducting free and fair elections, of comprehensive disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of all armed factions, of justice sector reform, of security sector reform including reconstitution of the Afghan National Army and Police, and of combating narcotics trade and production, and recognizing certain progress that has been made in these and other areas with the help of the international community,
“Recognizing the constraints upon the full implementation of the Bonn Agreement resulting from concerns about the security situation in parts of Afghanistan, in particular in the light of the upcoming elections,
“Welcoming in this context the commitment by NATO lead nations to establish further Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs), as well as the readiness of the International Security Assistance Force and the Operation Enduring Freedom Coalition to assist in securing the conduct of national elections,
“Expressing its appreciation to Eurocorps for taking over the lead from Canada in commanding the International Security Assistance Force, to Canada for its leadership of the International Security Assistance Force during the past year, and recognizing with gratitude the contributions of many nations to the International Security Assistance Force,
“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 the International Security Assistance Force, in consultation with the Afghan Transitional Administration and its successors,
“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), for a period of twelve months beyond 13 October 2004;
“2. Authorizes the Member States participating in the International Security Assistance Force to take all necessary measures to fulfil its mandate;
“3. Recognizes the need to strengthen the International Security Assistance Force, and in this regard calls upon Member States to contribute personnel, equipment and other resources to the International Security Assistance Force, and to make contributions to the Trust Fund established pursuant to resolution 1386 (2001);
“4. Calls upon the International Security Assistance Force to continue to work in close consultation with the Afghan Transitional Administration and its successors and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General as well as with the Operation Enduring Freedom Coalition in the implementation of the force mandate;
“5. Requests the leadership of the International Security Assistance Force to provide quarterly reports on implementation of its mandate to the Security Council through the Secretary-General;
“6. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”
When the Security Council met this morning, it had before it the Secretary-General’s report on the situation in Afghanistan and its implications for international peace and security (document S/2004/634), which states that during the period under review, the most striking aspect of the Bonn process has been the registration of voters for the 9 October presidential elections. With some 8 million voters registered as at 28 July, of which about 41 per cent are women, the process shows strong momentum and provides a clear response to the efforts of the Taliban and other extremist groups to derail the elections and to exclude women from public life.
Problems with registration continue to exist, however, in those parts of the south and south-east where insecurity caused by extremist violence acts as a deterrent for voters and electoral workers alike. Strenuous efforts will be made in the coming weeks to overcome this situation and to ensure that registration is as balanced as possible between the various provinces of Afghanistan. If these issues are addressed successfully, the national voters’ list should be comprehensive enough by the end of August to give the 2004 election the broad basis required to provide the elected president with full legitimacy.
Other aspects of the political process have not, however, moved at the same pace, continues the report. From the point of view of electoral prerequisites, the issue of credible population figures for the 34 provinces is still outstanding and is one of the main causes behind the decision of the Joint Election Management Body to delay the parliamentary election until April 2005. Disarmament is also behind schedule, however, which is largely why the vast majority of Afghans have endorsed the decision of the Management Body.
Indeed, across the country the perception remains that the outcome of the election at the local level will be a direct function of the presence or absence of militias. Beyond disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, the first joint report on the exercise of political rights by the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) shows that progress must be made in other areas in order to create a more level playing field between political forces.
The period under review has also been characterized by a heightening of the challenge posed by the three main threats to the consolidation of peace and stability in Afghanistan, namely extremist violence, factionalism and the narcotics industry. Attacks by extremists and cross-border infiltrations have intensified, in particular in the country’s south, and, while the success of voter registration has shown the political isolation of those groups, the insecurity that they continue to create effectively deprives a number of communities of the benefit of reconstruction, stretches existing security forces, slows down disarmament, demobilization and reintegration and, in general, places a very heavy burden on the new and fragile Afghan State.
In addition, eradication and interdiction efforts have not so far proved able to contain the growth of illicit cultivation and drug trafficking. Associated with this is an increase in the level of corruption, which affects the Government at the local and central level. Against this background, the Secretary-General states the vital importance of security assistance to Afghanistan. It is essential to provide better prospects for the success of the electoral process, but it is also necessary to serve as a deterrent against factional violence, to assist the deployment of Afghan security forces and, in particular, to help them control the illicit drug economy. Such assistance remains as urgent a requirement as it was after the signing of the Bonn Agreement.
In this regard, the United Nations has been encouraged by the decision made by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) at its summit in Istanbul to make more troops available to Afghanistan and trust that they will be deployed well ahead of the presidential elections and well beyond.
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