Security Council Extends Mandate of United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan until March 2015

17 March 2014
SC/11320

Security Council Extends Mandate of United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan until March 2015

17 March 2014
Security Council
SC/11320
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Security Council

7139th Meeting (AM)

Security Council Extends Mandate of United Nations Assistance Mission

in Afghanistan until March 2015

Speakers Describe Upcoming Polls as Critical

Milestones after Decade of Promoting Democracy, Good Governance, Human Rights

The people of Afghanistan people should not allow “spoilers and terrorists” to undermine their democratic future, to be determined in the April 2014 presidential election, the Security Council heard today as it voted to extend the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) until 17 March 2015.

Unanimously adopting resolution 2145 (2014), the Council decided that the Mission would continue to lead and coordinate international civilian efforts in Afghanistan, including the provision of support for the 2014 presidential election, the 2015 parliamentary elections and future electoral processes, while also helping to build capacity and to provide technical assistance to national institutions.

By other terms of the text, the Council condemned in the strongest terms attacks against humanitarian and development workers, including those providing health care, transport and other facilities.  It called upon all parties to ensure full, safe and unhindered access for all humanitarian actors, including United Nations staff and associated personnel.

Briefing the Council before it adopted the resolution was Ján Kubiš, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNAMA, who urged all eligible citizens to exercise their franchise in the upcoming polls.  “Do not let spoilers and terrorists deprive you of your choice, of your future,” he said, adding:  “Participation as voters, elections officials and observers is a rejection of force, violence and intimidation as the means by which your proud nation decides its leadership.”

At the present delicate juncture in Afghanistan’s transition, he continued, a credible electoral process could provide much-needed stability and predictability through a popular mandate across ethnic lines for wider political, economic and social development agendas, including peace and reconciliation.  He said the United Nations would not administer, observe or adjudicate the elections, but would use its good offices to work with all stakeholders to help with technical preparations and the promotion of a timely, inclusive and integral process so that the results would be broadly accepted.

Also speaking before the adoption was Afghanistan’s representative, who described the presidential election to be held on 5 April as a “historic event” marking his country’s first peaceful transfer of power through a democratic process.  It was crucial that the vote be legitimate, credible and transparent.  To that end, the Independent Election Commission would administer, adjudicate and manage the polls, as well as oversee logistical and technical preparations, with the support of international partners, he said, adding that the Commission was well-positioned to prevent fraud and misconduct.  Additionally, the Ministry of the Interior had stepped up its efforts to ensure security on election day, having prepared 400,000 national security forces to protect the 7,168 polling stations.  It planned to deploy 13,000 female polling station searchers and to provide security for the 30 female candidates contesting provincial-council elections in order to facilitate women’s participation.

During the ensuing debate, many speakers highlighted the importance of the upcoming elections, or expressed concerns about Afghanistan’s future stability, especially after the planned drawdown of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

The Russian Federation’s representative said a comprehensive analysis of risks and threats was needed, but the Secretary-General’s report failed to mention many challenges, including the presence of Al-Qaida.  Contrary to the report, Islamist forces were not only present in remote regions, but were also stationed along Afghanistan’s border with Turkmenistan, he noted, emphasizing that he was “very worried” about the situation that could develop in Central Asia after the withdrawal of the International Stabilization Assistance Force (ISAF), considering the Taliban’s actions.  To what extent could the artificial timetable for ISAF’s withdrawal be justified? he asked, while stressing that civilians must not continue to die from erroneous ISAF air strikes.

India’s representative said that intimidation in the southern and eastern parts of Afghanistan threatened the smooth conduct of the upcoming elections.  The main threat to security and stability was terrorism emanating from beyond Afghanistan’s borders, and it was unfortunate that the terrorists’ sanctuaries and safe havens, as well as their financial and tactical support structures, were still active.  Emphasizing the need to “demystify” the notion that rivalry between ethnic or tribal groups was the problem in Afghanistan, he said terrorism remained the real problem.  “India does not have the luxury of an ‘exit strategy’ in Afghanistan, which shares a civilization linkage with India,” he pointed out.

Iran’s representative echoed sentiments expressed by other countries neighbouring Afghanistan, voicing particular concern about the possibility of increased opium poppy cultivation, a main source of income for extremist and terrorist groups.  There was also a need to strengthen and expedite international efforts to create an environment conducive to the sustainable repatriation of Afghan refugees, as well as their full rehabilitation and reintegration into their homeland, he said.

Pakistan’s representative pointed out that his country hosted 3 million Afghan refugees, and without stability in the neighbouring country, repatriating them would be difficult.  The international community should not abandon Afghanistan, he said, adding that the peace and reconciliation process must be accelerated.

The representative of the United States said that a successful transfer of presidential power would solidify the gains made over the past 12 years, but the international community should be “under no illusions”, given the remaining security threats.

Chile’s delegate emphasized that national Afghan forces must be strengthened following the ISAF’s withdrawal, urging Afghanistan and the United States to sign the Bilateral Security Agreement in a timely manner.

The Head of the European Union Delegation said that, with the transition to full Afghan control to be completed by year’s end, UNAMA’s role would be even more critical in ensuring the effective coordination of donor aid and the fulfilment of commitments under the 2012 Tokyo Conference.

Also participating in today’s debate were representatives of Australia, Republic of Korea, Argentina, Rwanda, Nigeria, France, United Kingdom, Lithuania, China, Chad, Jordan, Luxembourg, Italy, Japan, Slovakia, Sweden (on behalf of the Nordic countries), Germany, Turkey, and Canada.

The meeting began at 10:08 a.m. and ended at 1:10 p.m.

Background

The Security Council met this morning to take action on a draft resolution that would extend the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).  It was also expected to hold its quarterly debate on the situation in that country following a briefing by Ján Kubiš, Special Representative and Head of UNAMA, on the latest report of the Secretary-General (document S/2014/163).

Briefing

JÁN KUBIŠ, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), said the country intended to hold presidential and provincial elections in less than three weeks, leading to its first democratic transfer of power.  The elections would be a defining moment that would earn President Hamid Karzai a place in history.  All eligible citizens — men as well as women — should exercise their franchise on 5 April, he emphasized.  “Do not let spoilers and terrorists deprive you of your choice, of your future,” he urged the Afghan people, adding:  “Participation as voters, elections officials and observers is a rejection of force, violence and intimidation as the means by which your proud nation decides its leadership.”

At the present delicate juncture in Afghanistan’s transition, he continued, a credible electoral process could provide much-needed stability and predictability through a popular mandate across ethnic lines for wider political, economic and social development agendas, including peace and reconciliation.  The United Nations would have no role in administering, observing or adjudicating the elections, he said, adding that he was using his good offices to work with all stakeholders in support of the technical preparations, promoting the timeliness, inclusiveness and integrity of the process by better ensuring that the results would have broad acceptance.  He urged the electoral management bodies to remain committed to full transparency in their decision-making and conduct, ensuring clear and timely lines of communication.

He said he was deeply disturbed by the Taliban’s recent declaration that it would seek to disrupt the electoral process by force and to unleash a campaign of terror.  Pointing out that voters, electoral workers, candidates and observers were all civilians, he said that targeting civilians, or carrying out indiscriminate attacks against polling centres and other civilian locations would undermine any claim to legitimate political status and was punishable under international law.  Civilians had borne the heaviest toll in the Afghan conflict, with the trend of rising civilian causalities in 2013 continuing into 2014, he said, noting that UNAMA had recorded 359 civilians killed and 647 injured in January and February, a 19 per cent increase over the corresponding period in 2013.  A breakthrough in direct talks between the Government of Afghanistan and the Taliban remained elusive.  Through its network of 13 field offices, UNAMA had facilitated seven peace initiatives in eight provinces during the course of 2013, and had launched two additional initiatives involving seven other provinces.

Stressing the importance of the role played by donors, he said the levels of international assistance pledged remained truly exceptional.  However, Government commitments to supporting good governance, reforms, economic sustainability and a rights-based agenda were equally important.  The Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework remained the agreed instrument of civilian development assistance.  Together with the commitments made to long-term support for security-sector reform during the Chicago North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Summit, it formed the cornerstone of international engagement with Afghanistan and provided continuity of commitment through the transformation decade.  In closing, he reiterated the importance of the upcoming elections.  “Afghanistan is not poised atop an inevitable post-2014 abyss as some doomsayers have predicted,” he said, stressing that the success of the April 2014 elections would be of critical significance in reinforcing institutional and political stability and instilling confidence in the future.

Action

The Council then unanimously adopted resolution 2145 (2014).

Statements

ZAHIR TANIN (Afghanistan) said the 5 April presidential and provincial elections would be a “historic event” marking his country’s first peaceful transfer of power through a democratic process.  It was crucial that they be legitimate, credible and transparent, as expected by all.  To that end, the Independent Election Commission would administer, adjudicate and manage the polls, and oversee logistical and technical preparations, with the support of international partners.  The Commission was well-positioned to prevent fraud and misconduct, he said.  The Ministry of the Interior had stepped up its efforts to ensure security on Election Day, having prepared 400,000 national security forces to protect the 7,168 polling stations, and with plans to deploy 13,000 female polling station searchers and to provide security for the 30 female candidates for the provincial councils.

All segments of society were deeply involved in the elections, many for the first time, he continued, noting that women were involved as candidates, electoral workers and voters, with females comprising 35 per cent of the newly registered voters.  Candidates were receiving historic media exposure through several televised debates, setting a precedent in Afghanistan’s young democracy.  “We are not losing sight of the challenges that we face this year that are crucial to the preservation of the gains of the last decade, and to a successful departure towards the Transformation Decade.”  To address them, it was essential that cooperation with the international community, fiscal stability and sustainable economic growth and regional cooperation continued, he said, emphasizing that he was certain the Bilateral Security Agreement with the United States would be signed soon.

Welcoming the progress achieved towards fulfilling the commitments set forth in the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework, he said the Government of Afghanistan continued to further the agreements reached at the London, Kabul, Bonn and Tokyo conferences, as well as the Lisbon and Chicago summits aimed at enhancing national leadership and economic self-sufficiency strategy.  Since regional stability contributed greatly to Afghanistan’s peace and security, the Government continued to strengthen networks of regional cooperation through multilateral processes such as the Istanbul Process, in addition to bilateral efforts.

Protecting the rights of all Afghans remained a fundamental priority, he stressed.  They included the right to good governance, justice, health care, education and a life free from violence.  To that end, Afghanistan was committed to preventing and mitigating the toll of violence on civilians, particularly women and children, he said, condemning continuing extremist violence against the Afghan people in the strongest terms.  With elections presenting an opportunity for all Afghans to unite, the impetus for the armed opposition to reject their brutal tactics, contribute meaningfully to the nation and heed the call for peace had never been stronger, he emphasized, saying he expected the international community to stand firmly with Afghanistan for peace and security to ensure that the hard-won gains of the last decade were protected.

GARY QUINLAN (Australia) said the international community would be closely watching the elections and that an inclusive, transparent and credible presidential electoral process was necessary.  Australia welcomed the role of the United Nations in supporting the elections and encouraged the Government of Afghanistan to work with the world body to strengthen the sustainability, integrity and inclusiveness of the electoral process.  On human rights, he said Afghanistan needed to be vigilant in building on the gains of the last decade, particularly in relation to the rights of women and girls.  Australia urged full implementation of the law on the elimination of violence against women and encouraged the Government to finalize and implement its National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security.  Although Australia would continue to support Afghanistan, reform and progress were ultimately the responsibility of the Afghan Government and people, he emphasized.

PAIK JI-AH (Republic of Korea) said this final year of transition was critical to ensuring that the progress made thus far was sustainable and irreversible.  The elections would be a significant milestone in the transition.  Bearing in mind the threats issued by the Taliban, it was vital to ensure the security of electoral personnel and voters, she emphasized, adding that any incitement to violence must not be tolerated.  While welcoming ongoing efforts to strengthen the national security forces, she said continuing security incidents showed that grave challenges remained.  All parties must take all the requisite steps to ensure compliance with their international obligations.  The Government should continue to implement the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework and make greater efforts, in partnership with the United Nations, to protect women and children by fully implementing the law banning violence against them.

MARIO OYARZÁBAL (Argentina) expressed hope that the elections would form the basis for stability, national unity and sustainable development.  They must be transparent, inclusive and credible.  International support was important to the electoral process, as was the presence of election observers.  Afghan citizens must vote en masse to ensure the elections were representative.  It was essential that women participate as both candidates and voters, she said, expressing concern that the Commission had disqualified some candidates on the basis of educational criteria, which disproportionately affected women.  Direct talks between the Government and the main opposition elements were vital.  A modern, democratic Afghanistan depended largely on the reconciliation process.  Progress made on human rights since 2001 must be consolidated.

LAWRENCE MANZI (Rwanda) said the upcoming elections represented an important milestone for Afghanistan and the international community as a whole.  Rwanda expected them to be held in an inclusive, transparent and peaceful atmosphere.  Expressing concern over the increased number of security incidents and violence ahead of the elections, he condemned the perpetrators as “cowards”, urging the international community to deal with re-emerging security challenges, he said, emphasizing the vital importance of security support following the planned withdrawal of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).  On the political process, he stressed the crucial need for an Afghan-led and -owned national reconciliation process, and for recognition of the active role played by the High Peace Council.  He warned against increased opium production, saying it played a role in financing insurgents.

KAYODE LARO (Nigeria) welcomed the Government’s pronouncement that it would not interfere in the electoral process, but expressed deep concern about security threats and killings relating to the elections.  On a positive note, however, the threats were not systematic, and although the security situation was volatile, the Afghan security forces had proven capable.  He condemned violence, particularly the 17 January attack on a Kabul restaurant which had claimed the lives of United Nations personnel.  It was concerning that 5 per cent of civilian deaths in 2013 had been caused by explosive remnants.  Nigeria hoped that Afghanistan would become a stable, peaceful, prosperous and democratic country in which all citizens were protected.

GÉRARD ARAUD (France) said the elections would clearly show democracy taking deep root in Afghanistan, and France would support whomever the Afghan people elected as their new President.  UNAMA should remain the vector of the international community in the country.  However, nothing was set in stone, he cautioned, urging the international community to adapt to the situation on the ground.  UNAMA’s mandate must be different a year from now and refocused on the international community’s priorities.  Its role would have to be strengthened and it would need greater authority to protect human rights.  To achieve that, the Mission’s mandate should be simplified.  Expressing concern over resurgent drug trafficking, he cited the existence of centres for the production of amphetamines, and warned that the risk of an emerging “narco-State” was serious.  Everything must be done to avoid the worst, he added.

MARK LYALL GRANT (United Kingdom) expressed his Government’s condolences for the loss of four United Nations staff members in January.  Saying he was encouraged by polling that showed growing confidence in the Afghan security forces, and by the presence of female cadets, he said the United Kingdom would give more than $100 million a year until 2016 to sustain the national security forces.  The United Kingdom had pledged $11 million to build the capacity of women’s councils to ensure that the voices of women were heard.  The United Kingdom supported a strong United Nations presence in Afghanistan, and the Organization should have the requisite resources for a country-wide presence.  Its agencies should work more closely together, he said.

OCTAVIO ERRÁZURIZ (Chile) said it was important to ensure the participation of women in the elections and in decision-making at all levels, in accordance with Security Council resolution 1325 (2000).  Chile also reiterated the need to protect civilians, including women and children, from the use of force.  Natural disasters also posed humanitarian challenges, and in that regard, “full, safe and unhindered access of all humanitarian actors” was vital.  The Afghan forces needed to be strengthened, following the withdrawal of the international force, and it was therefore important to sign the bilateral security agreement between Afghanistan and the United States.

RAIMONDA MURMOKAITĖ (Lithuania) said Afghanistan stood at a critical milestone, with the presidential elections scheduled for 5 April marking the first time in the country’s history that power would be transferred from one elected president to another.  The participation of women was an important development in the campaign, with 35 per cent of new voter registration cards being distributed to female voters.  Ensuring the safety of women candidates and voters was instrumental in ensuring that the outcome of the elections represented the will of the entire nation.  However, the limited progress towards a peace process with the armed opposition, and the country’s overall security situation, remained issues of concern, she cautioned, adding that the targeting of Government institutions and members of the international community was “totally unacceptable”.  Further international assistance in support of the Afghan army and police forces would remain essential going forward.

LIU JIEYI (China) said 2014 was a crucial year for Afghanistan to build a prosperous, democratic future.  China was concerned about rising civilian casualties and supported building the capacity of the Afghan forces to enable them to undertake their security duties more effectively.  It also supported efforts by the Government and the High Peace Council to support an Afghan-led reconciliation process.  He said he expected the international community to deliver effectively on efforts to reduce drug trafficking, terrorism and transnational organized crime.  China also supported efforts to enhance mutual trust among countries in the region, and to make better use of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization mechanism.  China respected Afghanistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and would host a meeting on the question of Afghanistan in August, within the context of the Istanbul Process.  China was ready to help Afghanistan achieve political reconciliation and economic empowerment.

MAHAMAT ZENE CHERIF (Chad) said UNAMA’s renewal was a vote of confidence in its efforts for sustainable development in Afghanistan.  He expressed concern about recent security incidents, which had increased since 2013, and the killing of four UNAMA staff members in January, saying special attention was needed to address the situation of women and children.  Chad was also concerned about the increase in drug trafficking and narcotics production, bearing in mind similar problems in Somalia.  Afghanistan’s neighbours were encouraged to work on transboundary cooperation to combat drug trafficking.  He condemned armed groups that recruited and abused children, saying the violators should be held to account.

ZEID RA’AD ZEID AL-HUSSEIN (Jordan) expressed concern over the volatile security situation and the significant number of civilian victims, including children and women, condemning terrorism directed against civilians and United Nations personnel.  It was thus important that the international community continued to help the Afghan Government fight terrorism and in its de-mining efforts.  Attempts to misuse religion should be avoided, he said, calling for tolerance.  He also welcomed Government reform efforts, including in the area of human rights.  The international community should send a clear message that the Afghan people could count on its support, he said.

ROSEMARY A. DICARLO (United States) condemned the 17 January suicide attack on a Kabul restaurant, which had claimed a number of lives, including those of three United States citizens, and emphasized that security personnel must ensure safe access to polling centres for all voters, election officials and observers during the upcoming elections.  Women must also be able to participate as voters, observers and in all other capacities.  A successful transfer of power would solidify the gains that Afghanistan had made over the past 12 years, and demonstrated that “the rule of law matters”.  The United States had contributed nearly $100 million to facilitate the elections, including assistance for monitoring and observation, she said.  The renewal of UNAMA’s mandate would enable it to meet challenges during the transitional period, but the Mission could not alone guarantee success, she cautioned, noting the importance of engagement by the Heart of Asia countries and the Istanbul Process.  The United States was “under no illusions” that the transition would be smooth, she warned, highlighting the security challenges that Afghanistan faced.

VITALY CHURKIN (Russian Federation) said a comprehensive analysis of risks and threats was needed, but the Secretary-General’s report did not provide that because it failed to mention many challenges, including the presence of Al-Qaida.  He expressed concern over the increasing deaths of civilians and security forces, the deteriorating situation in the south and east, and growing terrorist activity in the north and north-east, where there were more than 10,000 opposition forces.  Contrary to the report, Islamist forces were not only present in remote regions, they were also stationed along the Turkmenistan border, he noted.  He emphasized that he was “very worried” about the situation that could develop in Central Asia after ISAF’s withdrawal, considering the Taliban’s actions.  To what extent could the artificial timetable for ISAF’s withdrawal be justified? he asked, emphasizing that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) would need to report to the Council at year’s end.  Civilians must not die from erroneous ISAF air strikes, he stressed.  Noting that growing opium production had led to increased extremist activity, he said the fight against drugs should involve cooperation with NATO because even a modest reduction in drug trafficking would be a major achievement.  Voicing his country’s support for national reconciliation efforts, he called upon insurgents to lay down their weapons.  The Shanghai Cooperation Organization was the best platform for regional cooperation, he noted, adding that the value of the Istanbul Process had not been confirmed.

SYLVIE LUCAS (Luxembourg), Council President for March, spoke in her national capacity, noting that security remained a major challenge, particularly for civilians.  All voters must be able to go freely to the polls and all candidates must be able to campaign freely.  No effort must be spared in establishing an adequate security framework.  The elections must be peaceful, transparent, credible, inclusive and fair.  However, elections were just one step, not an end to the process, she cautioned.  Peace and stabilization would depend on the progress achieved by key leaders.  It was important that the Government allow the independent Human Rights Commission to carry out its work.  Women’s rights must be fully recognized, and the law on violence against women must be implemented fully.  She called for stronger action to implement the recent agreement to end the recruitment of children into armed groups.  Afghanistan’s new leaders must also focus on ending current levels of poverty, which were disastrous for the country’s stability, she warned, calling upon them also to more fairly redistribute wealth.

ASOKE KUMAR MUKERJI (India) said that intimidation in the southern and eastern parts of Afghanistan threatened the smooth conduct of the upcoming elections.  The main threat to security and stability was terrorism emanating from beyond Afghanistan’s borders, and it was unfortunate that the terrorists’ sanctuaries and safe havens as well as financial and tactical support structures were still active.  Emphasizing the need to “demystify” the notion that the problem in Afghanistan was one of rivalry between various ethnic or tribal groups, he said terrorism remained the real problem there, adding that the terrorists sought to erode the efforts of Afghanistan and its friends to reconstruct the country’s socioeconomic fabric.  The reconciliation process must remain Afghan-led, -owned and –controlled, and agreed “red lines” must be respected, he stressed.  “India does not have the luxury of an ‘exit strategy’ in Afghanistan, which shares a civilization linkage with India,” he pointed out.

SEBASTIANO CARDI (Italy), associating himself with the statement to be made on behalf of the European Union, said Afghanistan must meet a series of crucial mile markers by the end of the year, particularly holding presidential elections and completing the transition.  It was vital that the electoral process lead to the election of a new Head of State, he said, emphasizing that it must be legitimate, credible, transparent and inclusive.  Security issues would be important in both the presidential and provincial elections.  At the end of the transition, it would be of fundamental importance that Afghanistan and the United States sign the Bilateral Security Agreement, since delay would have a clear impact on planning NATO’s future presence in the country, he said.

MOTOHIDE YOSHIKAWA (Japan) stressed the need to ensure that the election process was credible and inclusive in order to lend strong legitimacy to the new Government, adding that they must held on time.  To ensure a positive impact on the electoral process, Japan had contributed financially to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).  He called on all eligible Afghan citizens to participate in the elections, and on the presidential candidates to recognize their responsibility to implement the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework.  Japan looked forward to seeing tangible movement towards reforms, increasing annual revenues, a declining illicit economy and a developing industrial sector prior to the upcoming ministerial meeting to be co-hosted by Afghanistan and the United Kingdom.  Since 2002, Japan had contributed more than $5 billion for Afghanistan’s development efforts in a wide range of areas, he said.  For example, it had funded approximately 30 per cent of the total salaries for the Afghan National Police, and had built or renovated more than 820 schools around the country.

THOMAS MAYR-HARTING, Head of the European Union Delegation, said that with the transition to full Afghan control to be completed by year’s end, UNAMA’s role would be even more critical in ensuring the effective coordination of donor aid and fulfilment of commitments under the 2012 Tokyo Conference.  Despite real improvements in the lives of Afghan women and children, thanks to advances in education and health, more must be done, particularly to implement the statutory protection of women’s rights, thus enabling Afghan women to play a more substantial role in society.  He welcomed UNAMA’s work in that regard, but condemned the recent killing of journalists, emphasizing that the safety and security of media practitioners was crucial for the elections and for democracy.

He welcomed the spirit of the election campaign thus far, expressing hope that the successful candidates would better reflect the Afghan population, and that there would be a greater number of women representatives.  The European Union had already deployed a 15-member election assessment team led by Thijs Berman, Member of the European Parliament, to observe the 5 April elections, he said, adding that it was based in Kabul.  Parliamentary elections would be held in 2015, and further elections would follow, he said, stressing the importance of viable, capable electoral institutions and infrastructure as a prerequisite for holding credible, inclusive, transparent and legitimate elections “now and in the future”.  UNAMA’s mandate should include a clear commitment to continue political and technical support for elections in order to strengthen Afghan leadership and ownership of electoral processes while ensuring that elections accurately reflected the people’s will, he said.

FRANTIŠEK RUŽIČKA (Slovakia) said he was pleased to see an increasing number of women participate in the process of transition.  The ongoing session of the Commission on the Status of Women had been enriched by a number of side events, including a 12 March one in which Afghan women had attended a workshop on security and the role of women.  That would have been unthinkable 13 years ago, he noted.  Afghanistan’s Interior Ministry continued to take steps for better protection and empowerment of female police and Ministry staff in fulfilment of its goal of recruiting and training 10,000 female officers, he said, adding that many of the country’s successes had been achieved in great part through the assistance, performance and outreach of UNAMA.

SAHEBZADA AHMED KHAN Pakistan said that the 5 April presidential election in Afghanistan was critical to ensuring the country’s stability.  UNAMA’s presence was a key stabilizing factor and Pakistan welcomed today’s decision to extend its mandate for another year.  Pakistan had no favourites in Afghanistan’s upcoming elections and was willing to work with any leadership of the Afghan people’s choice, he said, emphasizing that the principles of neutrality and non-interference in the conduct of elections must be respected.  Concerning security, he said the international community should not abandon Afghanistan, adding that the peace and reconciliation process must be accelerated.  Ensuring the success of the elections was one challenge, but managing border security was another, he said, stressing that effective border-security management was indeed a priority for Pakistan.  In that regard, the establishment of the Joint Commission in early February was a positive step.  Pakistan hosted 3 million Afghan refugees, and without stability in the neighbouring country, repatriating them would be difficult.

MÅRTEN GRUNDITZ (Sweden), speaking on behalf of the Nordic countries, endorsed the statement delivered by the European Union Delegation, and commended the Afghan Government’s progress in preparing for the elections and creating the space for lively, meaningful debate about their nation’s future.  The elections must be credible, inclusive and transparent, and it was also vital to sustain the momentum of progress made over the last decade in education, health and infrastructure so as to make Afghanistan stronger and more self-reliant.  Achievements thus far must be safeguarded.  The Nordic countries supported the continuation of UNAMA’s good offices in support of an Afghan-led and -owned peace and reconciliation process, he said, emphasizing that a continuing political and donor-coordination role for the United Nations would be important beyond 2014, while calling for adequate financing of UNAMA.

He went on to stress that Afghanistan’s political leadership must show firm commitment to promoting women’s rights, tackling corruption and safeguarding the Afghan people’s well-being.  There was a need for full implementation of the law to end violence against women, continuing efforts to ensure safer and more secure access to quality education for women and girls, and guarantees for their equal participation in politics and decision-making.  Press freedom was important in the context of the upcoming elections and in building a free, open society, as had been highlighted by the horrible assassination in Kabul of the Swedish journalist Nils Horner, as well as the recent cases of violence against reporters in Mazar-e-Sharif.  The humanitarian situation was cause for concern, and all efforts must be made to ensure access to all those in need.  Additional attacks against humanitarian personnel would be unacceptable.

HARALD WALTER BRAUN (Germany) encouraged Afghans, particularly women, to make use of their constitutional rights and actively to participate in the elections.  UNAMA had a continuing role in the election process, and given the urgent need to preserve and consolidate gains in the protection and promotion of human rights, Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights Commission was a key partner in that regard.  All members of society, including women, must be able to participate equally in shaping their country and its institutions.  The security situation remained volatile, and the international community’s continued support through the transition period and beyond would further strengthen the ability of the Afghan National Security Forces to provide security for all Afghans.  Germany was ready to support such a joint effort, but the proposed Bilateral Security Agreement between Afghanistan and the United States was a necessary precondition, and should be signed without further delay, he emphasized.

LEVENT ELER (Turkey) said that Afghanistan’s future should be based on a strategy that would draw strength from local ownership and seek to unite various strata of society.  Despite notable improvements in health, education, development, infrastructure and human rights, Afghanistan would still need outside support in the coming years, with security threats likely to continue, and even increase, in the short term after the elections.  Good governance, aid transparency and the fight against corruption must be prioritized in line with the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework, he said.  Perceptions of a power vacuum that could be filled by terrorist or organized crime groups must be eliminated and international support for capacity-building and good governance must continue.  Turkey fully supported UNAMA’s human rights mandate, he said, stressing that addressing violence against women and girls must be a priority.  Turkey continued to support all multilateral initiatives to improve the Afghan people’s well-being, and the mid-February trilateral dialogue in Ankara involving Afghanistan, Pakistan and the host nation had been very successful.

GHOLAMHOSSEIN DEHGHANI (Iran) said his country had critical interests in Afghanistan’s security and long-term stability, as well as in its socioeconomic development.  Continuing engagement between that country, its neighbours and regional partners in the areas of trade, economic exchange and development projects must be supported and strengthened.  Such economic ties would cement stability inside Afghanistan and in the region, he said, adding that, in that regard, his country planned to continue bilateral cooperation with Afghanistan, particularly on security matters, counter-narcotics efforts and infrastructure projects concerning roads, railways, energy, mining and agriculture, among others.  On the return of refugees, he said Iran looked forward to setting up a team to seek joint solutions and integrated approaches, while urging the international community to strengthen and expedite its efforts to create conditions conducive to the sustainable repatriation of refugees as well as their full rehabilitation and reintegration into their homeland.  Iran remained concern about a possible increase in opium poppy cultivation, which was a main source of income for extremists and terrorist groups, he said.

MICHAEL DOUGLAS GRANT (Canada) said that while his country’s military mission in Afghanistan had ended, it had committed $227 million in development assistance until 2017 to help maintain the hard-fought gains for women and girls by supporting improvements in health, education, humanitarian assistance and human rights.  The startling reality was that violence against women remained pervasive throughout Afghanistan, he said, calling upon the Government to implement the law on eliminating violence against women and to make every effort to guarantee the participation of women in all facets of Afghan life.  The Government must also do more to combat corruption by becoming more accountable to its people and to international donors, he stressed.

Resolution

The full text of resolution 2145 (2014) reads as follows:

The Security Council,

Recalling its previous resolutions on Afghanistan, in particular its resolution 2096 (2013) extending through 19 March 2014 the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) as established by resolution 1662 (2006),

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

Reiterating support for the Transition (Inteqal) process which will entail the assumption of full responsibility by Afghanistan’s institutions in the security sector, consistent with the London, Kabul, Bonn and Tokyo Conferences and the Lisbon and Chicago Summits, recognizing that transition is not only a security process but also entails the full assumption of Afghan leadership and ownership in governance and development, and affirming that the United Nations support in Afghanistan takes full account of the transition process in Afghanistan,

Emphasizing the Kabul Process towards the primary objective of accelerated Afghan leadership and ownership, strengthened international partnership and regional cooperation, improved Afghan governance, enhanced capabilities of Afghan security forces, economic growth and better protection for the rights of all Afghan citizens, including women and girls, and welcoming specifically the commitments made by the Afghan Government,

Stressing the importance of a comprehensive approach to address the security, economic, governance and development challenges in Afghanistan, which are of an interconnected nature, and recognizing that there is no purely military solution to ensure the stability of Afghanistan,

Reaffirming its continued support for the Government and people of Afghanistan as they rebuild their country, and strengthen the foundations of sustainable peace and constitutional democracy,

Welcoming the International Afghanistan Conference in Bonn on 5 December 2011 and its Conference Conclusions (S/2011/762), as well as the declaration in Bonn that the Process of Transition, to be completed by the end of 2014, should be followed by a Decade of Transformation (2015-2024),

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,

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 progress made towards meeting the mutual commitments set out in the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework to support the sustainable economic growth and development of Afghanistan, and reaffirming the importance of continued efforts by the Government of Afghanistan and the international community towards meeting their mutual commitments,

Reaffirming that sustainable progress on security, governance, human rights, including the rights of women and girls, 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 Government of Afghanistan and the international community to address these challenges through a comprehensive approach,

Reaffirming specifically in this context its support for the implementation, under the leadership and ownership of the Afghan people, of the commitments set out in the London (S/2011/65) and Kabul Conference Communiqués, of the Afghanistan National Development Strategy (ANDS) and of the National Drugs Control Strategy, as part of the comprehensive implementation strategy to be taken forward by the Government of Afghanistan with the support of the region and the international community and with a central and impartial coordinating role for the United Nations, consistent with the Kabul Process and in line with the National Priority Programmes,

Stressing the crucial importance of advancing regional cooperation as an effective means to promote security, stability and economic and social development in Afghanistan, recalling the importance of the Kabul Declaration of 22 December 2002 on Good-Neighbourly Relations (Kabul Declaration) (S/2002/1416), welcoming, in this regard, the continued commitment of the international community to support stability and development in Afghanistan, and noting international and regional initiatives such as the Istanbul Process on Regional Security and Cooperation for a Secure and Stable Afghanistan, the quadrilateral Summit of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and the Russian Federation as well as the Trilateral Summit of Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan, the Trilateral Summit of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkey and the Trilateral Summit of Afghanistan, Pakistan and the UK, as well those as by the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the Collective Security Organization (CSTO) and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and the Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA) process,

Commending the outcome of the Heart of Asia Ministerial Conference, which convened in Kabul in June 2012, where Afghanistan and its regional partners reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen regional security and cooperation for a secure and stable Afghanistan, including through enhanced regional dialogue and confidence building measures, welcoming the confidence building measures on Counter-Terrorism, Counter-Narcotics and Trade, Commerce and Investment Opportunity, and those on Education, Disaster Management and Regional Infrastructure, welcoming the Fourth Heart of Asia Ministerial Conference in Tianjin, China in 2014, and noting that the Istanbul Process is intended to complement and cooperate with, and not substitute for, existing efforts of regional organizations, particularly where they relate to Afghanistan,

Welcoming also the outcome of the International Conference on the Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees to Support Voluntary Repatriation, Sustainable Reintegration and Assistance to Host Countries, held in Geneva on 2 and 3 May 2012, and looking forward to the further implementation of the joint communiqué of the Conference, aimed at increased sustainability of returns and continued support for host countries, through sustained support and directed efforts of the international community,

Stressing the central and impartial role that the United Nations will continue to play in promoting peace and stability in Afghanistan by leading the efforts of the international community, including, jointly with the Government of Afghanistan, the coordination and monitoring of efforts in implementing the Kabul Process through the Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board (JCMB) in support of the priorities set up by the Government of Afghanistan and affirmed at the Tokyo Conference; and expressing its appreciation and strong support for the ongoing efforts of the Secretary-General, his Special Representative for Afghanistan and in particular the women and men of UNAMA who are serving in difficult conditions to help the people of Afghanistan,

Reaffirming that, consistent with the transition process, the role of international actors will evolve further from direct service delivery to support and capacity building for Afghan institutions, enabling the Government of Afghanistan to exercise its sovereign authority in all its functions, including the phasing out of all Provincial Reconstruction Teams, as well as the dissolution of any structures duplicating the functions and authority of the Government of Afghanistan at the national and subnational levels,

Stressing the importance of a comprehensive and inclusive, Afghan-led and Afghan-owned political process in Afghanistan to support reconciliation for all those who are prepared to reconcile 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 further elaborated in 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),

Recalling the Government of Afghanistan’s commitments at the Kabul and Tokyo Conferences 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 the Presidential decree of 26 July 2012, and Afghan preparations for the 2014 presidential and provincial council elections, and looking forward to preparations for the 2015 parliamentary elections,

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 and the guarantee and enforcement of citizens’ rights and obligations, welcoming the contribution of the International Contact Group to the United Nations efforts in coordinating and broadening international support for Afghanistan,

Emphasizing once again the agreements reached at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) Lisbon and Chicago Summits between the Government of Afghanistan and countries contributing to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to gradually transfer full security responsibility in Afghanistan to the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) country-wide by the end of 2014, taking note of the Declaration by NATO and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan on an enduring partnership signed in Lisbon on 20 November 2010, acknowledging the joint efforts under the Transition (Inteqal) process, welcoming progress towards the completion of the security transition, notably the 18 June 2013 milestone when all areas of Afghanistan entered the Transition,

Underlining the importance of operationally capable, professional, inclusive and sustainable Afghan National Security Forces for meeting Afghanistan’s security needs, with a view to lasting peace, security and stability, stressing the long-term commitment, beyond 2014, and into the Transformation Decade (2015-2024), of the international community to support the further development, including training, and professionalization of the Afghan National Security Forces, and the recruitment and retention of women to the Afghan National Security Forces,

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 decision of the Government of Afghanistan and NATO for NATO to work towards continuing to train, advise and assist the Afghan National Security Forces after 2014, noting that any new mission should have a sound legal basis, as stated in paragraph 14 of the Chicago Summit Joint Declaration on Afghanistan, in this regard, emphasising the importance of discussions on Afghanistan at the next NATO Summit in the United Kingdom in September 2014, noting the responsibility of the Government of Afghanistan to sustain a sufficient and capable ANSF supported by the international community, as decided at the International Conference on Afghanistan in Bonn on 5 December 2011, through training, equipping, financing and capability development of the ANSF beyond the end of the transition period, and 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,

Recognizing that security gains must be supported by progress in Afghan governance and development capacity, noting, in this context, the objectives of UNAMA and of ISAF as also noted in resolution 2120 (2013), and stressing the need for coordination and mutual support, where appropriate, taking due account of their respective designated responsibilities,

Reiterating the need for all United Nations agencies, funds and programmes, through the Country Team mechanism and a “One-UN” approach under the guidance of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, to increase efforts, in full consultation and cooperation with the Government of Afghanistan, to achieve greater coherence, coordination, efficiency and full alignment with the National Priority Programmes identified by the Government of Afghanistan,

Welcoming the efforts of countries that are sustaining their civilian efforts to assist the Government and the people of Afghanistan and encouraging the international community to further enhance their contributions in a coordinated manner with the Afghan authorities and UNAMA, with a view to strengthening Afghan leadership and ownership, as reaffirmed at the Tokyo Conference in July 2012,

Stressing the need to further improve the efficient and effective delivery of humanitarian assistance, including through enhanced coordination among the United Nations agencies, funds and programmes under the authority of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and between the United Nations and other donors, especially where it is most needed, welcoming the establishment of the UN Common Humanitarian Fund, and supporting the Afghan Government to increasingly take the lead in coordinating humanitarian assistance to its citizens,

Emphasizing the need for all, within the framework of humanitarian assistance, of upholding and respecting the humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence,

Reiterating its 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, criminals and those involved in the production, trafficking or trade of illicit drugs, and the strong links between terrorism activities and illicit drugs, resulting in threats to the local population, including women, children, national security forces and international military and civilian personnel, including humanitarian and development workers,

Recognizing the continuously alarming 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 expressing its serious 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 improvement and protection of their human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Recalling its resolutions 1674 (2006), 1738 (2006) and 1894 (2009) on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, 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 the Taliban, Al-Qaida and other violent and extremist groups and illegal armed groups, condemning the 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, and that perpetrators of such violence must be held accountable, calling for all parties to comply with their obligations under international law including international humanitarian law 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 ISAF, of the situation of civilians and in particular civilian casualties, taking note of the progress made by Afghan and international forces in minimizing civilian casualties, and noting the 8 February 2014 report by UNAMA on the protection of civilians in armed conflict,

Expressing also concern with the serious threat that anti-personnel mines, remnants of war and Improvised Explosive Devices pose to the civilian population, and stressing the need to refrain from the use of weapons and devices prohibited by international law,

Encouraging the international community and regional partners to further effectively support Afghan-led sustained efforts to address drug production and trafficking, notably through the JCMB’s working group on counter-narcotics as well as regional initiatives, and recognizing the threat posed by the production, trade and trafficking of illicit drugs to international peace and stability in different regions of the world, and the important role played by the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC) in this regard,

Expressing concern at the increase in poppy production as noted in the UNODC Afghanistan Opium Survey 2013, noting the serious harm that opium cultivation, production and trafficking and consumption continues to cause to the stability, security, social and economic development and governance of Afghanistan as well as to the region and internationally, and stressing the important role of the United Nations to continue to monitor the drug situation in Afghanistan,

Stressing the need for coordinated regional efforts to combat the drug problem, and in this regard, welcoming the Regional Ministerial Conference on Counter- Narcotics in Islamabad on 12 and 13 November 2012, aimed at enhancing regional cooperation to counter-narcotics,

Welcoming the ongoing work of the Paris Pact Initiative as one of the most important frameworks in the fight against opiates originating in Afghanistan, taking note of the Vienna Declaration, and emphasizing the aim of the Paris Pact to establish a broad international coalition to combat the traffic of illicit opiates, as part of a comprehensive approach to peace, stability, and development in Afghanistan, the region and beyond,

Recalling the declaration addressed to the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) by the Government of Afghanistan that there is no legal use for acetic anhydride in Afghanistan for the time being and that producing and exporting countries should abstain from authorizing the export of this substance to Afghanistan without the request from the Afghan Government, and encouraging, pursuant to resolution 1817 (2008), Member States to increase their cooperation with the INCB, notably by fully complying with the provisions of Article 12 of the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, 1988, and encouraging further international and regional cooperation with a view to prevent the diversion and trafficking of chemical precursors into Afghanistan,

Supporting the Afghan Government’s continued ban of Ammonium Nitrate fertilizer, urging prompt 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,

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) and 1888 (2009), 1889 (2009), 1960 (2010), 2106 (2013) and 2122 (2013) on women and peace and security, and its resolution 1612 (2005), 1882 (2009), 1998 (2011), 2068 (2012) and 2143 (2014) on children and armed conflict, and 2117 (2013) on small arms and light weapons, and taking note of the reports of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict (S/2013/245) and the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict (S/2013/689), as well as the conclusions of the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict (S/AC.51/2011/3),

“1.   Welcomes the report of the Secretary-General of 7 March 2014 (S/2014/163);

“2.   Expresses its appreciation for the United Nations’ long-term commitment, including beyond 2014 and into the Transformation Decade, to support the Government and the people of Afghanistan and reiterates its full support to the work of UNAMA and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, and stresses the need to ensure continued adequate resourcing for UNAMA to fulfil its mandate;

“3.   Decides to extend until 17 March 2015 the mandate of UNAMA, as defined in its resolutions 1662 (2006), 1746 (2007), 1806 (2008), 1868 (2009), 1917 (2010), 1974 (2011), 2041 (2012) and 2096 (2013), and paragraphs 4, 5, 6 and 7 below;

“4.   Recognizes that the renewed mandate of UNAMA takes full account of the transition process and is in support of Afghanistan’s full assumption of leadership and ownership in the security, governance and development areas, consistent with the understandings reached between Afghanistan and the international community in the London, Kabul, Bonn and Tokyo Conferences and the Lisbon and Chicago Summits;

“5.   Calls on the United Nations, with the support of the international community, to support the Government of Afghanistan’s National Priority Programmes covering the issues of security, governance, justice and economic and social development and to support the full implementation of mutual commitments made on these issues at international Conferences, as well as on continuing implementation of the National Drug Control Strategy, and requests that UNAMA, in an increasingly enabling function, assist the Government of Afghanistan on its way towards ensuring full Afghan leadership and ownership, as defined by the Kabul process;

“6.   Decides further that UNAMA and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, within their mandate and guided by the principle of reinforcing Afghan sovereignty, leadership and ownership, will continue to lead and coordinate the international civilian efforts, in accordance with the London, Kabul and Tokyo Conference Communiqués and the Bonn Conference Conclusions, with a particular focus on the priorities laid out below;

(a)   promote, as co-chair of the Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board (JCMB), more coherent support by the international community to the Afghan Government’s development and governance priorities, including through supporting the ongoing development and sequencing of the National Priority Programmes, mobilization of resources, coordination of international donors and organizations, and direction of the contributions of United Nations agencies, funds and programmes, in particular for counter-narcotics, reconstruction and development activities; at the same time, coordinate international partners for follow up, in particular through information sharing, support efforts to increase the proportion of development aid delivered through the Afghan Government, in line with the commitments made at the Kabul and Tokyo Conferences, and support efforts to increase the transparency and effectiveness of the Afghan Government’s use of such resources;

(b)   support, at the request of the Afghan authorities, the organization of future Afghan elections, including the 2014 presidential and provincial council elections and the 2015 parliamentary elections, as well as to strengthen, in support of the Government of Afghanistan’s efforts, the sustainability, integrity and inclusiveness of the electoral process, as agreed at the London, Kabul, Bonn and Tokyo Conferences and the Chicago Summit; and provide capacity building and technical assistance to the Afghan institutions involved in this process;

(c)   provide outreach as well as good offices to support, if requested by the Afghan Government, the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process of peace and reconciliation, including through the implementation of the Afghan Peace and Reintegration Programme and proposing and supporting confidence building measures within the framework of the Afghan constitution and 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), 1989 (2011) and 2082 (2012) and 2083 (2012) as well as other relevant resolutions of the Council;

(d)   support regional cooperation, with a view to assisting Afghanistan utilize its role at the heart of Asia to promote regional cooperation, and to work towards a stable and prosperous Afghanistan, building on the achievements made;

(e)   continue, with the support of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, to cooperate with and strengthen the capacity of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), to cooperate also with the Afghan Government and relevant international and local non-governmental organizations to monitor the situation of civilians, to coordinate efforts to ensure their protection, to promote accountability, and to assist in the full implementation of the fundamental freedoms and human rights provisions of the Afghan Constitution and international treaties to which Afghanistan is a State party, in particular those regarding the full enjoyment by women of their human rights, including the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW);

(f)   continue the cooperation with ISAF and the NATO Senior Civilian Representative at all levels and throughout the country in support of the ongoing transition to full Afghan leadership and ownership agreed to at the Kabul and London Conferences as well as the Lisbon and Chicago Summits, in a sustainable manner to ensure the protection and promotion of the rights of all Afghans, in accordance with their existing mandates, in order to optimize civil-military coordination, to facilitate the timely exchange of information and, to ensure coherence between the activities of national and international security forces and of civilian actors in support of an Afghan-led development and stabilization process, including through engagement with provincial reconstruction teams and engagement with non-governmental organizations, in particular through its participation on the Joint Afghan-NATO Inteqal Board (JANIB) as an observer;

“7.   Also reaffirms that UNAMA and the Special Representative will increase efforts to achieve greater coherence, coordination, efficiency among relevant UN agencies, funds and programmes in Afghanistan to maximize their collective effectiveness in full alignment with the National Priority Programmes identified by the Government of Afghanistan, and continue to lead international civilian efforts with an emphasis on enabling and strengthening the role of Afghan institutions to perform their responsibilities in the following priority areas:

(a)   promote through an appropriate UNAMA presence, to be determined in full consultation and cooperation with the Government of Afghanistan, and in support of the Afghan Government’s efforts, implementation of the Kabul Process throughout the country, including through enhanced cooperation with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, and facilitate inclusion in and understanding of the Government’s policies;

(b)   support the efforts of the Afghan Government, in fulfilling its commitments as stated at the London, Kabul, Bonn and Tokyo Conferences, to improve governance and the rule of law including transitional justice, budget execution and the fight against corruption, throughout the country in accordance with the Kabul Process and the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework, with a view to helping bring the benefits of peace and the delivery of services in a timely and sustainable manner;

(c)   coordinate and facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance, including in support of the Afghan Government and in accordance with humanitarian principles, with a view to building the capacity of the Government so it can assume the central and coordinating role in the future, including by providing effective support to national and local authorities in assisting and protecting internally displaced persons and to creating conditions conducive to the voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable return of refugees from neighbouring and other countries and internally displaced persons;

“8.   Calls upon all Afghan and international parties to coordinate with UNAMA in the implementation of its mandate and in efforts to promote the security and freedom of movement of United Nations and associated personnel throughout the country;

“9.   Reiterates the need to ensure security of United Nations staff and its support for the measures already taken by the Secretary-General in this regard;

“10.  Stresses the critical importance of a continued presence of UNAMA and other United Nations agencies, funds and programmes in the provinces, consistent with the transition process, in support of and in cooperation with the Afghan Government, in response to needs and with a view to security and including the objective of overall United Nations effectiveness, and strongly supports the authority of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the coordination of all activities of United Nations agencies, funds and programmes in Afghanistan based on a “One-UN” approach;

“11.  Encourages the Secretary-General to continue his current efforts to take necessary measures to address the security issues associated with the United Nations presence and, during the current process of transition and beyond, particularly encourages careful coordination with the Afghan national security forces, supported by the Assistance Force, as appropriate;

“12.  Underscores the importance of a sustainable democratic development in Afghanistan with all Afghan institutions acting within their clearly defined areas of competence, in accordance with the relevant laws and the Afghan Constitution, and welcomes, in this regard, the commitment of the Government of Afghanistan at the Kabul Conference, reaffirmed at the Bonn and Tokyo Conferences, to deliver further improvements to the electoral process, including addressing the sustainability of the electoral process, and, taking into account the commitments by the international community and the Afghan Government made at the London, Kabul, Bonn, and Tokyo Conferences, reaffirms UNAMA’s supporting role, at the request of the Afghan Government, in the realization of these commitments, and requests that, upon the request of the Government of Afghanistan, UNAMA provide assistance to the relevant Afghan institutions to support the integrity and inclusiveness of the electoral process, including measures to enable the full and safe participation of women, welcomes the participation of women in the electoral process as candidates, registered voters and campaigners, and further calls upon members of the international community to provide assistance as appropriate;

“13.  Welcomes 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 Reintegration Programme, to promote an inclusive, Afghan-led and Afghan-owned 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, and encourages the Government of Afghanistan to make use of UNAMA’s good offices to support this process as appropriate, in full respect of the implementation of measures and procedures introduced by the Security Council in its resolution 1267 (1999), 1988 (2011) and 2082 (2012), as well as other relevant resolutions of the Council;

“14.  Welcomes also the measures taken by the Government of Afghanistan, and encourages it to continue to increase the participation of women as well as minorities and civil society in outreach, consultation and decision-making processes, recalls that women play a vital role in the peace process, as recognized in Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) and related resolutions, therefore reiterates the need for the full, equal and effective participation of women at all stages of peace processes, and urges their involvement in the development and implementation of post-conflict strategies in order to take account of their perspectives and needs as affirmed by the Bonn and Tokyo Conferences;

“15.  Notes the establishment of the Committee pursuant to Security Council resolution 1988 (2011), its methods and procedures, including new procedures to facilitate and expedite requests for travel ban exemptions in support of the peace and reconciliation process, introduced in Security Council resolution 2082 (2012), welcomes in this context, the cooperation of the Afghan Government, the High Peace Council and UNAMA with the Committee, including by providing relevant information for updating the 1988 List, and by identifying individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with the Taliban in constituting a threat to the peace, stability and security of Afghanistan, as per the designation criteria set out in Security Council Resolution 2082 (2012), and notes that means of financing or supporting these individuals, groups, undertakings and entities includes but is not limited to proceeds derived from illicit cultivation, production and trafficking of narcotic drugs originating in and transiting through Afghanistan, and the trafficking of precursors into Afghanistan, and encourages the continuation of such cooperation;

“16.  Stresses the role of UNAMA in supporting, if requested by the Government of Afghanistan, an inclusive Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process of peace and reconciliation, including the Afghan Peace and Reintegration Programme, while continuing to assess, including in collaboration with the AIHRC, its human rights and gender implications, including the promotion and protection of human rights, and encourages the international community to assist the efforts of the Government of Afghanistan in this regard including through continued support to the Peace and Reintegration Trust Fund;

“17.  Reaffirms support to the ongoing Afghan-led regional effort within the framework of the “Istanbul Process on Regional Security and Cooperation for a Secure and Stable Afghanistan”, looks forward to the next Ministerial Conference to be held in Tianjin, China in 2014, calls on Afghanistan and its regional partners to keep up the momentum and continue their efforts to enhance regional dialogue and confidence through the Istanbul Process, and notes that the Istanbul Process is intended to complement and cooperate with, and not substitute for, existing efforts of regional organizations, particularly where they relate to Afghanistan;

“18.  Welcomes ongoing efforts by the Government of Afghanistan, its neighbouring and regional partners and international organizations, including the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), to foster trust and cooperation with each other as well as recent cooperation initiatives developed by the countries concerned and regional organizations, including Trilateral, Quadrilateral, SCO and SAARC Summits;

“19.  Calls for strengthening the process of regional cooperation, including measures to facilitate regional trade and transit, including through regional and bilateral transit trade agreements, expanded consular visa cooperation and facilitation of business travel, to expand trade, to increase foreign investments and to develop infrastructure, including infrastructural connectivity, energy supply, transport and integrated border management, with a view to strengthening Afghanistan’s role in regional economic cooperation, promoting sustainable economic growth and the creation of jobs in Afghanistan;

“20.  Emphasizes in this regard, the importance of strengthening local and regional networks of transportation that will facilitate connectivity for economic development, stability and self-sustainability, particularly the completion and maintenance of local railroad and land routes, the development of regional projects to foster further connectivity, and the enhancement of international civil aviation capabilities;

“21.  Reaffirms the central role played by the JCMB in coordinating, facilitating and monitoring the implementation of the Afghanistan National Development Strategy (ANDS) and the National Priority Programmes, and calls upon all relevant actors to enhance their cooperation with the JCMB in this regard, with a view to further improve its efficiency;

“22.  Calls on international donors and organizations and the Afghan Government to adhere to their commitments made at the Tokyo Conference and previous international conferences, and reiterates the importance of further efforts in improving aid coordination and effectiveness, including by ensuring transparency, combating corruption, and enhancing the capacity of Government of Afghanistan to coordinate aid;

“23.  Calls upon the Afghan Government, with the assistance of the international community, including ISAF and the Operation Enduring Freedom coalition, in accordance with their respective designated responsibilities as they evolve, to continue to address the threat to the security and stability of Afghanistan posed by the Taliban, Al-Qaida and other violent and extremist groups, illegal armed groups, criminals and those involved in the production, trafficking or trade of illicit drugs;

“24.  Reiterates the importance of increasing, in a comprehensive framework, the functionality, professionalism and accountability of the Afghan security sector through appropriate vetting procedures, training, including on child rights, mentoring, equipping and empowerment efforts, for both women and men, in order to accelerate progress towards the goal of self-sufficient, ethnically balanced and women inclusive Afghan security forces providing security and ensuring the rule of law throughout the country, and stresses the importance of the long-term commitment by the international community, beyond 2014, to ensure a capable, professional and sustainable Afghan National Security Force;

“25.  Welcomes in this context the continued progress in the development of the Afghan National Army and its improved ability to plan and undertake operations, and encourages sustained training efforts, including through the contribution of trainers, resources and Advisory Teams through the NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan, and advice in developing a sustainable defence planning process as well as assistance in defence reform initiatives;

“26.  Takes note of the ongoing efforts of the Afghan authorities to enhance the capabilities of the Afghan National Police, calls for further efforts towards that goal and stresses the importance, in this context, of international assistance through financial support and provision of trainers and mentors, including the contribution of the NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan, the European Gendarmerie Force (EGF) contribution to this mission and the European Union through its police mission (EUPOL Afghanistan), as well as the German Police Project Team (GPPT), noting the importance of a sufficient and capable police force for Afghanistan’s long term security, welcomes the ten year vision for the Ministry of Interior and Afghan National Police, including the commitment to develop an effective strategy for coordinating increased recruitment, retention, training, and capacity development for women in the Afghan National Police, as well as furthering the implementation of their gender integration strategy, and welcomes UNAMA’s continued support for women police associations;

“27.  Welcomes the progress in the implementation by the Afghan Government of the programme of disbandment of illegal armed groups and its integration with the Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Programme, and calls for accelerated and harmonized efforts for further progress, with support from the international community;

“28.  Condemns in the strongest terms all attacks, including Improvised Explosive Device attacks, suicide attacks, assassinations and abductions, targeting civilians and Afghan and international forces and their deleterious effect on the stabilization, reconstruction and development efforts in Afghanistan, and condemns further the use by the Taliban and other extremist groups of civilians as human shields;

“29.  Notes with concern the continued high incidence of attacks against humanitarian and development workers, including attacks on health care workers, and medical transports and facilities, condemns these attacks in the strongest terms, emphasizing that the attacks impede efforts to aid the people of Afghanistan, and calls on all parties to ensure full, safe and unhindered access of all humanitarian actors, including United Nations staff and associated personnel, and comply fully with applicable international humanitarian law, and to respect the UN guiding principles of emergency humanitarian assistance;

“30.  Welcomes the achievements to date in the implementation of the Mine Action Programme of Afghanistan, and encourages the Government of Afghanistan, with the support of the United Nations and all the relevant actors, to continue its efforts towards the removal and destruction of anti-personnel landmines, anti-tank landmines and explosive remnants of war in order to reduce the threats posed to human life and peace and security in the country, and expresses the need to provide assistance for the care, rehabilitation, and economic and social reintegration of victims, including persons with disabilities;

“31.  Recognizes the progress made by ISAF and other international forces in minimizing the risk of civilian casualties, notes the 8 February 2014 UNAMA report on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, and calls on them to continue to take robust efforts in this regard, notably by the continuous review of tactics and procedures and the conduct of 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;

“32.  Expresses its strong concern about the recruitment and use of children by the Taliban, Al-Qaida and other violent and extremist groups in Afghanistan as well as the killing and maiming of children as a result of the conflict, reiterates its strong condemnation of the recruitment and use of child soldiers in violation of applicable international law and all other violations and abuses committed against children in situations of armed conflict, in particular those involving attacks against schools, education and health care facilities, including the burning and forced closure of schools, and the intimidation, abduction and killing of education personnel, particularly those attacks targeting girls’ education by illegal armed groups, including the Taliban, and noting, 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), and the use of children in suicide attacks, and calls for those responsible to be brought to justice;

“33.  In this context, stresses the importance of implementing Security Council resolution 1612 (2005) on children and armed conflict and subsequent resolutions, supports the decree by the Minister of the Interior reaffirming the Afghan Government’s commitment to preventing violations of the rights of the child dated 6 July 2011, welcomes 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 roadmap to accelerate compliance with the Action Plan, calls for the full implementation of the provisions of the plan, in close cooperation with UNAMA, and requests the Secretary-General to continue to give priority to the child protection activities and capacity of UNAMA and continue to include in his future reports the matter of children and armed conflict in the country in line with the relevant Security Council resolutions;

“34.  Remains 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 internationally, takes note of the UNODC Afghanistan Opium Survey 2013 released in November 2013, calls on the Afghan Government, with the assistance of the international community, to accelerate the implementation of the National Drug Control Strategy, including through alternative livelihood programmes, and to mainstream counter-narcotics throughout national programmes, encourages additional international support for the four priorities identified in that Strategy, and commends the support provided by the UNODC to the Triangular Initiative and the Central Asian Regional Coordination and Information Centre (CARICC) within the framework of the Paris Pact Initiative and the Rainbow Strategy and the UNODC regional programme for Afghanistan and neighbouring countries, as well as the contribution of the Domodedovo Police Academy of Russia;

“35.  Welcomes the continued efforts of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in empowering the Afghan Ministry of Counter Narcotics-led implementation of the Afghan National Drug Control Strategy, including through the JCMB’s Counter Narcotics Monitoring Mechanism;

“36.  Calls upon States to strengthen international and regional cooperation to counter the threat to the international community posed by the production, trafficking, and consumption of illicit drugs originating in Afghanistan, with a view to its progressive elimination, in accordance with the principle of common and shared responsibility in addressing the drug problem of Afghanistan, including through strengthening the law enforcement capacity and cooperation against the trafficking in illicit drugs and precursor chemicals and money-laundering and corruption linked to such trafficking, and calls for full implementation of its resolution 1817 (2008);

“37.  Appreciates the work of the Paris Pact initiative and its “Paris-Moscow” process in countering the production, trafficking and consumption of opium and heroin from Afghanistan and the elimination of poppy crops, drug laboratories and stores as well as the interception of drug convoys, underlines the importance of border management cooperation, and welcomes the intensified cooperation of the relevant United Nations institutions with the OSCE and the CSTO in this regard;

“38.  Reiterates the importance of completing the National Priority Programme on Law and Justice for All, by all the relevant Afghan institutions and other actors in view of accelerating the establishment of a fair and transparent justice system, eliminating impunity and contributing to the affirmation of the rule of law throughout the country;

“39.  Stresses in this context the importance of further progress in the reconstruction and reform of the prison sector in Afghanistan, in order to improve the respect for the rule of law and human rights therein, emphasizes the importance of ensuring access for relevant organizations, as applicable, to all prisons and places of detention in Afghanistan, calls for full respect for relevant international law including humanitarian law and human rights law, and notes the recommendations contained in the report of the Assistance Mission dated 20 January 2013, and the appointment by the Government of Afghanistan of a Commission to inquire into the findings of the report;

“40.  Notes with strong concern the effects of corruption on security, good governance, counter-narcotics efforts and economic development, welcomes the anti-corruption commitments made by the Government of Afghanistan at the Tokyo Conference as reinforced in the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework, welcomes the efforts of the Government of Afghanistan in this regard, including the issuance of the presidential decree in July 2012, calls for continued action by the Government to fulfil those commitments in order to establish a more effective, accountable and transparent administration at the national, provincial and local levels of government, and also welcomes continued international support for Afghanistan’s governance objectives;

“41.  Encourages all Afghan institutions, including the executive and legislative branches, to work in a spirit of cooperation, recognises the Afghan Government’s continued efforts in pursuing legislative and public administration reform in order to tackle corruption and to ensure good governance, as agreed at the Bonn Conference, with full representation of all Afghan women and men, and accountability at both national and subnational levels, welcoming the issuance of the Presidential decree of July 2012, and stresses the need for further international efforts to provide technical assistance in this area, recognises Government of Afghanistan efforts in this regard, and reiterates the importance of the full, sequenced, timely, and co-ordinated implementation of the National Priority Programme on National Transparency and Accountability;

“42.  Calls for full respect for and protection for all human rights and fundamental freedoms, including those of human rights defenders, and of international humanitarian law throughout Afghanistan, welcomes the growth in Afghan free media, but notes with concern the continued restrictions on freedom of media, and attacks against journalists by terrorist as well as extremist and criminal groups, commends the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) for its courageous efforts to monitor respect for human rights in Afghanistan as well as to foster and protect these rights and to promote the emergence of a pluralistic civil society, stresses the importance of full cooperation with the AIHRC by all relevant actors and promoting their independence as well as of ensuring their safety, and supports broad engagement across government agencies and civil society for the realization of the mutual commitments made, including the commitment to provide sufficient government financing for the AIHRC, reiterates the important role of the AIHRC, and supports the efforts of the AIHRC to strengthen its institutional capacity and independence within the framework of the Afghan constitution;

“43.  Recognizes that despite progress achieved on gender equality, enhanced efforts, including on measurable and action oriented objectives, are necessary to secure the rights and full participation of women and girls and to ensure all women and girls in Afghanistan are protected from violence and abuse, that perpetrators of such violence and abuse must be held accountable, and that women and girls enjoy equal protection under the law and equal access to justice, emphasizes the importance of maintaining adequate legislative protections for women, strongly condemns discrimination and violence against women and girls, in particular violence aimed at preventing girls from attending schools, stresses the importance of implementing Security Council resolutions 1325 (2000), 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009), 1889 (2009), 1960 (2010), 2106 (2013) and 2122 (2013), and notes the mainstreaming commitments introduced therein, and of ensuring that women fleeing domestic violence are able to find safe and secure refuge;

“44.  Welcomes the Afghan Government’s commitment to strengthen the participation of women in all Afghan governance institutions, including elected and appointed bodies and the civil service, notes the progress in this regard, welcomes its continued efforts to protect and promote the full participation of women in the electoral process, supports efforts 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, including services to victims and access to justice, recalls that the promotion and protection of women’s rights are an integral part of peace, reintegration and reconciliation, recalls that women play a vital role in the peace process, welcomes the Afghan Government’s commitment to developing, implementing and monitoring the National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security and identifying further opportunities to support the participation of women in the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process, notes the UNAMA report into the Implementation of the Law on Elimination of Violence against Women in Afghanistan, and the importance of its full implementation, and requests the Secretary-General to continue to include in his reports to the Security Council relevant information on the process of integration of women into the political, economic and social life of Afghanistan;

“45.  Recognizes the importance of voluntary, safe, orderly return and sustainable reintegration of the remaining Afghan refugees for the stability of the country and the region, and calls for continued and enhanced international assistance in this regard;

“46.  Affirms also the importance of voluntary, safe, orderly return and sustainable reintegration of internally displaced persons, and welcomes the inclusion of Afghanistan as a pilot country for the Secretary General’s initiative on durable solutions, and the progress made on the development of an internally displaced persons policy for Afghanistan;

“47.  Notes the need to continue to strengthen, with the support of the international community, Afghanistan’s absorption capacity for the full rehabilitation and reintegration of the remaining Afghan refugees and internally displaced persons;

“48.  Requests that the Secretary-General reports to the Council every three months on developments in Afghanistan, and to include in his reports an evaluation of progress made against the benchmarks for measuring and tracking progress in the implementation of UNAMA’s mandate, including at the subnational level, and priorities as set out in this resolution;

“49.  Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”

* *** *

For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.