Adopting Resolution 2210 (2015), Security Council Renews Mandate of United Nations Mission in Afghanistan, Role in Overseeing International Civilian Efforts

SC/11817
16 March 2015
7403rd Meeting (AM)

Adopting Resolution 2210 (2015), Security Council Renews Mandate of United Nations Mission in Afghanistan, Role in Overseeing International Civilian Efforts

Special Representative Says Recent Developments Bringing ‘Renewed Hope’ for Active Peace Process, National Unity Government Taking Shape

Welcoming the completion of the transition process in Afghanistan and the launch of its 2015-2024 Transformation Decade, the Security Council today extended the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission in that country (UNAMA) for another year, until 17 March 2016, until and decided that it and the Secretary-General’s Special Representative would continue to lead and coordinate international civilian efforts on achieving established priorities.

Unanimously adopting resolution 2210 (2015), the Council underscored the importance of sustainable democratic development in that country with all national institutions acting within their defined competence.  It stressed the role of UNAMA in supporting an inclusive Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process of peace and reconciliation, while continuing to assess its human rights and gender implications.

The 15-member body also urged the international community to assist the Afghan Government’s efforts in that regard, including through continued support to the Peace and Reintegration Trust Fund.  Condemning all attacks targeting civilians and Afghan and international forces, the Council expressed strong concern about the recruitment and use of civilians by the Taliban and other violent and extremist groups.

Briefing the Council before the adoption, Nicholas Haysom, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNAMA, said a number of developments had brought “renewed hope” for an active peace process in the country.  The National Unity Government was taking shape, with the nomination and approval of various ministers.

Afghanistan and Pakistan had conducted an increasingly constructive dialogue focused on peace, trade and security, achievements that testified to the efforts of President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, whose collaborative leadership would be essential for peace talks to advance, electoral reforms to take hold and the implementation of changes required to reinvigorate the economy, he said.

To that effect, Mr. Haysom said, UNAMA urged political leaders to conclude the appointments of senior Government officials, notably senior judicial officials.  “A diverse and professional administration with strong female representation will be necessary to tackle the many challenges that lie ahead,” he stressed.  There was an “alignment of circumstances” that could help foster peace talks between the Government and the Taliban, he said, however, parties must be given sufficient space to build the trust needed to find common ground.

Peace processes required patient nurturing and international support should be coherent and coordinated, he said.  An inclusive peace process that built on gains made over the past decade would be required.  UNAMA would continue to engage all parties and hold a “frank” dialogue with the Taliban on humanitarian access and human rights.

Welcoming the President’s renewed commitment to soon establish the Electoral Reform Commission, he encouraged authorities to clarify the electoral calendar, improve fraud mitigation measures and engage the Afghan people in a transparent, consultative manner.  In visits to neighbouring countries, he had met with senior officials from Iran, Pakistan and Uzbekistan, who confirmed their readiness to play a constructive role in Afghanistan.  

As for the economy, which remained a “significant” concern, the “Self-Reliance” agenda, presented in December 2014, had to be implemented to all the Government to mobilize its revenues, increase its capacity to deliver services and create job opportunities, he said.  Turning to civilian casualties, he said UNAMA had documented more than 10,000 civilian casualties in 2014, the highest annual number recorded since the Mission began systematic monitoring in 2009.

Recent military operations in Helmand and Kunar Provinces showed that the Afghan security Forces had improved their planning and operational capacity, he said.  They were now in a position to conduct large-scale operations without direct combat assistance from international military forces — an encouraging development, despite that combat would likely intensify in the upcoming “fighting season”.

The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant/Sham (ISIL/ISIS) had also established a foothold in the country, whose presence was not so much a function of its intrinsic capacities, but its potential to offer an “alternative” flagpole to which otherwise isolated insurgent splinter groups could rally.  UNAMA would maintain its efforts, in a manner consistent with Afghan sovereignty, to provide good offices, promote human rights and coherent international support.

Welcoming the renewal of the mandate, Zahir Tanin, Afghanistan’s Permanent Representative, said the resolution was a testament to the continuing partnership between his country and the international community.  The Council’s call for a full examination of the role, structure and activities of all United Nations entities in Afghanistan, in full consultation and engagement with the Government and key stakeholders, sent a clear message of dedication to long-term, effective support to Afghanistan.

“All of our collective efforts over the last 13 years, the blood spilled and lives lost, have been aimed at enabling Afghanistan to become a full member of the international community as a stable, peaceful and democratic country,” he said.  The time for Afghanistan to take full responsibility as a sovereign nation had come, a critical goal that could be achieved with the support of the international community.

When UNAMA was established in 2002 to assist Afghanistan and its people in laying the foundation for sustainable peace and development, the State was unable to function, and the Government could barely provide services to the people, he said.  The country was almost bankrupt and its national and international legitimacy had been eroded.

The last year had seen tremendous progress and change, he said, with Afghanistan having completed its political and security transition.  Millions of women and men cast their votes in historic presidential elections, marking the first-ever transition from one democratically elected president to another.  The International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF) mission ended and a new North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) mission, Operation Resolute Support, was established to provide training advice and assistance to Afghanistan national defence and security forces, which were now fully responsible for the security of the country.

In the ensuing debate, speakers lauded the gains Afghans had made in the political sphere, while underscoring the threats continuing extremist violence, the narcotics trade and sluggish economic growth posed to enduring peace and stability.

The representative of the United States said statistics could not capture the tremendous humanitarian impact of that violence, and continued professionalism of Afghan security and defence forces was crucial to stability, as well as the promotion of human rights.  In a similar vein, the representative of the Russian Federation expressed concern that 2014 was the worst year on record for civilian casualties, saying:  “This is a regrettable scorecard for the new history of Afghanistan.”  He expressed concern at broadening geographical activities and the rise of ISIL/ISIS, calling on the Council to draw up a joint activities report to stop their activities.

China’s representative said strengthening regional cooperation was central to building lasting peace and security in Afghanistan, and would provide a resilient foundation for economic development.  India’s representative added that Afghanistan’s economic transition must be supported by a private sector-led process.

Pakistan’s representative said the Taliban would test the Afghan National Security Forces, while noting that there were “encouraging” signs they might negotiate with the National Unity Government.

Also making statements today were the representatives of Spain, Malaysia, Lithuania, New Zealand, Jordan, United Kingdom, Chad, Venezuela, Nigeria, Angola, Chile, France, Germany, Sweden, Italy, Japan, Turkey, Iran, Australia and Slovakia, as well as a representative of the European Union Delegation.

The meeting began at 10:07 a.m. and ended at 1:15 p.m.

Statements

JUAN MANUEL GONZALEZ DE LINARES (Spain) said that, on 1 January, Afghanistan had begun its Transformation Decade to bring about economic sustainability and security.  With such changes, the country had fully recognized its sovereignty and reaffirmed ownership of its processes for reconstruction, peace and reconciliation.  Today’s resolution was an expression of international support to the country, recognizing the new stage and underscoring the sovereignty, ownership and leadership of the Afghan people.  It also recommended that the Secretary-General examine United Nations activities in the country, in full consultation with the Government.  Endorsing the European Union’s statement, he called on Afghan authorities to continue to make progress in rapidly concluding the formation of the National Unity Government.  He expected the Government would work with its neighbours to address common challenges, calling on the Afghan people to persevere in the democratic process.

HUSSEIN HANIFF (Malaysia) congratulated Afghanistan on its transition to the Transformation Decade, which should encompass Afghan leadership in security, governance and development, in line with the norms of national ownership.  As for the “Realizing Self-Reliance” document, he looked forward to the upcoming action plan on the implementation of priorities.  Expressing deep concern at the security situation, he said 2014 had seen the highest number of documented civilian casualties and urged parties to respect international humanitarian law.  He condemned the targeting of civilians by anti-Government elements, especially their attacks on schools and hospitals.  He welcomed the Presidential decree to criminalize under-aged recruitment into the armed forces.  Constructive regional engagements were essential for supporting Afghanistan’s efforts towards an inclusive reconciliation process, he said, expressing Malaysia’s commitment to Afghanistan’s peacebuilding and assistance efforts.

RAIMONDA MURMOKAITĖ (Lithuania), aligning with the European Union, said the first task was to strengthen Afghanistan’s ailing economy, which threatened stability and affected the Government’s ability to deliver administrative services.  She strongly encouraged the President and Chief Executive Officer to press ahead with good governance and other reforms.  Ensuring security was another “daunting” task, as almost every day, Afghan forces were challenged by armed clashes, targeted killings and suicide attacks.  Commending the Afghan National Security Forces in thwarting such attacks, she said international assistance was essential.  The new North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) non-combat, training, advisory and assistance mission was an important contribution.   Moreover, she called on authorities to advance the position of women and girls in political, economic and social life, as well as conclude the merit-based appointment and approval of senior Government officials.  Lithuania was ready to support Afghanistan’s efforts through its participation in the Resolute Support Mission, European Union Police Mission and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

SAMANTHA POWER (United States) said there were encouraging advances and enduring challenges as Afghanistan embarked on its Decade of Transformation.  Afghanistan needed to fill Cabinet positions, advance electoral reforms.  Afghans were making progress despite continued violence against society, which UNAMA reporting effectively documented.  What statistics could not capture, however, was the tremendous humanitarian impact of that violence.  Afghanistan’s leaders understood the far-reaching impact of violence, and its people — including miners, teachers and security personnel — had demonstrated tremendous courage in carrying out their work.  Continued professionalism of Afghan security and defence forces was crucial to stability, as well as the promotion of human rights.  Afghan women remained undaunted in pursuit of their rights and provided an inspiration to further generations.  The United States would continue to extend its full support to Afghanistan as the latter sought to establish itself as a peaceful, stable and democratic nation.

JIM MCLAY (New Zealand) commended the formation of the National Unity Government, as unified and responsible leadership was essential to move from transition to transformation.  He looked forward to progress on electoral reform and the strengthening of governance institutions.  But, he cautioned the Council to be concerned at the deterioration of the security situation and echoed the Secretary-General’s call for all parties to “respect the laws of war, including the distinction between civilians and combatants, and to avoid using heavy weapons in civilian-populated areas”.  As the Resolute Support Mission was a non-combat operation, it was critical that the Afghan National Security Forces maintain stability, which would require the ongoing support of international partners.  UNAMA had an essential role in mitigating economic impacts from the withdrawal of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and in supporting economic development as a pathway to peace.  He supported the Government’s pursuit of reconciliation with moderate Taliban.  Implementation of the Council’s sanctions regime against that group should support the country’s peace and reconciliation efforts.  He commended the Council’s willingness to engage directly with Afghanistan, so that its views were reflected in the new mandate, in line with the principle of national ownership.

WANG MIN (China) said the untiring efforts of Afghans and firm support of the international community was responsible for the smooth completion of Afghanistan’s political, security and economic transitions.  But, the country still faced difficulties and challenges, and an enduring solution would depend on Afghan ownership of the peace process and sustained international support.  There was a need for the international community to adapt to the new reality in Afghanistan and help promote broad-based and inclusive reconciliation towards national unity and harmony.  China welcomed the development strategy meticulously crafted by the Afghan Government, and the international community should channel its efforts accordingly.  Strengthening regional cooperation was central to building lasting peace and security in Afghanistan, and would provide a resilient foundation for economic development.  Supporting the United Nations’ active role in Afghanistan, he said the Organization should base its work on respect for the leadership role of the Afghan Government.

MAHMOUD HMOUD (Jordan) said Afghanistan was moving towards a new future, which marked a period of new opportunities, as well as new threats.  Afghans themselves must confront those challenges with determination, which would depend on the competence of the new Government of National Unity.  It was important to pursue dialogue and consultations among the factions, as well as implement reforms proposed by the Afghan leadership.  The political and security process must be supported by economic and social measures.  The Government must redouble its efforts to protect citizens from extremists, promote human rights and women’s empowerment, and resolve the problem of displaced persons.  Regional security cooperation would be in everyone’s interest and the international community must continue to support Afghanistan based on the principles of sovereignty, neutrality and humanitarianism.

VLADIMIR SAFRONKOV (Russian Federation) expressed concern that 2014 was the worst year on record for civilian casualties, saying:  “This is a regrettable scorecard for the new history of Afghanistan.”  ISAF had not provided a comprehensive report on its work over 13 years in the country and he hoped the Resolute Support Mission would be more conscientious, recalling that the Council would control its activities.  Extremists would try to “rock the boat” of new Government and the Afghan security forces would be tested to independently counter that threat.  He positively noted the President’s national reconciliation efforts, saying that principles — such as laying down weapons, cutting ties with Al-Qaida and a commitment to stability — were imperative, as was strict compliance with the Taliban and Al-Qaida sanctions regimes.  He expressed concern at broadening geographical activities and the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant/Sham (ISIL/ISIS), calling on the Council to draw up a joint activities report to stop their activities.  He also voiced concern at the worsening situation in areas bordering Collective Security Treaty Organization allies, as well as the rising drug threat, as drug production now equalled 15 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).  He regretted that NATO had avoided numerous proposals to cooperate with the Collective Security Treaty Organization to counter that threat.  He also supported the mission’s coordination of civilian efforts so as to stabilize Afghanistan.

MARK LYALL GRANT (United Kingdom) said UNAMA played a critical role, noting that its continued presence was an enduring sign of international assistance to the country.  He supported the goals to deliver economic security by tackling corruption and enacting political reform.  The Government’s fiscal discipline was vital, as was swift confirmation of appointments to the National Unity Government.  UNAMA would provide international support to those reform priorities in a manner consistent with a sovereign Afghanistan, and donor support through the Joint Coordination and Management Board.  Its goal was to help Afghanistan remain on a path for a sustainable future.  Reconciliation was vital to any political settlement and he urged all parties to make meaningful progress, recognizing that the process would take time.  Rises in civilian casualties, for which Taliban was largely responsible, remained a concern, and the United Kingdom would help national security forces by providing training and advice.  “We must not lose sight of how far Afghanistan has come in the last year,” he said, citing the first peaceful democratic transfer of power, formation of a Unity Government and assumption of responsibility for security.

BANTE MANGARAL (Chad) said the resolution adopted today marked a new step towards ensuring Afghanistan’s accountability for and ownership of its peace and development efforts at a critical stage of history.  Urging the Government to step up efforts to address the country’s many security challenges, including violence and atrocities, he stressed the need for greater efforts at strengthening national reconciliation among the different communities and factions.  States in the region played a central role in building peace and stability in Afghanistan and must be engaged in the process.  All stakeholders must ensure that humanitarian workers were able to continue their operations without threats from armed groups.

HENRY ALFREDO SUÁREZ MORENO (Venezuela), reiterating its firm commitment to peace, sovereignty and territorial integrity of States, welcomed the steps Afghanistan had taken recently towards ownership of its national destiny.  UNAMA had worked to consolidate the peace process and should continue to conduct its activities in cooperation and coordination with the Afghan Government.  The extension of the Mission’s mandate took account of the new realities prevailing in the country and all stakeholders must redouble their efforts to promote national reconciliation.  Economic stability was a central challenge for the country and any solution required the full participation of the Afghan people.  The support of States in the region, backed by the international community, was important to enduring peace, security and development in Afghanistan.

U. JOY OGWU (Nigeria) said Afghanistan’s political dimension had received a significant boost with the formation of a National Unity Government, commending its commitment to the reform agenda and welcoming the President’s efforts to both empower women and foster electoral reform.  The decision to involve civil society in that process was highly commendable, she said, expressing support for the creation of an electoral commission, which would address fundamental issues, such as governance.  Transparency and inclusive governance were vital to building a united, secure Afghanistan.  More efforts were needed to promote vibrant entrepreneurial activity and the Government should work “assiduously” to improve the investment climate, with a view to attracting more foreign capital.  Commending drug enforcement agencies’ seizure of narcotics and destruction of heroin laboratories, she said such operations must be strengthened with international support.  Unexploded ordinances should be removed.  Afghan National Security Forces had assumed responsibility for maintaining law and order, a major challenge.

JULIO HELDER MOURA LUCAS (Angola) expressed hope that the “Realizing Self-Reliance” reform agenda would help Afghanistan overcome challenges towards reconciliation, stability social development and sustainable peace.  The establishment of a National Unity Government had confirmed that political compromise was possible.  Afghan leadership of the political process must be based on the fulfilment of benchmarks, outlined in the Secretary-General’s report.  Among them was the creation of sustainable security institutions and he urged a review of United States troop drawdowns.  Reintegration and reconciliation through national dialogue and regional engagement was another objective to be met.  The call to the Taliban to join the peace process, among other efforts, had fostered hope that Afghans were entering a decisive phase.  Governance, institution-building and the establishment of legitimate institutions were other aims.  The 2014 electoral process should now be coupled with the creation of anti-corruption bodies and a credible penal system.  Regional cooperation in support of peace and stability was another fundamental element, he said, taking note of regional initiatives in that regard.

CRISTIÁN BARROS MELET (Chile) welcomed the advent of the Transformation Decade and said the efforts made in the first months helped to form the basis for meaningful work in key priority areas in the months ahead.  National reconciliation must be undertaken by Afghans themselves and civil society must play a leading role.  Donor countries and international financial institutions must maintain their commitment to Afghanistan’s long-term development, especially in view of forecasts of an economic slowdown.  The fight against terrorism and anti-Government forces required international support with due regard for the protection of civilians.  Chile supported the extension of the UNAMA mandate and noted the provision of an examination of the Mission within six months.

FRANÇOIS DELLATRE (France) said Afghanistan was writing a new page in its history, with the 2014 presidential election standing as a landmark in the peaceful transfer of power.  The security transition concluded in satisfactory conditions and the NATO Resolute Support Mission was aiding Afghan security forces to take charge of their responsibilities.  France and its partners would continue to support the reforms to be undertaken under the Decade.  There were continuing challenges to the peace and development process which must be addressed with the support of all Afghan stakeholders and regional countries.  Trafficking in drugs was a genuine threat to the development of the country and the health of the people, and it must be addressed urgently.  While the current mandate remained relevant, there might be a need to revisit it in the future.  In that context, France welcomed the resolution’s provision for an examination of the Mission within six months.

ASOKE K. MUKERJI (India) said Afghanistan’s historic political transition was on course, welcoming the appointment of some key ministers and expressing hope the process would soon be completed.  Terrorism — not tribal differences or ethnic rivalries — was the main source of insecurity.  Terror groups, including Lashkar-e-Taiba remained active and the Council must urgently counter that threat.  Also, Afghanistan’s economic transition must be supported by a private sector-led process.  As the lead country of trade, commerce and investment under the “Heart of Asia” process, India had gained experience on that issue.  Along with Afghanistan and Iran, it was examining how Iran’s Chabahar port could be developed to help Afghanistan connect with the outside world.  India also had unilaterally offered Afghanistan access to Attari on its side of the India-Pakistan border, for Afghan trucks and goods that, until now, had transit rights only up to Wagah, on the Pakistan side.

MALEEHA LODHI (Pakistan) said talks between the Afghan and Pakistani Presidents last November had overcome in three days the accumulated challenges of 13 years and produced a “strategic shift” in relations.  The leaders shared a vision of partnership, built on common security and economic interests.  They were committed to preventing their territories from being used against each other.  Pakistan was working to strengthen its border control, with its Zarb-e-Azb military operation targeting all terrorist groups “without distinction”.  The Taliban would test the Afghan National Security Forces.  At the same time, there were “encouraging” signs they might negotiate with the National Unity Government.  She expressed hope they would join the reconciliation process and urged international support for it.  Welcoming China’s closer engagement in promoting reconciliation and economic development, she said Afghan parties and the international community alike should exercise strategic patience.  Short-term measures for economic revival must be accompanied by steps to lay the foundation for self-sustained growth, she said, citing the importance of road, rail and transregional energy projects.

HARALD BRAUN (Germany), aligning with the European Union, said that the Afghan Government of National Unity’s reform agenda set out an ambitious programme in many key areas, and would build on the achievements of the past decade, which had brought real progress for the Afghan people.  However, tremendous challenges remained.  The Government would have to pursue further economic reforms and fiscal sustainability, while protecting and promoting human rights and strengthening the rule of law.  Refreshing the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework was the cornerstone of that process.  Germany, which contributed almost $500 million to that process annually, would continue its contributions.  Noting that swift formation of the new Cabinet was a pivotal first step to address the reform backlog of the past months, he called for the finalization of that process, which should ensure adequate representation of women in the Cabinet.  He further called on all stakeholders to redouble efforts to make the Transformation Decade a success story for Afghanistan and the region.  A continued strong role for UNAMA was critical to success.  The Mission must be adequately resourced and have a presence throughout the country.

OLOF SKOOG (Sweden) said the proposed “Realizing Self-Governance” reform agenda, which showed the Afghan Government’s willingness to take on current challenges, must be translated into concrete results.  Towards that end, a full Cabinet must be nominated and approved as soon as possible.  Afghanistan was one of the largest recipients of Sweden’s development aid.  Sweden intended to commit $1.2 billion throughout the Transformation Decade, with the primary focus on strengthening Afghanistan’s own ability to improve its economy, enhance democratic governance, promote equality and improve the human rights situation, particularly for women and children.  Sweden contributed to both the Resolute Support Mission and to the European Union Police Mission in Afghanistan.  Sweden was ready to support the Afghan Government in implementing electoral reforms.  He expressed concern at the human rights situation, particularly for women and girls.  Equality should be promoted at all levels of society, with more women needed in senior Government positions.  Impunity and corruption must be combated, particularly through reform of the justice system.  He welcomed the Afghan leadership’s commitment to the peace process, noting that it should be inclusive and give women a stronger role.  Commending attempts to increase regional cooperation, he said they should be encouraged.

IOANNIS VRAILAS, Deputy Head of the European Union Delegation, said that following the completion of the ISAF mission, the role of the United Nations was even more important in assisting the National Unity Government to implement its priorities.  Welcoming the lead taken by the Government in renewing momentum towards the initiation of an inclusive peace process, he said Afghanistan must never again be the base of terrorist groups to operation.  The gains made by Afghan women must be protected, as their active involvement in rebuilding the State remained crucial.  The Union welcomed the more positive atmosphere that now existed in regional relations and increased cooperation had the potential to benefit all countries.  Peace and security in Afghanistan were the heartfelt desire of its people and the Union would work with leading members of the international community to support that outcome.

INIGO LAMBERTINI (Italy), aligning himself with the European Union, expressed support for the renewal of UNAMA’s mandate, underlining, in particular, the “previous added value” provided by the Mission during the troubled election season of last year.  The challenges facing Afghanistan, however, were considerable, especially the security situation.  The international community could not ignore the gravity of the situation emerging from the report prepared by UNAMA in collaboration with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, on the protection of civilians, which indicated a 22 per cent increase in civilian casualties in Afghanistan in 2014 over the previous year.  Focusing on the hoped-for process of domestic reconciliation that was Afghan-led and Afghan-owned should not lead to any backtracking on the gains made in democracy and civil rights, particularly those of women, or to any concession to terrorism.  Italy stood with the National Unity Government and the international community.  That partnership was based on the principle of reciprocal commitments, as affirmed in Tokyo and reiterated in London, which required a resolute pursuit of reforms in the country in several areas.  It was also important to complete the Government team at the central and local levels.

YOSHIFUMI OKAMURA (Japan) welcomed the strong determination and capacity the Government and people of Afghanistan had shown in addressing the important challenges they faced.  Afghanistan, however, did not stand alone.  The Tokyo and London Conferences reiterated the international community’s readiness to continue their support under the concept of mutual accountability.  The extension of UNAMA’s mandate was testimony to the international community’s commitment and Japan expected the Mission would continue to play an important role in supporting the Afghan-led political process and socioeconomic development.  Expressing regret that a full Cabinet had yet to be formed six months after an agreement had been reached, he stressed the need to strengthen governance and institution-building, advance political reconciliation, and build the foundation for sustainable economic development.  As testimony to its solidarity with Afghanistan, Japan would disburse an additional $242 million before the end of the month.

HALIT ÇEVIK (Turkey) said the significant gains Afghanistan had made in the past year were not yet at a point of no return.  The international community’s continuing support remained vital to a peaceful, secure, stable Afghanistan that could effectively serve the needs of its people.  Turkey attached particular importance for all to refrain from mentioning any misguiding dates, which could imply the drawing down of the international community’s commitment at an early stage without regard to the situation and requirements on the ground.  The resolution renewing the UNAMA mandate came at a time when change and transformation dominated the agenda of Afghanistan.  The international community’s support to the efforts of the Government of Afghanistan with full respect to the principles of Afghan leadership, ownership and sovereignty would be particularly important.

GHOLAMALI KHOSHROO (Iran) said his country had always supported peace, stability and socioeconomic development in Afghanistan.  Possible increases in violence in the coming months should be a matter of deep concern.  Iran condemned all terrorist attacks, as well as cooperation with such groups, noting that the activities of foreign troops, including the Resolute Support Mission, should be conducted with the Government’s full consent.  A strong international commitment to sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Afghanistan was also needed.  Iran’s Foreign Minister had visited Kabul on 20 January to discuss bilateral strategic cooperation, including on security, a visit preceded by the 15 December 2014 signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to enhance cooperation in combating terrorism and drug-trafficking.  Expressing concern that poppy cultivation in Afghanistan had almost doubled since 2012, he welcomed efforts to address that threat, including by China, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.  Iran supported UNAMA’s efforts to provide development and reconstruction assistance through robust regional engagements on border security, immigration and drug control issues.

GILLIAN BIRD (Australia), noting that Afghan National Security Forces were responsible for securing the country for the first time since the days of the Taliban, said Australia would contribute both personnel and $100 million annually until 2017 to the non-combat, NATO-led Resolute Support Mission, which was provided training, advice and assistance to the Afghan forces.  Still, she was concerned at increasing civilian casualties.  While the National Unity Government had achieved much in its first months, she said that the country’s economy and Government finances remained of concern and looked forward to receiving the action plan for implementing the priorities outlined in the Afghan Government’s “Realizing Self-Reliance” paper.  She urged the Government to move forward on President Ghani’s commitment to electoral reform and encouraged it to appoint a full and inclusive Cabinet when Parliament sat after the winter recess.  Noting progress made in key areas of human development since 2001, she welcomed the Government’s renewed commitment to the rights of women and girls, stating that implementation of the National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security and of the Elimination of Violence Against Women law must be priorities.  Stressing that a political settlement with the Taliban would facilitate lasting peace for Afghanistan and the region, she urged the country and its partners to continue to approach reconciliation with a sense of purpose and pragmatism.

FRANTIŠEK RUŽIČKA (Slovakia) aligning himself with the European Union, said the mutually respectful relationship between President Ghani and Chief Executive Officer Abdullah and their teams was “the only way forward” to address the country’s challenges.  The newly formed Resolute Support Mission, of which his country was a part, would coordinate with the Afghan Government in addressing the security situation.  He recognized the work of the European Union civilian mission, in which Slovakia also participated, with its focus on police training and rule of law.  Only the Afghan people could offer the greatest support for political development.  Their representatives would have to earn their trust through leading by example.  He encouraged all steps towards internal stability, including political leadership for parliamentary elections and the reform agenda, also noting that reconciliation was fundamental to the country’s sustainable development.  On economic, budgetary and financial reforms, he said that Slovakia’s experience had shown that foreign aid could only help overcome difficulties in the initial phase of the country’s transformation.  Deep structural reform was both the most important and most painful part of the process, and it was essential for foreign private investors and domestic small and medium-sized enterprises.  Slovakia was ready to share its own experience of the process.  He welcomed increased regional cooperation, especially in addressing cross-border threats.

Resolution

The full text of resolution 2210 (2015) reads as follows:

The Security Council,

Recalling its previous resolutions on Afghanistan, in particular its resolution 2145 (2014) extending through 17 March 2015 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,

Welcoming the completion at the end of 2014 of the Transition (Inteqal) Process and the initiation of the Transformation Decade (2015-2024) with the assumption of full responsibility for the security sector by Afghan institutions, 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 completion of the transition process in Afghanistan,

Emphasizing the Kabul Process towards the primary objective of reinforced Afghan leadership and ownership, strengthened international partnership and regional cooperation, improved Afghan governance, enhanced capabilities of Afghan security forces, economic growth, sustainable development 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 development and constitutional democracy,

Welcoming the inauguration on 29 September 2014 of the new President of Afghanistan, marking the first democratic transition of power in the country’s history, as well as the establishment of a Government of National Unity and emphasizing the importance of all parties in Afghanistan working within the framework of the Government of National Unity in order to achieve a unified, peaceful and prosperous future for all the people of Afghanistan,

Welcoming further the strategic consensus between the Government of Afghanistan and the International Community on a renewed and enduring partnership for the Transformation Decade based on firm mutual commitments, and welcoming progress made towards meeting the mutual commitments set out in the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework and reaffirmed at the 2014 London Conference, 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,

Affirming 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 should be consistent with the goals set forth in the Tokyo Declaration and the Government of Afghanistan’s 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/2010/65) 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 among donors, consistent with the Kabul Process and in line with the National Priority Programmes,

Welcoming the Afghan government reform programme entitled “Realizing Self-Reliance: Commitments to Reforms and Renewed Partnership” that contains strategic policy priorities for Afghanistan towards realizing self-reliance in the Transformation Decade for improving security, political stability, economic and fiscal stabilization, advancing good governance, including electoral reform and strengthening democratic institutions, promoting the rule of law, and respect for human rights, particularly in relation to women and girls, fighting corruption and the illicit economy, including narcotics, and paving the way for enhanced private sector investment and sustainable, social, environmental and economic development, and in this context affirming its support for the implementation of this reform programme under leadership and ownership of the Government of Afghanistan,

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 Heart of Asia-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 as those 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 Fourth Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process Ministerial Conference, which convened in Beijing in October 2014, where Afghanistan and its regional partners, while stating their belief that increased political mutual trust and deepened regional cooperation are the foundation for peace and prosperity in Afghanistan and the region, reaffirmed their commitment to pursue opportunities to enhance regional economic cooperation and called upon the rest of the international community to fulfil their commitments to the long-term development of Afghanistan, 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 Fifth Heart of Asia Ministerial Conference, to be held in Pakistan in 2015, and noting that the Heart of Asia-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 important role that the United Nations will continue to play in promoting peace and stability in Afghanistan by coordinating amongst international donors and supporting the Afghan Government’s efforts in the role it plays in leading and coordinating between the Government and the international community consistent with the principle of Afghan leadership, ownership and sovereignty in governance and development and in line with Kabul Process and Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework (TMAF) and based on the Government of Afghanistan’s National Priority Programmes, 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 and London Conferences; 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,

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), 2082 (2012), 2160 (2014), as well as other relevant resolutions of the Council,

Recalling the Government of Afghanistan’s commitments at the Kabul, Tokyo and London 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, and looking forward to preparations for the upcoming 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,

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 Defence and Security Forces, and the recruitment and retention of women to the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces, acknowledging the contribution of Afghanistan’s partners to peace and security in Afghanistan, noting the conclusion of the ISAF Mission at the end of 2014, and welcoming the agreement between NATO and Afghanistan which led to the establishment on 1 January 2015 of the non-combat Resolute Support Mission, for training, advising and assisting the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces at the invitation of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, noting the responsibility of the Government of Afghanistan to sustain a sufficient and capable ANDSF, noting also NATO and contributing partners’ contribution to the financial sustainment of the ANDSF and the long-term NATO-Afghanistan Enduring Partnership, 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 and recalling in this context resolution 2189 (2014),

Stressing 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, in a manner that increases effectiveness including through cost-effective mechanisms and aid information sharing strategies to further increase efforts, in full consultation and cooperation with the Government of Afghanistan, to achieve further greater coherence, coordination, efficiency and full alignment with the Government of Afghanistan’s National Priority Programmes,

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 in the Kabul Process and at the Tokyo Conference in July 2012 and the London Conference in December 2014,

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 United Nations Common Humanitarian Fund, and supporting the Afghan Government’s essential role in the coordination of 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, and expressing also its deep concern for the increase of civilian casualties, including women and children from conflict-related violence in Afghanistan, as noted in the 18 February 2015 UNAMA report on Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict,

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, of the situation of civilians and in particular civilian casualties, taking note of the efforts made by Afghan and international forces in minimizing civilian casualties, and noting the 18 February 2015 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 in a balanced and integrated approach, including 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 Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in this regard,

Expressing concern at the continuing increase in poppy production as noted in the UNODC Afghanistan Opium Survey 2014, noting the serious harm that opium cultivation, production and trafficking and consumption continues to cause to the stability, security, public health, 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/2014/339) 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 27 February 2015 (S/2015/151);

“2.   Expresses its appreciation for the United Nations long-term commitment, including throughout 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 2016 the mandate of UNAMA, as defined in its resolutions 1662 (2006), 1746 (2007), 1806 (2008), 1868 (2009), 1917 (2010), 1974 (2011), 2041 (2012), 2096 (2013) and 2145 (2014), and paragraphs 4, 5, 6 and 7 below;

“4.   Recognizes that the renewed mandate of UNAMA takes full account of the completion of the transition process and the initiation of the Transformation Decade (2015-2024) on 1 January 2015, and that the renewed mandate 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, Chicago and Wales 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 fully consistent with the principle of Afghan leadership, ownership and sovereignty reaffirmed in Kabul, Tokyo and London Conferences;

“6.   Decides further that UNAMA and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, within their mandate and in a manner consistent with 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, in a manner consistent with Afghan sovereignty, leadership and ownership 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 also in a manner consistent with the Afghan leadership, ownership and sovereignty, international partners for follow-up, in particular through information sharing, prioritize 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 mutual accountability and transparency, and effectiveness of aid use in line with the commitments made at the Kabul and Tokyo Conferences, including cost-effectiveness in this regard;

(b)   support, at the request of the Afghan authorities, the organization of future Afghan elections, including the upcoming 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 in close consultation and coordination with the government of Afghanistan;

(c)   provide outreach as well as good offices to support, if requested by and in close consultation with the government of Afghanistan, 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 also in close consultation with the government of Afghanistan 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)   closely coordinate and cooperate, where relevant, with the non-combat Resolute Support Mission agreed upon between NATO and Afghanistan, as well as with the NATO Senior Civilian Representative;

“7.   Calls on UNAMA and the Special Representative to further increase efforts to achieve greater coherence, coordination, efficiency among relevant United Nations agencies, funds and programmes in Afghanistan based on a “One UN” approach in close cooperation with the Government of Afghanistan with a view to maximizing their collective effectiveness in full alignment with the Government of Afghanistan’s National Priority Programmes, and continue to lead, in a manner consistent with the Afghan leadership, ownership and sovereignty, international civilian efforts aimed at reinforcing the role of Afghan institutions to perform their responsibilities in the following priority areas:

(a)   support 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, in line with 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 reinforcing the Government’s capacity, 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, in close consultation and coordination with and in support of 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, particularly encourages careful coordination with the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces;

“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), 2082 (2012) and 2160 (2014), as well as other relevant resolutions of the Council;

“14.  Welcomes also the measures taken by the Government of Afghanistan, including the adoption, in October 2014, of the National Action Plan for the implementation of the Security Council resolution 1325 (2000), 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 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 the continuation of, the cooperation of the Afghan Government, the High Peace Council and UNAMA with the Committee including its Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team, 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 2160 (2014), 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, the trafficking of precursors into Afghanistan, the illegal exploitation of natural resources in Afghanistan, kidnap for ransom, extortion and other criminal activities, and notes with concern the increasing cooperation of the Taliban with other organisations involved in criminal activities;

“16.  Stresses the role of UNAMA in supporting, if requested by and in close consultation with 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 “Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process on Regional Security and Cooperation for a Secure and Stable Afghanistan”, looks forward to the next Ministerial Conference to be held in Pakistan in 2015, 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 a manner consistent with Afghan leadership, ownership and sovereignty, 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 Kabul and Tokyo Conferences and previous international conferences, and reaffirmed in the 2014 London Conference, and reiterates the critical importance of enhancing the predictability and effectiveness of aid by increasing on-budget assistance to Afghan government in tandem with the improvements to Afghan budget and expenditure systems and improving aid coordination and effectiveness, through ensuring transparency, combating corruption, and enhancing the capacity of the Government of Afghanistan to coordinate aid;

“23.  Calls upon the Afghan Government, with the assistance of the international community, 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 to ensure a capable, professional and sustainable Afghan National Security Force and notes in this context the establishment of the non-combat, train, advise and assist Resolute Support Mission, based on the bilateral agreements between NATO and Afghanistan and at the invitation of Afghanistan;

“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 Resolute Support Mission, 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 Resolute Support Mission, as agreed to and accepted by the Government of 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 United Nations 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.  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/2014/339), and the use of children in suicide attacks, and calls for those responsible to be brought to justice;

“32.  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 ANDSF, 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, the recent adoption of a new law prohibiting recruitment of children into military units and criminalizing any underage recruitment and the endorsement by the Afghan Government of a roadmap to accelerate compliance with the Action Plan, and 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;

“33.  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 2014 released in November 2014, 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;

“34.  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;

“35.  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);

“36.  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;

“37.  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;

“38.  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 25 February 2015, and the announcement by the Government of Afghanistan of a national plan on elimination of torture;

“39.  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;

“40.  Encourages all Afghan institutions, including the executive and legislative branches, to work in a spirit of cooperation, recognizes 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, recognizes Government of Afghanistan efforts in this regard, and reiterates the importance of the full, sequenced, timely, and coordinated implementation of the National Priority Programme on National Transparency and Accountability;

“41.  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;

“42.  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, welcomes the adoption, in October 2014, of the National Action Plan for the implementation of the Security Council resolution 1325 (2000), 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;

“43.  Welcomes the Afghan Government’s commitment to strengthen the participation of women in the Afghan political life and 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 and to integrate its benchmarks into the National Priority Programmes, calls on the Government of Afghanistan to urgently develop a strategy to implement fully the Elimination of Violence against Women law, including services to victims and access to justice, welcomes in this regard the launch in November 2014 by the Ministry of Public Health of the Gender-based Violence Treatment Protocol for Healthcare Providers 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 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;

“44.  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;

“45.  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;

“46.  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;

“47.  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;

“48.  Further requests that the Secretary-General initiate a process to conduct within six months of the renewal of this mandate, a full examination of the role, structure and activities of all United Nations entities in Afghanistan, in full consultation and engagement with the Government of Afghanistan and key stakeholders, including the donor community, in light of the completion of transition and the beginning of the Transformation Decade and in accordance with the principles of Afghan national sovereignty, national leadership and national ownership;

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

For information media. Not an official record.