– As delivered –

Statement by H.E. Volkan Bozkir, President of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly

10 December 2020

 

Excellencies,

Distinguished delegates,

For forty years, this Assembly has addressed the situation in Afghanistan, focusing on peace, stability, good governance, human rights and development in Afghanistan.

This year, there has been welcome progress on many fronts in Afghanistan’s path towards peace and political reconciliation.

First, I welcome the growing optimism towards a negotiated settlement.  I am encouraged by the common desire of the parties towards a peaceful and negotiated settlement in Afghanistan.

Second, Peace and security in Afghanistan are linked inextricably to development. They are interdependent. I am, therefore, very pleased to note the renewed interest and significant support by the international community towards long-term assistance to Afghanistan during the 2020 Afghanistan Conference, co-hosted by the Governments of Afghanistan and Finland, and the United Nations in Geneva.

Third, I strongly welcome UNAMA’s ongoing efforts to implement its mandated tasks. The United Nations must remain committed to promoting sustainable peace and stability and to boldly perform its role in ushering in a new era in Afghanistan.

Fourth, Engaging women and other vulnerable groups in the peace efforts is a sine qua non of sustainable peace and inclusive development. I therefore welcome the increased participation of women across many sectors of government and the private sector, as well as the creation of a technical committee to review the Elimination of Violence against Women Law of 2009.

The benefits of peace should be directed towards the people of Afghanistan, who have been waiting for this moment – for a genuine opportunity for peace and prosperity – for nearly forty years. We cannot disappoint them once again.

Volkan Bozkir

President of the UN General Assembly

Excellencies,

The benefits of peace should be directed towards the people of Afghanistan, who have been waiting for this moment – for a genuine opportunity for peace and prosperity – for nearly forty years. We cannot disappoint them once again.

Violence, the threat of terrorism, an unstable security situation and growing civilian casualties might derail the Afghan-led, Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation negotiations, which remain the only path to enduring peace and stability.

The additional challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change threaten progress achieved in Afghanistan as well. We must ensure that we factor in these additional risks, so they don’t undermine progress already made.

I encourage this Assembly to come together and push to consolidate the opportunity for peace and development that has been presented, to support Afghanistan.

I thank you.