|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
6629th Meeting (AM)
Approving Extension of International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan,
Security Council Welcomes Agreement to Transfer Security Lead to Afghan Forces
Welcoming an agreement to transfer lead security responsibility for the entire territory of Afghanistan to the Government of that country by the end of 2014, the Security Council this morning extended the authorization of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) for one year, ending 13 October 2012.
Unanimously adopting resolution 2011 (2011) under Chapter VII of the Charter, the Council called on Member States to continue to contribute personnel, equipment and other resources to ISAF, which is led by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), while at the same time strengthening the effectiveness, professionalism and accountability of the Afghan National Army and Police, to which the transition of responsibility for security had started to be transferred in July 2011.
Through the text, the Council welcomed the recent deal between the Government of Afghanistan and the countries contributing to ISAF to “gradually transfer lead security responsibility […] to the Afghan Government country-wide by the end of 2014”. It also welcomed the Enduring Partnership Declaration agreed upon by NATO and the Afghan Government in November 2010, which involves sustained support for security throughout the transition process and “through the stabilization of the situation in Afghanistan”.
According to the Secretary-General’s latest report on Afghanistan, the Afghan national security forces must continue to demonstrate enhanced independent capability and professionalism for the transition to Afghan responsibility for security to be successful; it says the agreement to increase the size of the Forces was a positive development in that context. (See Background)
The meeting began at 10:10 a.m. and ended at 10:13 a.m.
The full text of resolution 2011 (2011) reads as follows:
“The Security Council,
“Reaffirming its previous resolutions on Afghanistan, in particular its resolutions 1386 (2001), 1510 (2003), 1943 (2010) and 1974 (2011),
“Reaffirming also its resolutions 1267 (1999), 1368 (2001), 1373 (2001), 1822 (2008), 1904 (2009), 1988 (2011) and 1989 (2011), and reiterating its support for international efforts to root out terrorism in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations,
“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), 1888 (2009), 1889 (2009) and 1960 (2010) on women and peace and security, and its resolutions 1612 (2005), 1882 (2009) and 1998 (2011) on children and armed conflict, noting as well the report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict in Afghanistan (S/2011/55) and the subsequent conclusions of its working group on children and armed conflict (S/AC.51/2011/3),
“Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Afghanistan,
“Recognizing that the responsibility for providing security and law and order throughout the country resides with the Afghan authorities, stressing the role of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in assisting the Afghan Government to improve the security situation and build its own security capabilities, and welcoming the cooperation of the Afghan Government with ISAF,
“Welcoming the communiqués of the London Conference (S/2010/65) and the Kabul Conference which set a clear agenda and agreed priorities for the way ahead on Afghanistan, and underlining the pivotal importance of strengthening Afghan ownership and leadership, consistent with the Kabul Process, in all fields of governance,
“Recognizing once again the interconnected nature of the challenges in Afghanistan, reaffirming that sustainable progress on security, governance, human rights, 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 programs prioritised for implementation in transition should be consistent with the goals set forth in the Kabul Process and the National Priority Programmes and welcoming the continuing efforts of the Afghan Government and the international community to address these challenges through a comprehensive approach,
“Stressing in this context the need for further efforts by the Afghan Government to fight corruption, promote transparency and increase its accountability, in line with the Afghan Government’s commitment to strengthen measures to combat corruption after the London and Kabul Conferences,
“Underlining the significance of the agreement reached between the Government of Afghanistan and countries contributing to ISAF, at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Summit in Lisbon, to gradually transfer lead security responsibility in Afghanistan to the Government of Afghanistan country-wide by the end of 2014, welcoming the ongoing implementation of the first phase of transition and looking forward to the phased extension of the process to the rest of the country, underlining ISAF’s continuing role, in support of the Government of Afghanistan, in promoting a responsible transition and the importance of the enhancement of the capabilities of the Afghan national security forces, stressing the long-term commitment, beyond 2014, of the international community to support the further development, including training, and professionalization of the Afghan national security forces and its capacity to counter continued threats to Afghanistan’s security, with a view to lasting peace, security and stability, noting that these issues will be discussed at the forthcoming NATO Summit in Chicago,
“Welcoming the long term commitments taken by Afghanistan’s international partners, including NATO, the European Union (EU), neighbouring States and regional partners to continue supporting Afghanistan beyond transition, stressing the importance of their complementary nature, including with future bilateral partnerships decided by the Government of Afghanistan,
“Looking forward to the International Afghanistan Conference in Bonn: ‘From Transition to Transformation’, on 5 December 2011, where civil aspects of transition, the long-term commitment of the international community in Afghanistan within its region, and the support of the political process will be further defined,
“Looking forward to the ‘Istanbul Conference for Afghanistan: Cooperation and Security in the Heart of Asia’, which will be held on 2 November 2011,
“Noting regional initiatives such as those being implemented in the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), the EU, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and other relevant initiatives aimed at increased regional economic cooperation with Afghanistan such as the vision of the New Silk Road, and looking forward to the Fifth Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA) to be held in Tajikistan on 26‑27 March 2012,
“Stressing the central and impartial role that the United Nations continues to play in promoting peace and stability in Afghanistan by leading the efforts of the international community, noting, in this context, the synergies in the objectives of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and of ISAF, and, as transition moves forward, stressing the need for strengthened cooperation, coordination and mutual support, taking due account of their respective designated responsibilities and the evolving nature of the international community’s presence,
“Expressing its serious concern about the security situation in Afghanistan, in particular the ongoing violent and terrorist activities by the Taliban, Al‑Qaida, other illegal armed groups and criminals, including those involved in the narcotics trade, as described in the reports of the Secretary-General since the adoption of United Nations Security Council resolution 1943 (2010), and the strong links between terrorism activities and illicit drugs, resulting in threats to the local population, including children, as well as to the national security forces and international military and civilian personnel,
“Welcoming the efforts of the Government of Afghanistan to update and improve the National Drug Control Strategy, with a particular emphasis on a partnership approach to ensure joint, effective implementation and coordination, encouraging ISAF to further, effectively support, within its designated responsibilities, Afghan-led sustained efforts to address drug production and trafficking, in cooperation with relevant international and regional actors, recognizing the threat posed by illicit drug production, trade and trafficking 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 also its concern over the harmful consequences of violent and terrorist activities by the Taliban, Al‑Qaida and other violent and extremist 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 full enjoyment of their human rights and fundamental freedoms,
“Reiterating its support for the continuing endeavours by the Afghan Government, with the assistance of the international community, including ISAF and the Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) coalition, to improve the security situation and to continue to address the threat posed by the Taliban, Al‑Qaida and other violent and extremist groups, and stressing in this context the need for sustained international efforts, including those of ISAF and the OEF coalition,
“Condemning in the strongest terms all attacks, including improvised explosive device (IED) attacks, suicide attacks, assassinations and abductions, indiscriminate targeting of civilians, attacks against humanitarian workers and targeting of Afghan and international forces and their deleterious effect on the stabilization, reconstruction and development efforts in Afghanistan, and condemning further the use by the Taliban, Al‑Qaida and other violent and extremist groups of civilians as human shields,
“Condemning in particular the recent terrorist attacks against the Inter Continental Hotel, British Council, the ISAF Headquarters and the Embassy of the United States in Kabul and deploring the loss of life in these attacks, including of Afghan civilians, police and security forces,
“Welcoming the Afghan Government’s achievements in banning ammonium nitrate fertilizer, and urging continued 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,
“Noting the ratification of the Convention on Cluster Munitions by Afghanistan,
“Recognizing the continuing threats posed by the Taliban, Al‑Qaida and other violent and extremist groups as well as the challenges related to the efforts to address such threats,
“Expressing its serious concern with the increased high number of civilian casualties in Afghanistan, in particular women and children casualties, the increasingly large majority of which are caused by Taliban, Al-Qaida and other violent and extremist groups, 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, calling for all parties to comply with their obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law and for all appropriate measures to be taken to ensure the protection of civilians, and recognizing the importance of the ongoing monitoring and reporting to the United Nations Security Council, including by ISAF, of the situation of civilians and in particular civilian casualties, and noting in this regard the work of the ISAF Civilian Casualties Tracking Cell,
“Taking note of the further progress made by ISAF and other international forces in minimizing the civilian casualties, as recognized in the 2011 midyear report by UNAMA on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, urging ISAF and other international forces to continue to undertake enhanced efforts to prevent civilian casualties, including the increased focus on protecting the Afghan population as a central element of the mission, and noting the importance of conducting continuous reviews of tactics and procedures and after-action reviews and investigations in cooperation with the Afghan Government in cases where civilian casualties have occurred and when the Afghan Government finds these joint investigations appropriate,
“Expressing its strong concern about recruitment and use of children by Taliban forces in Afghanistan as well as the killing and maiming of children as a result of the conflict, supporting the decree by the Minister of the Interior reaffirming the Government’s commitment to preventing violations of the rights of the child dated 6 July 2011, welcoming the establishment of the Afghan Inter-Ministerial Steering Committee on Children and Armed Conflict and the subsequent signing by the Afghan Government of the action plan, and its annex, on children associated with national security forces in Afghanistan and calling for the full implementation of the provisions of the plan, in close cooperation with UNAMA,
“Acknowledging the progress made and the challenges remaining in security sector reform and governance, welcoming the support and assistance extended to the Afghan National Police by the international partners in this regard, in particular the continued commitment of the NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan, the European Gendarmerie Force (EGF) contribution to this mission and assistance extended to the Afghan National Police including through the European Union police mission (EUPOL Afghanistan), and, in the context of transition, welcoming the increased capacities and capabilities of the Afghan national security forces, stressing the need for Afghanistan together with international donors to further strengthen the Afghan National Army and the Afghan National Police urging, inter alia, continued professional training measures to ensure Afghan capability to assume, in a sustainable manner, increasing responsibilities and leadership of security operations and maintaining public order, law enforcement, the security of Afghanistan’s borders and the preservation of the constitutional rights of Afghan citizens as well as to increase its efforts in disbandment of illegal armed groups and counter-narcotics, as outlined in the London Conference and the Kabul Conference communiqués,
“Stressing in this context the importance of further progress by the Afghan Government in ending impunity and strengthening judicial institutions, in the reconstruction and reform of the prison sector, and the rule of law and respect for human rights within Afghanistan, including for women and girls, and in particular women’s rights under the Constitution to fully participate in the political, economic and social spheres of Afghan life,
“Reiterating its call on all Afghan parties and groups to engage constructively in peaceful political dialogue as within the framework of the Afghan Constitution and to work together with international donors for the socio-economic development of the country and to avoid resorting to violence including through the use of illegal armed groups, supporting the aims of the High Peace Council,
“Strongly condemning the assassination of Professor Burhanuddin Rabbani, Chairman of the Afghanistan High Peace Council, emphasizing the importance of all states with relevant information extending to the Afghan authorities the assistance they may need and all relevant information they may possess pertaining to this terrorist attack, stressing the need for calm and solidarity in Afghanistan at this time and for all parties to reduce tensions, reiterating its firm commitment to support the Government of Afghanistan in its efforts to advance the peace and reconciliation process, in line with the Kabul Communiqué and within the framework of the Afghan Constitution and application of the procedures introduced by the Security Council in its resolution 1988 (2011), as well as other relevant resolutions of the Council,
“Stressing the importance of a comprehensive political process in Afghanistan to support reconciliation for all those who are prepared to meet the conditions for reconciliation in the 20 July 2010 Kabul Communiqué 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) and 1988 (2011) as well as other relevant resolutions of the Council, calling on all relevant states to remain engaged in the peace process, and recognizing the impact terrorist attacks have on the Afghan people and risk having on future prospects for a peace settlement,
“Recognizing that an increased number of the Taliban have reconciled with the Government of Afghanistan, have rejected the terrorist ideology of Al-Qaida and its followers, and support a peaceful resolution to the continuing conflict in Afghanistan, recognizing also that notwithstanding the evolution of the situation in Afghanistan and progress in reconciliation, security remains a serious challenge in Afghanistan and the region,
“Recognizing also the increased number of re-integrees that have joined the Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Programme (APRP), welcoming the results of the APRP Review Conference in May and recent efforts to ensure its implementation and encouraging further efforts to address remaining operational challenges, including through an appropriate vetting mechanism, and further encouraging the international community to support this Afghan-led effort,
“Welcoming the settlement of the institutional impasse after the decision to leave the Independent Electoral Commission with the final authority in electoral questions, reiterating the Afghan Government’s commitment in the Kabul Conference communiqué to address long-term electoral reform, based on lessons learned in previous elections, including the 2010 parliamentary elections, and reaffirming that Afghanistan’s peaceful future lies in the building of a stable, secure, economically self-sufficient state, free of terrorism and narcotics, based on strengthened democratic institutions, respect for the separation of powers, reinforced constitutional checks and balances and the guarantee and enforcement of citizens’ rights and obligations,
“Recognizing the importance of the contribution of neighbouring and regional partners as well as regional organizations including the EU, OSCE, SCO, CSTO and SAARC to the stabilization of Afghanistan, stressing the crucial importance of advancing regional cooperation as an effective means to promote security, governance and development in Afghanistan, welcoming and supporting increased regional efforts towards the continued implementation of previous declarations of good neighbourly relations,
“Welcoming the efforts of the international community carried out to strengthen the coherence of military and civilian actions, including those within the framework of ISAF,
“Welcoming also the continued coordination between ISAF and the OEF coalition, and in-theatre cooperation established between ISAF and the EU presence in Afghanistan,
“Expressing its appreciation for the leadership provided by NATO and for the contributions of many nations to ISAF and to the OEF coalition, which operates within the framework of the counter-terrorism operations in Afghanistan and in accordance with the applicable rules of international law,
“Determining that the situation in Afghanistan still constitutes a threat to international peace and security,
“Determined to ensure the full implementation of the mandate of ISAF, in coordination with the Afghan Government,
“Acting for these reasons under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,
“1. Decides to extend the authorization of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), as defined in resolution 1386 (2001) and 1510 (2003), for a period of 12 months until 13 October 2012;
“2. Authorizes the Member States participating in ISAF to take all necessary measures to fulfil its mandate;
“3. Recognizes the need for ISAF to meet all its operational requirements, welcomes the agreement between the Government of Afghanistan and countries contributing to ISAF to gradually transfer lead security responsibility in Afghanistan to the Afghan Government country-wide by the end of 2014 and the start of the transition process in July 2011, and calls upon Member States to contribute personnel, equipment and other resources to ISAF and to continue to pursue their efforts to support security and stability in Afghanistan;
“4. Welcomes the Enduring Partnership Declaration agreed by NATO and the Government of Afghanistan at the Lisbon Summit in November 2010, and in particular the intention expressed therein to provide, within the framework of the Enduring Partnership, sustained practical support aimed at improving and sustaining Afghanistan’s capacity and capability to tackle continued threats to its security, stability and integrity, and to contribute to the region’s security through the stabilization of the situation in Afghanistan;
“5. Stresses the importance of increasing, in a comprehensive framework, the functionality, professionalism and accountability of the Afghan security sector, encourages ISAF and other partners to sustain their efforts, as resources permit, to train, mentor and empower the Afghan national security forces, in order to accelerate progress towards the goal of self-sufficient, sustainable, accountable and ethnically balanced Afghan security forces providing security and ensuring the rule of law throughout the country, welcomes the increasing leadership role played by the Afghan Authorities in security responsibilities throughout the country, and stresses the importance of supporting the planned expansion of the Afghan National Army and the Afghan National Police;
“6. Calls upon ISAF and the NATO Senior Civilian Representative to continue to work in close consultation with the Afghan Government and the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General in accordance with Security Council resolution 1974 (2011) as well as with the OEF coalition in the implementation of the ISAF mandate;
“7. Requests the leadership of ISAF to keep the Security Council regularly informed, through the United Nations Secretary-General, on the implementation of its mandate, including through the timely provision of quarterly reports;
“8. Decides to remain actively seized of this matter.”
The Security Council had before it a report of the Secretary-General on the situation in Afghanistan and its implications for international peace and security (document A/66/368-S/2011/590), which provides an update of the activities of United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) since 23 June.
The report notes that there were fewer security incidents in July and August than in June, but the average number of incidents was up 39 per cent compared with the same period in 2010. Insurgents launched complex suicide attacks in urban centres, including on the Intercontinental Hotel, the British Council and the United States Embassy in Kabul, as well as on provincial centres. They also continued to conduct a campaign of intimidation, including through assassinations of high-level officials. However, on 17 July, the formal process of transition for security to the Afghan national security forces began. The Joint Coordination’s and Monitoring Board agreed to increase the number of National Police to 157,000 and the National Army to 195,000.
According to the report, the High Peace Council continued its outreach programme. According to its Joint Secretariat, 2,371 ex-fighters had joined the Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Programme as of the end of July, 431 more than in the previous month.
As for regional cooperation, the report notes that the Afghanistan-Pakistan Joint Commission for Reconciliation and Peace met in Kabul on 29 June. The representative of Pakistan reaffirmed support for peace and reconciliation efforts led by Afghanistan ands their readiness to encourage and facilitate an inclusive process. The Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement became operational on 12 June. Two tripartite core group meetings between Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United States focused on border security, reconciliation and economic issues. On 25 June, the Presidents of Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan signed a declaration on joint counter-narcotic and counter-terrorism efforts. A quadripartite meeting between the Presidents of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Russian Federation and Tajikistan discussed regional trade and cooperation issues.
The report notes an increase of 65 per cent in 2011 in the eradication of opium poppy fields, compared with 2010. At the end of June 2011, the national average price of opium was $274 per kilogram, an increase of 104 per cent compared with June 2010. In 2010, opium production was halved, owing mainly to the opium blight. High prices led to a strong increase in cultivation in northern, southern and western provinces. The Ministry of Counter-Narcotics started the National Drug Control Strategy review processing consultation with key national and international stakeholders involved in counter-narcotic efforts.
In the report, the Secretary-General observes that for the transition to Afghan responsibility for security to be successful, the Afghanistan national security forces must continue to demonstrate enhanced independent capability and professionalism. The formal agreement to increase the size of the forces was a positive development along the road to greater Afghanistan sovereignty and stability. Cautiously optimistic about the development of a broad-based peace and reconciliation process, the Secretary-General urges all Afghans not to succumb to the politics of mistrust, fear or revenge, but rather to work together towards reconciling their differences.
The formation of an Afghanistan-Pakistan Joint Commission for Reconciliation and Peace was a positive development that provides a regular structured mechanism for the two countries to discuss reconciliation issues, according to the Secretary-General. It is up to both countries to ensure that the Joint Commission becomes effective in facilitating the reconciliation of anti-Government elements and addressing the cross-border dimension of the insurgency. The Secretary-General also hopes that the tripartite meetings between Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United States will lessen tensions across the border and increase trust. The importance of regional cooperation to strengthen the stability and prosperity of Afghanistan can not be overstated.
Coordinated support is necessary if Afghanistan is to meet immediate socio-economic needs and strengthen institutions that provide basic services, notably in the areas of security, justice, social services and natural resource and disaster management. A comprehensive approach on transition to support development of Afghanistan and its proper governance could rectify the current imbalance between the emphasis on security and that on governance and development. From a development perspective, the current transition process raises a number of core issues, the Secretary-General states. It is important to recognize that development, governance and the rule of law are crucial if transition is to be sustainable and irreversible.
The Secretary-General observes that Afghanistan remains by far the largest source of illicit opium and heroin. While he is pleased with efforts made by Afghan authorities to reduce production, the Secretary-General states that a global problem on that scale requires global efforts. He therefore encourages all Member States to continue cooperating in addressing that situation.
* *** *