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GA/11979
21 November 2017
Seventy-second Session, 58th Meeting (AM)

Adopting Draft on Afghanistan, General Assembly Condemns Targeting Civilians, Urging States to Deny Terrorist Groups Sanctuary

Concluding a two-day debate on Afghanistan, the General Assembly adopted a draft resolution on the situation in that country today, reiterating its grave concern about the security landscape, condemning all terrorist attacks and noting with great concern the strong nexus between the drug trade and terrorist activities.

By the terms of the draft resolution “The situation in Afghanistan” (document A/72/L.8), tabled since 1980 and introduced on 20 November, the Assembly stressed the need for the Government of Afghanistan and the international community to continue to work together to counter terrorist acts.  It also called on Member States to deny terrorist groups any form of sanctuary or support that would endanger the country and regional peace and security.

Delegates reaffirmed their support for an Afghan‑led and Afghan‑owned solution to end conflict and build a peaceful, stable future.  Representatives of the Maldives, United Kingdom and Norway said more support was needed from the international community to improve Afghanistan’s security situation.  That echoed the message dozens of delegates had voiced yesterday.  (See Press Release GA/11977 of 20 November.)

During today’s debate, Norway’s representative said the common goal was to stabilize Afghanistan and keep it from being a safe haven for terrorists.  He expressed concern that the Taliban was gaining territory.  Many nations agreed that continued international military engagement and other types of support were critical, but not sufficient to resolve the conflict.  Engagement with the Taliban was also essential.

The representative of the Maldives said that while some major progress had been made, including the election of the first Afghan member to serve on the Human Rights Council, more must be done.  Greater economic cooperation from regional countries was crucial to Afghanistan’s development and the safety and security of its people.

“The people of Afghanistan deserve better,” said the United Kingdom’s delegate.  He noted Afghanistan’s recent progress, adding that the country now had a democratic Government that had introduced broad social improvements.  “L.8” was an important reaffirmation of both the United Kingdom’s and the international community’s continued commitment to stability in Afghanistan.

The Assembly will reconvene at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, 29 November, to consider the question of Palestine and the situation in the Middle East.

Statements

AHMED NASIR (Maldives) said the Government of Afghanistan needed more support from the United Nations, Member States and all stakeholders towards improving the country’s security situation.  Voicing support for an Afghan‑led, Afghan‑owned peace process with support from its regional partners, he stressed that the Afghan people must be allowed to lead all discussions to shape their own future.  While significant strides had been made in recent years, including the first election of an Afghan member to the Human Rights Council and the establishment of the new Afghanistan national peace and development framework, greater economic integration and collaboration from all regional partners was paramount for the country’s development and the safety and security of its people.

STEPHEN HICKEY (United Kingdom) said Afghanistan continued to face tremendous challenges to its peace and stability and threats to security and development goals.  “The people of Afghanistan deserve better,” he said, adding that the country now had a democratic Government that had introduced broad social improvements.  The United Kingdom would keep working closely with that Government and continue to offer development funds and increase the number of military advisors in Afghanistan.  “L.8” was an important reaffirmation of both the United Kingdom’s and the international community’s continued commitment to stability in Afghanistan.  An Afghan‑led and Afghan‑owned solution was the only viable option, he said, calling on the Assembly to support the Afghan President.

KJETIL J. HALVORSEN (Norway) said the common goal was to stabilize Afghanistan and keep it from being a safe haven for terrorists.  The National Unity Government was the best hope to achieve those goals, he said, noting that the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) was making strides against the production of narcotics in the country.  However, the Taliban was gaining territory.  There was broad agreement among nations that continued international military engagement and other types of support were critical, but not sufficient to resolve the conflict.  Engagement with the Taliban was also critical.  Norway had contributed towards bringing all parties together and would continue to do so.  Noting that Afghanistan was one of the largest recipients of Norwegian aid, receiving about $80 million annually, he voiced support for plans to hold Afghan elections in 2018 and 2019, adding that the international community should support the country’s Independent Election Commission in ensuring their free, fair and transparent conduct.

For information media. Not an official record.