In Presidential Statement on Afghanistan, Security Council Notes Responsibility of All Parties to Create Conditions Necessary for Credible Elections

SC/13431
23 July 2018
8315th Meeting (AM)

In Presidential Statement on Afghanistan, Security Council Notes Responsibility of All Parties to Create Conditions Necessary for Credible Elections

The Security Council noted today the conclusion of the voter registration process in Afghanistan on 18 July, in which 8.9 million people registered — including more than 3 million women — to vote in parliamentary and district council elections on 20 October 2018, and in presidential elections in 2019.

In presidential statement S/PRST/2018/15 — read out by Olof Skoog (Sweden), Council President for July — the 15-member organ recalls that the Afghanistan Government, political leaders, the Independent Electoral Commission and the Electoral Complaints Commission carry the primary responsibility to create the conditions necessary for credible elections to take place.

Stressing the importance of addressing sexual- and gender-based violence against female voters and candidates, the Council calls on all parties to adhere to the requirements of the electoral law — and all other relevant regulations — and to uphold the highest standards of integrity throughout this “important and historic” process, so that the outcome reflects the will of the Afghan people.

In that context, the Council emphasizes the central role of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) in supporting the organization of elections, condemning in the strongest terms those who resort to violence to obstruct that process, including the Taliban and Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh) affiliates.

By other terms, the Council emphasizes the need for electoral observation missions to be in place and welcomes the intention of international partners to provide support at the request of the Afghanistan Government.

Mahmoud Saikal (Afghanistan) thanked the Council for taking a “very firm stand” on the course of democratization in his country, underscoring the importance of consolidating the significant gains made over the past 18 years.  The Afghan people are eager for credible elections.  It now is the job of the Government, relevant departments and agencies, political parties and leaders, civil society and independent electoral bodies to pave the way for free and fair elections.  There is no doubt the Government has the full support of the Afghan people and the international community, as symbolized by today’s presidential statement.

The meeting began at 10:04 a.m. and ended at 10:13 a.m.

Presidential Statement

The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2018/15 reads as follows:

“The Security Council notes the conclusion of the voter registration process in Afghanistan on 18 July, which according to preliminary data of the Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan saw more than 8.9 million Afghans register, including more than 3 million women, in order to exercise their democratic right to vote at the upcoming parliamentary and district council elections on 20 October 2018 and in the 2019 presidential elections.

“The Security Council recalls that the Afghan Government, political leaders, and the Independent Electoral Commission and Electoral Complaints Commission carry the primary responsibility to create the necessary conditions for credible elections to take place.

“The Security Council emphasizes the need to address remaining challenges and to accelerate progress in electoral preparations, which requires without further delay the completion of outstanding issues, including the approval of candidates to fill critical vacancies within the Independent Election Commission and the Electoral Complaints Commission, the establishment of a central database of all registered voters that identifies irregularities, as well as the publication of a final list of candidates.

“The Security Council underscores the importance of developing sustainable democratic institutions in Afghanistan based on inclusive, transparent and credible elections, and stresses the need to promote the full and safe participation of women, as well as members of minority groups, including ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities, both as voters and candidates.

“The Security Council reaffirms its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Afghanistan, and in this regar,d underscores its support to the Afghan electoral process as a fully Afghan‑led and Afghan-owned process.

“The Security Council calls on all parties concerned to adhere to the fundamental requirements laid out by the electoral law and all other relevant regulations and to uphold the highest standards of integrity throughout this important and historic process, so that the final outcome reflects the will of the people of Afghanistan.

“The Security Council emphasizes the central role of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), in cooperation with the wider United Nations system, and in close consultation and coordination with the Government of Afghanistan, in supporting the organization of elections and the strengthening of electoral reform efforts by providing technical assistance and capacity-building and by coordinating international assistance efforts.

“The Security Council stresses the importance of addressing sexual- and gender-based violence against female voters and candidates.

“The Security Council stresses the importance of a secure environment for conducting elections, condemns in the strongest terms those who resort to violence to obstruct the electoral process, including the Taliban and Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh) affiliates, and commends the resiliency, progress, and exceptional courage displayed by the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces in their leading role in securing their country.

“The Security Council welcomes the commitment by civil society to conduct observation at every polling station to monitor voting, counting, tabulating, and transmission of results.

“The Security Council emphasizes the need for appropriate electoral observation missions to be in place, and welcomes the intention of international partners to provide support at the request of the Afghan Government, and calls on all parties to facilitate and respect the observers’ work.

“The Security Council reaffirms its commitment to the ability of all Afghan citizens throughout Afghanistan to exercise their civil and political rights, and reiterates its continued support for the Afghan Government and people of Afghanistan in their pursuit of democratic development, prosperity and durable peace.

“The Security Council expresses the intention to continue to closely follow the electoral process, including progress on the electoral preparations, and in this regard, looks forward to the thorough verification of registered voters following the completion of the registration process, and requests UNAMA to provide an update to council members on key developments and progress regarding electoral preparations within one month of the adoption of this statement.”

For information media. Not an official record.