New York

3 April 2014

Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on Afghanistan

The Secretary-General is encouraged by the technical and security preparations and broad public engagement for Afghanistan's upcoming Presidential and Provincial Council elections. These are extremely important elections for the country. He urges all Afghan men and women to participate in the vote on 5 April and to take this opportunity to have their say on the future direction of their country.
The Secretary-General denounces violence by any group. He specifically condemns statements by the Taliban threatening further attacks on civilian election workers, candidates, observers, voters and election sites. He reiterates that deliberate attacks against civilians are serious violations of international humanitarian law and that those responsible will be held accountable.
The Secretary-General welcomes Afghan ownership of the electoral process and calls upon Afghan institutions to discharge their responsibility to deliver credible, inclusive and transparent elections. He urges the candidates and their supporters to show patience and respect for electoral institutions and processes, while the ballots are counted and complaints adjudicated, and to abide by the results of the polls.