UN should play effective role in Afghanistan: Envoy

Iran’s new Ambassador to the United Nations, Gholam Ali Khoshroo

Iran’s new Ambassador to the United Nations, Gholam Ali Khoshroo

New York, March 17, IRNA – Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations Gholamali Khoshroo has urged the UN officials to play an effective role in tackling the threats in Afghanistan.

Full text of Khoshroo’s remarks addressing a meeting of UN Security Council on ‘The Situation in Afghanistan’ follows:

Statement by H.E. Mr. Golam Ali Khoshroo Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations

On ‘The Situation in Afghanistan’ Before the Security Council of the United Nations

16 March 2015, New York

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Mr. President,

I would like to express my appreciations to you for holding this debate on the situation in Afghanistan. I would also like to Thank Ambassador Tanin of Afghanistan for his statement , as well as Mr. Nicholas Haysom Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan and head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) for his report.

The Islamic Republic of Iran, with its deep cultural and historical ties with Afghanistan, has always supported peace, stability, security and socio-economic development in Afghanistan. To us, security in Afghanistan is tantamount to security in our borders and in the Region.

Iran was among the first who welcomed the formation of the national unity Government in Afghanistan with Dr. Ashraf Ghani as its President and Dr. Abdullah as its Chief Executive. Having assumed full leadership, Afghanistan has now entered a very crucial pathway of transformation. Strong and visionary leadership taken by the new government would address current challenges in a sustainable, strategic and consistent manner. We are confident hat the National unity Government is best positioned to face major challenges of peace and development.

The latest Secretary General’s report on Afghanistan that is indicative of possible increase in armed attacks and violence in the coming summer season, should be a matter of deep concern to us and all countries in the Region . Insecurity, Instability and poverty provide the most fertile grounds for rapid growth and reemergence of violent extremist groups and, even now footholds for Deash in Afghanistan, as referred to by SRSG Haysom today.

Unfortunately, the report shows that the number of terrorist activities has been increased during the recent months. We condemn all violent attacks committed by these terrorist groups as well as any cooperation with them, since we believe this will embolden them in their odious behavior and will be counterproductive to establishing peace in Afghanistan.

On the important question of security arrangements and the activities of the foreign troops, including Resolute Support Mission (RSM), we believe this should be with full consent and in constant consultation with the Government. This is a vital requirement to demonstrate the strong commitment of the international community to respect the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Afghanistan.

On bilateral cooperation, Iran’s Foreign minister visited Kabul on 20 January and discussed issues of common interest such as Security cooperation and establishing bilateral strategic cooperation between two countries. This visit was preceded by the 15 December signing in Tehran, of a Memorandum of Understanding by the Commander of the Iranian Border Guards and his Afghan counterpart, to enhance cooperation in countering terrorism and drug trafficking. Iran stands ready to increase its bilateral cooperation, particularly on security matters, counter-narcotics efforts, developing projects and economic cooperation in the fields of infrastructures and agriculture as well as durable solution for Afghan refugees.

There are also great potentials to explore in the fields of trade and transit. To complete the Railroad project between Harat and khaf city in Iran and Iran’s readiness to make available its port facilities in Chah Bahar, which we believe is very useful for Afghanistan as a land locked country, are two ongoing examples in this regard. The tripartite agreement between India, Afghanistan and Iran needs to be finalized in order to move forward with the latter.

On the Counter-narcotics efforts, we are particularly concerned about the reports indicating that the opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan has been almost doubled since 2012. It is a real threat for the Region and beyond and should be addressed by the international community. We welcome the regional initiatives taken by countries of the region, including China, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan and Iran to this end.

Strong support and commitment of the international donors, Afghan authorities and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is essential to deter the menace of drug cultivation and drug trafficking. This is not only a major public health challenge but also, and more importantly, a main source of income for extremist and terrorist groups. Thus, the international community should specially support the Triangular Initiative on cooperation on countering narcotics among Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan. This is a useful initiative to benefit Afghanistan as well as transit and destination countries.

Millions of Afghan refugees continue to live in Iran, drop in their voluntary repatriation underlines the importance of meeting the reasonable needs of repatriated refugees in Afghanistan in order to reverse that trend, and underscores the necessity for mobilizing more international support for the host countries of Afghan refugees pending their repatriation.

We support UNAMA as well as UN agencies in their efforts to providing development and reconstruction assistance to Afghanistan through a robust regional engagement on issues such as border security, immigration, return of refugees and drug control measures. The role of UNAMA should be further strengthened in the light of the important political as well as socio economic developments in Afghanistan. The future involvement of UNAMA is going to be deepened and strengthened, due to its unique role and multi-faceted and more complicated challenges.

Let me conclude, Mr. President by expressing my best wishes to the people of Afghanistan on the occasion of ,our and their, new year of Nowruz .I wish them peace and prosperity in the new year which starts on the first day of spring , as also proclaimed by the General Assembly resolution 64/253 as the International Day of Nowruz.

I thank you Mr. President