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30 January 2002

Text: UN Security Council Highlights Urgent Issues for Afghanistan

(Council concerned about outside pressure, ethnic differences) (990)
United Nations -- The U.N. Security Council has highlighted two urgent
issues that need to be addressed to ensure Afghanistan's political
stability.
"For a real success to be achieved in the Afghan political
stabilization, we believe that the following two issues, among others,
need urgent attention," the council said in a statement January 30.
"Firstly, the reconciliation, reconstruction and rehabilitation
process should not be derailed by any outside pressure or
intervention."
"Secondly, it is high time that leaders and representatives of
different ethnic groups within Afghanistan forgo their differences and
invest in the construction of a nation with sound democratic
credentials," the council said.
The statement was read by the president of the council for January,
Mauritius Foreign Minister Anil Kumarsingh Gayan, at a public meeting
convened to hear from the chairman of the Afghan Interim
Administration, Hamid Karzai.
The council also assured Karzai of its "unqualified and unreserved"
support for peace, justice and stability in Afghanistan and its
readiness "to extend the necessary assistance to the people of
Afghanistan who have suffered virtually every privation known to
mankind...."
Following is the text of the Security Council's statement:
(begin text)
Statement by the President of the Security Council (Mauritius)
At the United Nations Security Council Public Meeting
On the Situation in Afghanistan
New York, New York
January 30, 2002
On behalf of the Members of the Council let me extend a warm welcome
to the Chairman of the Afghan Interim Authority, His Excellency Mr.
Hamid Karzai. We thank you for your statement on the situation in
Afghanistan.
At the very outset allow me, your Excellency, to assure you of the
Council's unqualified and unreserved support to your quest for peace,
justice and stability in Afghanistan. The Council remains committed to
help move this process forward, which is on the right track. We stand
ready to extend the necessary assistance to the people of Afghanistan
who have suffered virtually every privation known to mankind and who
deserve a better future.
The Security Council reaffirms its wholehearted commitment to
supporting the Interim Authority and the transitional process. In that
light, we welcome the International Conference on Reconstruction
Assistance to Afghanistan held in Tokyo and the efforts of the Afghan
Support Group as well as bilateral donors as vital and integral to
assisting the Interim Authority. Council members emphasize that rapid
disbursement of assistance and good coordination in its delivery, in
full cooperation with the Interim Authority, are essential.
The Security Council expresses its concern about the episodes of
lawlessness in Afghanistan. It commends the efforts of those States
contributing to the International Security Assistance Force and
welcomes the progress the International Security Assistance Force is
making in assisting in the restoration of security in Kabul and its
surrounding areas. We emphasize that UN and non-governmental relief
operations must be allowed to operate in security and with full
freedom of movement, particularly in those areas most in need of
humanitarian assistance.
In all its decisions the Security Council has stressed the point that
it is for the people of Afghanistan themselves to freely determine
their own future. The Security Council will continue to support all
efforts based on the Bonn Agreement, leading to the formation of a
government in Afghanistan that should be broad-based, multi-ethnic and
fully representative of all the Afghan people and committed to peace
with its neighbors. It is essential for the Afghanistan Interim
Authority and for a new government of Afghanistan to fully respect the
basic human rights of all Afghan people, regardless of gender,
ethnicity and religion.
There is still a lot to do to assist the Afghan people in what appears
to be one of the most challenging and imposing tasks of our time, for
a real success to be achieved in the Afghan political stabilization,
we believe that the following two issues, among others, need urgent
attention. Firstly, the reconciliation, reconstruction and
rehabilitation process should not be derailed by any outside pressure
or intervention. Here we appeal to the international community to
continue extending their valuable support to the Afghanistan Interim
Authority to take the country away from the legacy of war, misery and
instability.
Secondly, it is high time that leaders and representatives of
different ethnic groups within Afghanistan forgo their differences and
invest in the construction of a nation with sound democratic
credentials.
The Members of the Security Council take good note of the Decree
banning cultivation, production, processing, drug abuse and illicit
trafficking of narcotic drugs, which was issued on 17 January under
your signature. Likewise, we welcome the Decree on the rights of
women. Such bold steps prove that the Interim Authority is resolute in
its objective of reinstating peace and stability in Afghanistan as
well as creating the conditions for Afghans to lead a normal life. We
also welcome the appointment of women to key positions in the new
administration, including in the Cabinet. Council members recognize
that the success of the Bonn Agreement would depend on the people of
Afghanistan themselves.
The Security Council welcomes the central role played by the United
Nations in assisting Afghanistan and expresses its full support for
the Secretary-General's Special Representative, Ambassador Lakhdar
Brahimi in the accomplishment of his mandate.
It would be remiss on our part not to mention the significant
contribution made by the humanitarian agencies and their staff, the
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and all the NGOs
in Afghanistan. The Security Council underscores the importance of
assuring their security.
Finally Excellency, on behalf of the members, I appeal to all Afghans
and the United Nations member states to build on the momentum created
through your efforts and those of the Special Representative of the
Secretary General so that the institutions and mechanisms put in place
by the Interim Authority could operate smoothly toward a better future
for the Afghan people.
I thank you.
(end text)
(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)



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