Statement by Ambassador Hjálmar W. Hannesson, Permanent Representative of Iceland to the United Nations on the situation in Afghanistan
I take the floor briefly to convey Iceland’s continuing support to the rebuilding of Afghanistan. As in previous years Iceland is a co-sponsor of the draft resolution on the situation in Afghanistan and its implications for international peace and security and on emergency international assistance for peace, normalcy and reconstruction of war-stricken Afghanistan.
After nearly four years since the signing of the historic Bonn Agreement we have seen the conclusion of the political process envisaged in that agreement. The parliamentary and provincial elections held in Afghanistan on 18 September, the first in the country, in more than 30 years, mark important steps on Afghanistan’s road to recovery, peace and stability. We commend all parties involved for their role in organising and securing the elections. We congratulate the people of Afghanistan on the confirmation of the final results and the newly elected representatives who will take their seats in the House of the People next month. Especially we would like to congratulate the Afghan women who have been elected. Full participation of Afghan women in every aspect of the political system – as well as civil, economic and social life of the country, must be a priority.
Afghanistan, with international assistance, has progressed substantially toward stability. However, the democratic elections were held amidst a persistently unstable security environment and I agree with what the Ambassador of India said a few minutes ago on the grave security situation. We condemn attacks in Afghanistan, against civilians and international staff, that are intended to disrupt the democratic process. In this connection we deplore the fact that Afghanistan has become more dependent on narcotics production and trafficking in drugs. In the draft resolution before us the General Assembly indeed expresses its deep concerns about this development.
Iceland will continue to contribute to assisting the Afghan people, including through the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in their reconstruction and efforts to re-establish normalcy, in a manner compatible with requirements concerning the security of its civilian peacekeepers.
I agree with what the Ambassador of Japan stated just now on the importance of national ownership but Afghanistan continues to need comprehensive and coordinated international support to enable it to take its place as a full member of the international community. Iceland intends to continue to play its role in this respect.
Thank you Mr. President.