|Statement by Ambassador Li Baodong at the Security Council Debate on Afghanistan|
I wish to thank you, Mr. President, for convening this debate on Afghanistan. I also wish to thank Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for his briefing and the Permanent Representative of Afghanistan, Ambassador Tanin, for his statement.
Thanks to the efforts of the Afghan Government and people, the overall transition of Afghanistan in recent years has proceeded smoothly, and remarkable progress has been achieved in peace and reconstruction. Afghanistan has taken important steps towards the full realization of the ultimate goal of an Afghanistan governed by Afghans. Currently, the situation in Afghanistan is at a critical juncture of its transition. A stable and prosperous Afghanistan where all ethnic groups live together in harmony requires long-term efforts on the part of the Afghan Government and people, as well as sustained support and assistance by the international community. I wish to stress the following four points.
First, the 2014 presidential and provincial elections represent an important milestone in the Afghan political process. China welcomes the efforts made and the progress achieved by various parties in Afghanistan in preparing for the 2014 elections. We hope that the Afghan people will continue to pursue dialogue and consultations as a way to appropriately address their differences and ensure the success of the elections, so as to lay down a sound foundation for the transformation of the country.
Secondly, China supports the peace and reconciliation process led by the Afghan Government. We hope that the Government will listen carefully to the views of the people and the various political factions, expand the basis of reconciliation and achieve greater progress. We support the High Peace Council in continuing to play a positive role in promoting national reconciliation, and we welcome the assistance provided by Pakistan and other regional States.
Thirdly, peace and stability represent the basis for national reconciliation and economic development in Afghanistan. The security situation of the country still remains fragile, and China is concerned by the large number of civilian casualties. Any act causing innocent civilian casualties is unacceptable. All parties should comply with international humanitarian law and other relevant international law and fulfill their responsibility to protect civilians. The transfer of responsibility for security to the Afghan National Security Forces has entered the fourth stage. The parties concerned in transferring security responsibility to the Afghan Government should take a responsible approach and proceed in an orderly manner and attend to enhancing the capacity-building of the Afghan army and police.
Fourthly, there is a need for increased assistance and continued support for the Kabul process. The parties concerned should effectively implement their assistance commitments and, in accordance with the priorities set forth in the Afghan National Development Strategy, support Afghanistan in enhancing its capacity to achieve economic and social development by itself. China supports Afghanistan in enhancing cooperation with other regional States on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit.
China supports the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) in continuing to play a central role in coordinating international assistance for Afghan peace and reconstruction. China welcomes the resolution adopted by the Security Council today, on the extension of the Mission’s mandate. China is in favour of providing adequate resources to the Mission to implement its mandate. During the transition period, Afghanistan’s national institution-building and its capacity for self- governance will continue to increase. China hopes that UNAMA will continue to engage in full consultations with the Afghan Government on the implementation of its Security Council mandate.
China has always been committed to good neighbourly relations with Afghanistan. It attaches importance to, and takes an active part in, the peace and reconstruction process of that country. We will continue to provide assistance to Afghanistan to the best of our abilities and play a constructive role for the early realization of peace, stability and development in Afghanistan.
Thank you, Mr. President.