|Statement by Ambassador LIU Jieyi at the Security Council Debate on Afghanistan|
(Photo by UN Photo)
I thank you, Sir, for convening this open debate on Afghanistan. I also thank the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Afghanistan, Mr. Haysom, for his briefing, and Ambassador Saikal, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan, for his statement.
China strongly condemns the multiple terrorist attacks that took place in Afghanistan on 20 June. We express our profound sympathy to the families of the victims, as well as our sincere condolences to the Government and the people of Afghanistan. Recently, the Afghan Government of National Unity has generally been operating in an effective way and making substantial efforts to develop its economy, promote reconciliation and safeguard stability. Afghanistan continues to face grim challenges in the political, economic and security fields. There is a need for unity on the part of all Afghan communities, as well as the sustained attention, support and assistance of the international community. I wish to emphasize the following four points.
First, improvement in the security situation is the basis for Afghan stability. Recently, the security situation in Afghanistan has taken a turn for the worse. Domestic armed clashes have been escalating, with increasing civilian casualties. The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, Al-Qaida and other terrorist forces are seizing the opportunity to enhance their presence in Afghanistan, thus gravely jeopardizing Afghan safety and stability. The international community should enhance Afghan’s self-defense and counterterrorism capabilities by increasing its assistance to the country in the security sector so as to prevent reversion in the security situation. We hope that the United Nations will strengthen its assessment of the security situation in Afghanistan; promote cooperation between Afghanistan and the countries of the region in the fight against terrorism, drugs and transnational crimes; and jointly create conditions conducive to improving the security situation in Afghanistan.
Secondly, promoting national reconciliation is a fundamental way of achieving a solution on the question of Afghanistan. China welcomes the recent peace agreement between the Afghan Government and Hezb-i-Islami. We hope that it will serve as an example for the Afghan national reconciliation process. The international community should continue to exercise a positive influence on the parties concerned and fully support an inclusive reconciliation process led and owned by Afghans. The Afghan parties concerned must put the interests of the nation and the people above all else and resume peace talks as soon as possible.
Thirdly, strengthening governance is an important guarantee for Afghan development. After all, Afghan affairs must be managed by the Afghan people themselves. In the light of Afghanistan’s development strategy and its concrete needs, the international community should provide more targeted assistance to the Afghan Government in terms of resources for governing the country and consolidate the results of its nation-building efforts. With national stability and prosperous development in mind, all Afghan communities should strengthen their unity and commit to resolving their differences through dialogue and consultations.
Fourthly, the promotion of economic and social development is a necessary condition for Afghan prosperity and stability. The international community must increase its assistance to Afghanistan; support the Afghan Government’s efforts to halt its economic downturn, promote comprehensive economic and social development in Afghanistan, encourage and support the Afghan Government in its efforts to fully leverage its advantages in terms of resources and location, strengthen cooperation with Afghanistan in the areas of infrastructure, trade, investment and human-resources training and promote Afghanistan’s relations with neighboring countries in their mutual interest so that Afghanistan can be integrated into robust regional development. Resolution 2274 (2016) calls on all parties to actively participate in the “Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road” initiative and other initiatives in the area of economic cooperation. We hope that all parties will comply with the resolution and actively participate in developing regional connectivity, communication and economic cooperation.
China and Afghanistan are friendly neighbors. China hopes that Afghanistan will achieve peace, security, stability and development as soon as possible. Recently, Mr. Abdullah, Afghanistan’s Chief Executive Officer, visited China. China and Afghanistan jointly signed multiple important documents regarding cooperation in economy, technology, connectivity, communication and other areas. China firmly supports Afghanistan’s counterterrorism efforts and will continue to provide Afghanistan with assistance to strengthen its security capabilities. China firmly supports the Afghan peace and reconciliation process and stands ready to continue to play an active role in the Quadrilateral Coordination Group mechanism in order to help promote Afghan reconciliation. China firmly supports Afghanistan’s integration into regional cooperation efforts. We will align the “Belt and Road Initiative” with Afghanistan’s national transition and development strategy and continue to contribute to Afghans’ early attainment of sustainable peace and development.