|Remarks by Ambassador Li Baodong at the Security Council on the Situation in Afghanistan|
(Photo by Shen Hong/ Xinhua News Agency)
I thank Under-Secretary-General Ladsous and the Executive Director of United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Mr. Fedotov, for their briefings. I also thank the Permanent Representative of Afghanistan, Ambassador Tanin, for his statement.
Thanks to the concerted efforts of the Government and people of Afghanistan, and with the support of the international community, recently there has been positive progress in the situation in Afghanistan. China supports continued adherence to the principle of Afghan-led and Afghan-owned activities in promoting the Kabul process so as to achieve lasting peace, stability and development. I wish to stress the following points.
First, China supports the reconciliation and reintegration process led by the Afghan Government and welcomes the appointment of the new Chair, Mr. Rabbani, to the High Peace Council. We hope that the relevant parties in Afghanistan will remain committed to an inclusive political dialogue and peace process so as to achieve national reconciliation. It is of vital importance that the next general election in Afghanistan be held smoothly. China welcomes the preparation carried out by the Afghan Government in that regard.
Secondly, China notes the recent decline in the number of security incidents in Afghanistan and the increased response capacity of the Afghan National Security Forces. We welcome the fact that the handover of security responsibilities from the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to the Afghan National Security Forces has entered the third tranche. At the same time, we hope that, in implementing the drawdown plans, the relevant parties will take into full consideration the need to maintain security and stability in Afghanistan, and that the drawdown will be carried out in a smooth and orderly manner.
Thirdly, we have witnessed incidents recently that have claimed heavy civilian casualties. We note that the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has expressed its concern about the civilian casualties caused by air strikes. All parties to armed conflict should abide by international humanitarian law and relevant international law and fulfill their obligations to protect civilians.
Fourthly, narcotics are toxic to the reconstruction and peace process in Afghanistan. China appreciates the efforts of the Afghan Government in combating illicit drugs and welcomes the continued cooperation between UNODC and the Afghan authorities in support of the implementation of the country's national drug control plan.
Fifthly, the reconstruction and development of Afghanistan require the continued attention and support of the international community. The potential negative impact of the transition period on the country's economic and social development deserves our keen attention. China hopes that the recent spate of international conferences on Afghanistan will help to encourage the international community to make good on its commitments and to develop a long-term strategy to support Afghanistan.
Last but not least, China commends the United Nations for its role in facilitating the peaceful reconstruction of Afghanistan, and supports UNAMA's central coordinating role in facilitating the international community's assistance to the peaceful reconstruction of Afghanistan. We hope that UNAMA will continue to strengthen its communication, coordination and cooperation with the Afghan authority. I shall now resume my functions as President of the Council. Prior to giving the floor to the representatives of non-Council members, I wish to request that they limit their statements to no more than four minutes in order to enable the Council to carry out its work expeditiously.