|Statement by Ambassador Li Baodong, Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations, at the Security Council Open Debate on the Situation in Afghanistan|
I welcome the participation of the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan, His Excellency Mr. Zalmai Rassoul, and thank him for his presentation on the situation in Afghanistan. I should like also to thank the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Ján Kubiš, for his briefing.
To date, Afghanistan’s peace and reconstruction process has achieved positive results. The building up of the Afghan National Security Forces is progressing smoothly, thereby laying a solid foundation for a comprehensive takeover of security and defense responsibilities. Afghanistan is actively developing its economy so as to improve people’s livelihoods and is engaging in trade and cooperation with other countries. China welcomes these developments.
China has always firmly supported Afghanistan in its efforts to maintain its national sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, and to realize enduring peace and stability. We hope that the international community will adhere to the principle of an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process and continue to support the Government and the people of Afghanistan in their efforts towards peace and reconstruction and to realize, at an early date, the objective of an Afghanistan governed by Afghans.
With respect to advancing the peace and reconstruction process in Afghanistan, I should like to stress four points.
First, security, stability, the political process, economic development and national reconciliation all are important aspects of Afghanistan’s national reconstruction that need to be pursued with vigour. We support Afghanistan’s efforts to enhance its ability to develop autonomously and increase its Government’s capacity. Continuing to comprehensively push for an Afghan political and national reconciliation process is conducive to an early realization of the country’s long term security and stability and will create favourable conditions for economic and social development.
Secondly, the transfer of security responsibilities to Afghan forces must proceed gradually. The withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan by the parties concerned should occur with full consideration for the need to maintain Afghanistan’s security and stability. In that process, the international community must give priority to helping the country enhance its security sector capacity-building. China is seriously concerned about continued civilian casualties, especially about reports of the death and injury of women and children in air attacks. All sides should strictly abide by international humanitarian law and relevant international law and effectively protect civilians.
Thirdly, Afghanistan’s reconstruction and development require the international community’s ongoing support and help. The international community has committed to providing $16 billion in financial assistance to Afghanistan by 2015. That assistance should be reflected in actual deeds as soon as possible. The international community’s assistance to Afghanistan must fully respect the priority areas set out by the country and support the full implementation of the national development strategy.
Fourthly, China strongly supports greater cooperation among countries of the region on the Afghan issue on the basis of the principles of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit. Regional cooperation initiatives should fully respect Afghanistan’s sovereignty, prioritize the legitimate concerns of the countries of the region, and be conducted consistently on the basis of adequate consultations. Strengthened regional cooperation can benefit from fully utilizing existing regional mechanisms, such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
China supports the United Nations efforts in promoting peace building in Afghanistan. We hope that the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Afghan Government will strengthen their coordination and cooperation. We hope that UNAMA will continue to play a central coordination role in the international community’s efforts to assist Afghanistan. China and Afghanistan are friendly neighbours. China will continue to support Afghanistan’s peacebuilding, provide help to Afghanistan within our capacity and support Afghanistan in its efforts to realize peace, stability and development.
Thank you, Mr. President.