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Statement by Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan of China at Security Council Open Debate on the Issue of Afghanistan

Mr. President,

At the outset, I wish to thank the Secretary-General for his statement and his special representative, Mr. Brahimi, for his briefing.

Mr. President,

Having gone through two decades of civil war, the current situation in Afghanistan is all the more shaky and complex. The humanitarian situation has further deteriorated and is having repercussions in the neighbouring countries. Should it not be eased and contained in a timely fashion, it would become a threat to peace and stability of the whole region.

With the changing situation on the battlefield within Afghanistan, the question of a potential power vacuum has cropped up. There are ever greater dangers of large-scale social chaos in that country. It is therefore imperative for the international community, the United Nations in particular, to accelerate the process of a political settlement of the Afghan question, including facilitating the establishment of a transitional administration, and set in motion Afghanistan's  reconstruction as soon as possible. At this critical juncture, the United Nations should play a leading role and should, together with the international community, provide necessary political, technical and financial assistance to Afghanistan on an urgent basis.

Mr. President,

Various plans concerning the post-war arrangement in Afghanistan have been proposed by various parties concerned and some consensus was reached at yesterday's "6+2" ministerial meeting. We should encourage all parties and factions in Afghanistan to intensify political dialogue with a view to reaching agreement on the composition of the transitional administration and avoiding the occurrence of a power vacuum. At least they should reach basic agreement on the political framework of the future arrangement. We are of the view that the transitional administration should be broad-based, fully represent the interests of all ethnic groups and live in amity with all countries, especially its neighbours. This is the only way that can contribute to lasting peace. It goes without saying that in the final analysis, any solution to the Afghan question must be decided by Afghan people themselves.

Mr. President,

We have always maintained that political dialogue stands as the only way to the enduring peace in Afghanistan. We are ready to take into serious consideration any propositions and recommendations that are conducive to restoring peace, stability and neutrality of Afghanistan and conform to the fundamental interests of its people of all ethnic groups.  China has provided emergency humanitarian assistance to Afghan refugees.  It is our hope that the international community will make a greater effort to ease the current humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.  The Chinese Government is willing to, together with all sides, make constructive efforts for the promotion of the comprehensive and political solution to the issue of Afghanistan with the assistance by the United Nations.

Thank you, Mr. President.
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