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Statement by Ambassador Wang Yingfan, Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations, at the Security Council on the situation in Afghanistan

2002/03/26

My delegation welcomes your presence today, Sir, and we thank you for presiding over today's meeting. Our thanks also go to Ms. Fréchette, Deputy Secretary-General, for her briefing and her introduction of the report of the Secretary-General.

Like other delegations, my delegation would like to express its condolences to and solidarity with the Afghan people, who have suffered great losses from the earthquake.

In his report, the Secretary-General gives a full analysis of the present situation in Afghanistan, and we agree with that analysis. Since the signing of the Bonn Agreement, the political process in that country has gained headway, and there have been some important changes in Afghan society. The Interim Administration has made some important decisions and decrees since its inauguration. The Special Independent Commission is making preparations for the convening of the emergency Loya Jirga. As a new school year has begun, a large number of school dropouts - including girls, who for the first time in six years are able to receive education - are going back to school. The situation of women has been improved.

Through cooperation with United Nations agencies, the Governments concerned and relevant non-governmental organizations, Afghanistan is setting the stage for resuming agricultural activities and starting economic reconstruction. It is improving its relations with its neighbours. We congratulate the country on the hard-won achievements that it has made within a short period of time. The relevant agencies of the United Nations system, and especially the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and his team, have all made important contributions to achieving progress in Afghanistan. We would like to express our great appreciation to Mr. Brahimi and his team for their effective efforts in difficult conditions for peace and economic reconstruction in the country.

On the other hand, the overall situation, especially the state of security in the country, remains rather fragile. The eradication of the Taliban and Al Qaeda remnants, the promotion of reconciliation and confidence among different ethnic groups and putting an end to the partition and military conflicts among warlords and armed groups are all difficult challenges facing the country. Especially with the coming of the Loya Jirga, people are worried about the possible outbreak of new conflicts triggered by the distribution of power.

The Secretary-General's report contains a thorough analysis of the security situation. He has also produced pertinent recommendations and observations. We support those recommendations, including the extension of the mandate of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and its appropriate expansion.

In his report, the Secretary-General focuses on the establishment of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), and he details his ideas about its mandate and structure. We believe that given the current circumstances, it is necessary and timely to establish such an integrated and unified structure, which will coordinate the various assistance initiatives of the United Nations, so that together these combined initiatives will lend stronger support for the peace process of Afghanistan. We support the establishment of UNAMA and hope that the Security Council will adopt a resolution on this, so that the Assistance Mission can be established and put into operation in a timely fashion.

As a neighbour of Afghanistan, China has always been committed to the full settlement of the Afghan question, and we actively support the Bonn process. Since the establishment of the Interim Administration, China has reopened its embassy in Kabul and has provided emergency assistance. Our assistance in cash has been disbursed, and the first shipment of material assistance, which mainly consists of badly needed medical equipment and school supplies, has arrived in Kabul.

The Chinese Government is working in coordination with the Interim Administration and with Germany on the training of the Afghan police force. China has signed an agreement with the Afghan authorities to provide 20,000 sets of police uniforms and boots and 50,000 sets of military uniforms and boots and other clothing. A comprehensive assistance team assembled from more than 10 departments in China has arrived in Kabul; it will coordinate with its Afghan counterparts on reconstruction assistance, and on the building of hospitals. We are willing to work with other concerned countries to make our own contribution towards the economic reconstruction of Afghanistan.

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