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National statements

United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA)

Thematic issues

  • Afghanistan
  • Human Rights
  • Humanitarian
  • Women


Statement by H.E. Gary Quinlan, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Australia to the United Nations

Thank you Mr President. And thank you to Under-Secretary-General Ladsous, Executive
Director Fedotov and our close colleague Ambassador Tanin for their remarks

2012 is proving to be a major milestone for Afghanistan as it works with its
international partners – in a spirit of mutual commitment – to ensure
the gains in security, development, governance, and human rights made over the
past decade are maintained.

The Chicago Summit's recommitment to Afghanistan was an unmistakeable
message to the insurgency.

The commitments to resourcing the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) after
2014 were significant, as was the agreement that NATO would lead a mission to
train, advise and assist the ANSF, including Afghan Special Forces Operations.

Australia itself will contribute US$100 million per year towards ANSF sustainability
and provide training to the ANSF after 2014. We will consider a Special Forces
contribution – under the right mandate and with the agreement of the Afghan

To underpin our long-term commitment President Karzai and Australian Prime Minister Gillard signed a Comprehensive Long-Term Partnership in Chicago.

Mr President

As the Secretary-General has highlighted, the insurgency continues to threaten
peace and stability, but its momentum has been severely degraded and security
conditions remain good in areas that have transitioned thus far.

We are seeing clear evidence that ISAF's transition strategy –
based on strengthening the ANSF's ability to take responsibility for security
– is working.

But, as we know, to ensure security gains are properly sustained, we need to
redouble our efforts to support Afghanistan's economic growth and development.

We support the Secretary-General's call for next month's Tokyo
Conference to deliver a clear message that Afghanistan will not be abandoned
in its social and development needs. We must identify these needs and the resourcing
that is required and available to meet them. Clear financial commitments from
international partners will be needed.

To this end, Australia has committed to increasing its development assistance
from $165 million to $250 million per year by 2015-16.

Mr President

As we know, UNAMA's role, including through coordinating humanitarian
and development assistance in Afghanistan, will become even more important as
the transition process advances. The cuts to UNAMA's budget foreshadowed
by the Secretary-General will require some hard – and creative –
reprioritisation of UNAMA's efforts but its core mission to support and
underpin successful, enduring, transition in Afghanistan must be preserved.
We encourage UNAMA to consult closely with international partners – both
in Afghanistan and New York – on arrangements for its ongoing presence
in Afghanistan.

Successful presidential and parliamentary elections in 2014 and 2015 are, of
course, indispensable for Afghanistan's future stability. But clarity
about the future political process is needed quickly to ensure that the necessary
planning and preparations can begin in earnest.

We welcome the assurance in the Secretary General's report that the UN
will remain an active partner in coordinating international assistance in the
next round of elections. We look forward to ongoing close cooperation between
UNAMA, the Afghan authorities and the international community in support of
credible and inclusive electoral processses.

Reconciliation and reintegration still have a long way to go. But the insurgents
need to understand that there is no alternative for them. UNAMA's own
support for peace and reconciliation efforts remain important. Reconciliation
will obviously be a complex and protracted process. But lasting stability in
Afghanistan can only be achieved through dialogue and Afghan-led processes of
reconciliation and reintegration.

We commend the Secretary-General for highlighting the important role which women can and should play in shaping positive outcomes in this regard. Gender issues remain decisive for a successful Afghanistan. We expect they will be central to much of the discussion at the Tokyo Conference.

Mr President

As we are all aware, Afghanistan will only become stable if a secure external
environment for Afghanistan is achieved. The 'Heart of Asia' process
– including the recent Kabul ministerial meeting on 14 June – is
foundational to achieving this goal, and we commend the leadership of Turkey
in particular in this process.

Implementation of the Confidence Building Measures from the Kabul ministerial
will be a significant next step – Australia has committed to support the
Heart of Asia countries implement CBMs on education and commercial opportunities.
We thank Kazakhstan for its offer to host the next ministerial meeting in the
first half of 2013.

To conclude Mr President, my government is determined to continue working with the Afghan Government and people – and our other partners in the international community – in support of a goal which is in everyone's interests: a secure and stable Afghanistan, whose government, institutions and economy are on an irreversbile path to long-term and sustainable development.

Thank you.

Last Updated: 17 June 2015
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