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Cablegate: Security Council Debates Afghanistan; Unama

VZCZCXRO5783
OO RUEHIK RUEHPW RUEHTRO RUEHYG
DE RUCNDT #0238/01 0742355
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 142355Z MAR 08
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3918
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 USUN NEW YORK 000238

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV UNSC AF
SUBJECT: SECURITY COUNCIL DEBATES AFGHANISTAN; UNAMA
RENEWAL IMMINENT


1. (SBU) Summary and comment: On March 12, the Security
Council held an open debate on Afghanistan, with newly
appointed Special Representative to the Secretary-General
(SRSG) Kai Eide in attendance. All 32 countries that spoke
during the debate (including thel 15 members of the Security
Council) expressed support for the UN to play the lead role
in coordinating the civilian effort in Afghanistan and
welcomed Eide's appointment as Special Representative. The
debate, remarkable for its consensus and signal of
international commitment to Afghanistan, was also devoid of
the usual rhetorical clashes between neighboring countries.

2. (SBU) Summary and comment continued: Following the debate,
Italy (as lead nation in the Security Council on Afghanistan
matters) convened a meeting of the full Security Council, at
expert level, to discuss the draft resolution renewing for
one year the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission
to Afghanistan (UNAMA). The draft resolution is on track for
adoption on Thursday, March 20. Unhelpfully, the Libyan
representative raised the oft-debated issues of civilian
casualties and access to detainees. Italy circulated a
revised draft on March 13. The Council has reached near
consensus on outstanding issues. End summary and comment.

THE SECURITY COUNCIL MEETING ON AFGHANISTAN

3. (U) Jean-Marie Guehenno, the UN,s Under Secretary-General
for Peacekeeping, opened the public session of the Security
Council with a review of the UN,s recent report on
Afghanistan. The insurgency has proven to be more resilient
and more ruthless than imagined, said Guehenno, while a
massive illegal drug economy thrives in the vacuum of state
authority. He focused on recommendations contained within
the report to "sharpen" UNAMA,s mandate. The six "points of
emphasis" are: 1) enhanced coordination with the Government
of Afghanistan and the international community; 2) political
outreach; 3) subnational governance; 4) humanitarian
coordination; 5) elections and 6) strengthened coordination
with ISAF. Guehenno recalled that during the recent Tokyo
meeting on Afghanistan, stakeholders agreed that the Joint
Coordination and Monitoring Board (JCMB), which the UN and
Afghanistan co-chair, is the primary coordination mechanism.
Regarding ISAF and the UN, Guehenno said that the two have
complementary but distinct mandates, and they need to
coordinate their efforts in support of common goals in New
York, Brussels, Kabul and the provinces.

4. (U) After the meeting, Eide spoke to the press, and
emphasized his appreciation for the strong support that the
international community had expressed for him, for UNAMA, and
for the concept of a "sharpened" mandate in close
coordination with the Afghan government. Eide emphasized the
importance of elections preparation and reconciliation work,
as well as the importance of working with NATO. He also
underscored the international community,s shared goal of
Afghanistan,s long-term self-sufficiency. Eide told the
assembled press that he would travel to Iran and Pakistan in
the near future. On relations with the Afghan government,
Eide emphasized that he was appointed to help the government
deal with the many interested international stakeholders.

5. (U) The 32 countries, including the 15 Security Council
members, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Iran, Canada and
Japan, all expressed support for the UN,s leading role in
coordinating the civilian effort, and for the nomination of
Kai Eide as new SRSG. In addition to supporting UNAMA and
Kai Eide, countries also expressed support for the
Afghanistan Compact and the Afghanistan National Development
Strategy. Italy said "the international community needs to
stay the course in Afghanistan, possibly with evolving
modalities but certainly with unchanged determination."
France and the UK echoed Italy,s strong support for a
long-term international commitment, and detailed their
dedication to assisting in both the civilian and military
components of the international effort. China expressed its
appreciation of the efforts being made by UNAMA and ISAF and
hoped that "the parties concerned, while carrying out
military actions against terrorists, will strengthen their
communication and cooperation with the Afghan security sector
and UNAMA." China, as well as Pakistan and Russia,
emphasized the importance of UNAMA being guided by the
principles of "fairness and neutrality." Libya, South Africa
and Indonesia underscored that the "use of force" cannot
alone lead to success in Afghanistan.

6. (U) In his intervention, Ambassador Khalilzad emphasized
that "Afghanistan is a keystone in the effort to defeat
terrorism, to weaken extremism, to create regional stability
in Central and South Asia, to advance the needed political
and economic transformation of the broader Middle East and to

USUN NEW Y 00000238 002 OF 002


reduce the threat of narcotics." He said the UN should be
proud of the role it has played in Afghanistan. Kai Eide can
"count on our support and we promise to work closely with
him." The Ambassador urged the Security Council to fully
support UNAMA and its team, including by providing them with
a mandate sufficiently robust to meet the expectations of the
people and governmeet of Afghanistan and the international
community.

7. (U) Ambassador Tanin of Afghanistan called on the
international community "to stay the course with firm
determination and to prevent security nuances from weakening
our resolve to achieve our shared goals." He said
Afghanistan has made "remarkable progress." Today, he said,
"a greater part of Afghanistan is secure from terrorism and
violence." Tanin welcomed the UN,s "enhanced coordinating
role" and expressed Afghanistan,s appreciation for the
support and contributions of the UN and the international
community.

8. (U) Following the intervention by the Afghanistan PermRep,
the following non-Security Council members also spoke:
Slovenia (on behalf of the EU), Australia, New Zealand,
Spain, South Korea, Japan, Pakistan, Iceland (on behalf of
the five Nordic countries), Canada, Turkey, India,
Netherlands, the United Arab Emirates, Iran, Kyrgyzstan (on
behalf of members of the Collective Security Treaty
Organization), and Kazakhstan. Pakistan and India were
nonconfrontational, and both expressed support for the UN and
for Afghanistan. Iran also gave a largely nonconfrontational
speech, excluding a vow that Iran,s development assistance
to Afghanistan will continue despite the Security Council,s
"illegitimate sanctions." Both Iran and Pakistan expressed
hope that Afghan refugees in their respective countries would
be repatriated in a "timely and promising manner."

UNAMA RENEWAL: ADOPTION SCHEDULED FOR MARCH 20

9. (SBU) Following informal consultations among the P5 and
the Contact Group on Afghanistan, Italy convened on March 13
the first meeting of the Security Council, at expert level,
to discuss the draft resolution renewing for one year the
mandate of UNAMA (the current mandate expires March 23).
Experts reached broad agreement on the framework of the
resolution, including operative language that echoed the
UN,s call for a "sharpened mandate," although there are
still some outstanding issues. (Text of the latest draft was
e-mailed to IO/UNP and SCA/A). Expert negotiations resume
March 17. The resolution will likely go into "blue" on
Wednesday, March 19, with adoption scheduled for Thursday,
March 20.
KHALILZAD

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