Search

 

Cablegate: Guidance for Unsc Debate On Afghanistan, October

VZCZCXRO3973
OO RUEHTRO
DE RUEHC #9268/01 2842334
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 102329Z OCT 08
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE 3467
INFO UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
ALL NATO POST COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL IMMEDIATE 7157
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD IMMEDIATE 6826
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO IMMEDIATE 9937
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE IMMEDIATE 4470
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS IMMEDIATE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 STATE 109268

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: UNSC PREL PGOV UNAMA MARR MOPS EAID KDEM AF
SUBJECT: GUIDANCE FOR UNSC DEBATE ON AFGHANISTAN, OCTOBER
14, 2008

1. The Department instructs USUN to draw on the points below
for its participation in the UN Security Council debate on
the Secretary General's September 23 report on the situation
in Afghanistan, scheduled to take place on October 14.

2. Begin points:

Mr. President

I would like to thank the (Secretary General) and (Special
Representative Eide) for their report(s) to the Council
today.

The SRSG has built a strong and promising relationship with
the government of Afghanistan and with the
international community. Concurrent with his appointment,
the Security Council took the crucial decision to expand the
mandate of the UN Assistance Mission to Afghanistan. It is
imperative for that decision to be implemented through
increased staff and resources for UNAMA. We fully agree with
the Secretary General,s call for "political surge" in the
mission, given the huge challenges that UNAMA faces regarding
civil-military coordination, effectiveness of humanitarian
relief, and elections preparation. We fully support SRSG
Eide,s effort to recruit more staff and to expand UNAMA,s
presence throughout the provinces. We urge the Secretariat
to do everything in its power to facilitate Ambassador
Eide,s efforts.

Today I would like to make five points on the issues covered
by the Secretary General,s report.

First, we share the Secretary General,s assessment that the
humanitarian situation in Afghanistan is worsening and puts
many Afghan lives in jeopardy. We are gravely concerned
about food insecurity, drought, and malnutrition. The United
States is the largest donor in food assistance to
Afghanistan, both financially and in kind. The Food for
Peace program provided over $170 million in food aid to
Afghanistan and 100,000 metric tons of wheat. On the
humanitarian front, the President has authorized $8.3 million
in aid, part of which is earmarked for Afghan refugees and
internally displaced persons. We urge UN member states to
respond to Afghan government as well as UN appeals.

Second, I would like to underscore the importance of the role
of Afghanistan's neighbors in continuing to integrate
Afghanistan into regional mechanisms and the regional
economy, which is crucial to Afghanistan's long-term economic
development and stability. We welcome Afghanistan's
increased contacts with regional actors cited in the
Secretary General's report, in particular the deepening ties
between Afghanistan and Pakistan, and Afghanistan's
participation in the SAARC summit.

Third, we commend President Karzai,s commitment to hold
elections in 2009 despite threats and intimidation from the
Taliban and others. Voter registration started on October 6,
and effective
cooperation between Afghan security forces and ISAF has led
to elections preparations starting on a positive note. We
welcome UNAMA,s efforts to support the Afghan government in
preparing for these elections and welcome the SRSG,s
leadership in this regard. It is imperative that the
international community redouble efforts to ensure credible
elections that will be recognized by all
ethnic groups as legitimately demonstrating the will of the
Afghan people. We call on the Afghan government to maintain
its firm commitment to carry out these elections as scheduled
and to demonstrate leadership in creating the conditions for
free and fair elections throughout the the country.

Fourth, we concur with the report,s conclusion that the
security situation has become more challenging as the number
of anti-government incidents have increased and the Taliban
have continued to wage deadly attacks on Afghan security
forces, ISAF, and on the civilian population. We are
nonetheless more determined to continue our mission to help
Afghanistan become a stable, democratic and
prosperous country.


STATE 00109268 002 OF 002


The United States deeply regrets the loss of civilian lives
and we share the Secretary General,s grave concern over the
issue of civilian casualties. U.S. Secretary of Defense
Robert Gates, speaking in Afghanistan a few weeks ago said
"While no military has ever done more to prevent civilian
casualties, it is clear that we have to work even harder."

I want to assure Council members that we will do everything
in our power to ensure that ISAF and Operation Enduring
Freedom take every precaution to prevent civilian casualties.
Secretary Gates has talked directly with pilots. We have
intensified our efforts with the Government of Afghanistan to
improve coordination and communication in operations to
prevent future incidents of civilian casualties. And our
military's Central Command has issued guidance to U.S. forces
to continue to take steps to prevent Afghan civilian
casualties and acknowledge such casualties when they occur.

At the same time, we should not lose sight of the fundamental
cause of this increase in casualties, clearly spelled out in
the Secretary General,s report: the Taliban and other
anti-government elements are waging a systematic campaign of
violence and intimidation against civilians. They are
increasingly and deliberately targeting civilians and using
them as shields. And, as the report points out, the Taliban
are increasingly resorting to asymmetric attacks on
population centers, aid-related targets, and NGOs. In light
of the increasingly inhumane tactics employed by the Taliban
against their own people, it is crucial that Afghan security
forces, the army and the police, continue to take increasing
responsiblity for protecting the Afghan people. We welcome
the improvement of the performance of the Afghan army, noted
in the Secretary General's report, and also share the
concerns expressed regarding the slower progress in improving
the police.

Fifth, the challenging security situation highlights the need
for both more and better civil-military coordination. On the
military side, the United States, in consultation with our
ISAF partners, has streamlined its chain of command to make
our forces better able to carry out their mission. General
McKiernan, is now the Commander of both the International
Security Assistance Force and U.S. Forces-Afghanistan and is
working very closely with the Afghan security forces.

On the civilian side, UNAMA needs to be a strong and
forthcoming leader. Civil-military coordination is a crucial
part of UNAMA,s mandate and we expect SRSG Eide to take the
lead in that regard in partnership with General McKiernan.
Furthermore, we have a strategy that puts UNAMA at the center
of
coordinating international relief efforts. The endorsement
of the Afghan National Development Strategy in June, as well
as the unprecedented level of pledges by the international
community, are clear signs of the determination to succeed.
We must now implement this strategy at all levels: donors
must follow through on their commitments, and the Afghan
government must not only create new structures, but make
tough decisions, and implement agreed policies as outlined in
the Afghan National Development Strategy, specifically: in
the areas of local governance, economic development,
counternarcotics, and security.

In closing, Mr. President, the Secretary General,s report
accurately highlights the increasing difficulties and
challenges that the Government of Afghanistan and its
international partners are facing. These challenges should
serve to reaffirm the Security Council,s commitment to the
establishment of peace and security for the Afghan people.
RICE

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC