World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


UNSG Kofi Annan Address To UNSC On Afghanistan

New York, 13 November 2001 - Address to the Open Meeting of the Security Council on Afghanistan (as delivered)

Thank you very much, Mr. President,

Before I proceed I would also want to recognize among us the presence of President Rau of Germany and his wife. I think it is important that they join us for this discussion.

I believe this open meeting of the Security Council could not be more timely - and not just because of the dramatic events on the ground of the last twenty-four hours. Afghanistan presents the United Nations with one of its greatest challenges. That challenge is now perhaps at its most urgent stage. The international community must be ready to respond.

In particular, the sustained engagement of the Security Council will be needed if we are to help set Afghanistan on the path to a stable and lasting peace, and address the dire humanitarian needs of the Afghan people.

The United Nations has a long history of involvement in addressing the plight of the Afghan people. The terrorist attacks on the United States of 11 September, and the consequent military action in Afghanistan, have created a new environment that presents daunting challenges to the international community, but also new opportunities.

First and foremost, we must do all we can to help meet the humanitarian needs of the Afghan people, who have suffered from decades of man-made as well as natural disasters, in the shape of conflict, repression, drought and famine. Winter is closing in, and we must feed and shelter as many of the vulnerable and suffering as possible. Next, the rapid march of events on the ground requires that we focus on the challenge we will face in a post-Taliban period. This means taking urgent action so as to avoid a political and security vacuum.

It means giving priority to the actions the international community needs to take to help ensure a climate of stability that can create the conditions for a lasting peace.

As the Council knows, Lakhdar Brahimi has just returned from Pakistan, Iran and Saudi Arabia. I am confident that, with your active support, Mr. Brahimi will be able to make progress in the intensive efforts in which he is engaged to facilitate transitional arrangements that will lay the foundations for a peaceful and stable Afghan future.

If all the Afghan parties - as well as the neighbours and the wider international community - give full support, there is now a real opportunity to create the sort of broad-based, fully representative government which the United Nations has long been trying to help the Afghan people achieve. A stable Afghanistan, living in peace, carrying out its international obligations and posing no threat to any of its neighbours, must be our common objective. To achieve it, any arrangement arrived at must reflect the will, the needs and the interests of the Afghan people, and enjoy their full support.

This requires the end of interference in Afghanistan's affairs by neighbouring countries. Unless this happens - on the level of reality rather than just rhetoric -- there can be little hope of lasting stability in Afghanistan.

Before closing, I wish to draw the Council's attention to the immediate needs of the more than six million people inside Afghanistan affected by conflict and natural disaster.

Over the past two weeks, UN Agencies and NGOs have geared up cross-border delivery and distribution of food and non-food assistance. For the first time since 11 September, we have been able to reach or even exceed our weekly targets of food supplies. I commend the extraordinary efforts of our colleagues on the ground, in particular the hundreds of Afghans who are working inside Afghanistan with great dedication under the most difficult circumstances.

But many areas still remain inaccessible making distribution difficult, in particular in the North. These areas are also among the most vulnerable. If we want to avert a humanitarian catastrophe in the coming months, we must make every effort to overcome the logistical challenges in, for example, reaching areas cut off by snow.

Let us not forget that our assistance efforts must be based on one principle only: to help those most in need. No less daunting are the constraints imposed by insecurity.

Irrespective of military or political developments, we will have to gain the consent and cooperation of all parties on the ground to reach people in need. We shall have to devise innovative approaches for interim security measures until a sustained political process is in place.

The Afghan population looks to the international community and to the Security Council to create the conditions in which they can finally enjoy a Government which is fully representative, protects their human rights, and ensures friendly relations with their neighbors. We owe it to them and let us not let them down.

Thank you very much.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news