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

 


UN Envoy Tells Afghans to Not Allow Spoilers in Polls

‘Do Not Let Spoilers Deprive You of Your Future’, UN Envoy Tells Afghans Ahead Of Polls

New York, Mar 17 2014 - In a personal appeal to the Afghan people less than three weeks before national elections, a senior United Nations envoy today urged all citizens of the nascent democracy to exercise their right to vote and not allow spoilers to deter the holding of peaceful and credible polls.

“The success of the April 2014 elections will be of critical significance in reinforcing Afghanistan’s institutional and political stability and instilling confidence in the future,” the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, Ján Kubiš, said in his briefing to the Security Council.

Afghanistan is set to hold presidential and provincial council elections on 5 April, leading to the country’s first democratic transfer of power. It comes amid an ongoing transition process by which Afghanistan is assuming greater responsibility for its own affairs throughout the country.

Mr. Kubiš, who heads the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), urged all eligible Afghan citizens – men and women – to exercise their right to vote on 5 April, stressing that this a universal democratic right, as well as a responsibility in strengthening the country’s democratic processes and representative institutions.

“Do not let spoilers and terrorists deprive you of your choice, of your future,” he stated. “Participation as voters, elections officials, and observers, is a rejection of force, violence, and intimidation as the means by which your proud nation decides your leadership.”

He noted that, at this “delicate juncture” in Afghanistan’s transitions, it is a credible electoral process that can provide much needed stability and predictability through a popular mandate across ethnic lines for wider political, economic and social development agendas, including peace and reconciliation.

“I want to make very clear that even groups such as the Taliban that reject the elections, have obligations to respect a civilian process,” he pointed out, adding that he is gravely disturbed by the Taliban’s recent declaration that it will seek to disrupt the process by force, unleashing a campaign of terror.

Security will have a major impact on these polls, the envoy noted. To date, election-related violence has been of a lower order than 2009 and 2010, even as general security incidents have increased. However, it is on the rise.

Meanwhile, he reported that technical preparations for the Afghan-managed and Afghan-led electoral process remain on track. While the UN does not have a formal role in the electoral process, it has been supporting authorities and the independent electoral bodies by advising on election-related matters and providing capacity building and technical support.

“I urge the electoral management bodies to remain committed to full transparency in their decision-making and conduct, ensuring clear and timely lines of communication,” said Mr. Kubiš.

“In addition to the electoral authorities, responsibility for peaceful and credible polls largely rests with political leaders, candidates and their supporters. I urge all candidates to guide and shape the actions and attitudes of their supporters with serious public commitment to opposing fraud committed in their name.”

As part of today’s meeting, the Council unanimously adopted a resolution to extend UNAMA’s mandate until 17 March 2015, while recognizing that the renewed mandate “takes full account of the transition process and is in support of Afghanistan’s full assumption of leadership and ownership in the security, governance and development areas…”

Mr. Kubiš renewed the UN’s long-term commitment to a peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan. “Given the current elements of uncertainty, interlocutors – almost unanimously – stress the continuity and value that UNAMA brings in the exercise of good offices, protection and promotion of human rights, and facilitation of international development coherence,” he noted.

“The Mission’s national footprint continues to be an invaluable asset in undertaking mandated elections, outreach and human rights activities,” he continued, adding that, as other international institutions and countries reduce their presence, the international community is increasingly seeking the UN’s support in understanding and accessing a diverse country.

While the gains made thus far in Afghanistan are fragile, the country is not poised atop “an inevitable post-2014 abyss” as some doomsayers have predicted, he stated, stressing that what is needed in such a period of unpredictability is the smooth and timely transfer of political power.

For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Yemen: Killing Or Maiming An Average Of Eight Children A Day

Killing or maiming an average of eight children a day, ‘brutal’ Yemen conflict must end – UNICEF More>>

Changing Habits/behaviours Key To Overcome Vaccine Hesitancy

Vaccine hesitancy can be caused by factors such as negative beliefs based on myths, misinformation. Fear of needles can be a factor for refusal. Photo: PAHO/WHO More>>

Burundi: Ban Condemns Assassination Of Senior Army Officer

Refugees from Burundi in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Photo: OCHA/Naomi Frerotte United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the assassination Burundi’s former Army Chief of Staff, Colonel Jean Bikomagu, who ... More>>

Deadly Industrial Explosions In Northern China

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has been deeply saddened to learn of the loss of life and the injuries to scores of people as a result of deadly explosions in Tianjin, China. More>>

UN Urges Action To Tackle Deepening Refugee Crisis In Greece

A group of Syrian refugees arrive on the island of Lesbos after travelling in an inflatable raft from Turkey, near Skala Sykaminias, Greece. Photo: UNHCR/A. McConnell More>>

Probe Into Those Responsible For Chemical Weapons In Syria

The US Vessel Cape Ray, on which all 581 metric tonnes of a precursor chemical for sarin gas were removed from Syria and safely destroyed as the ship sailed in international waters in 2014. Photo: US Dept. of Transportation More>>

Myanmar Election: UNICEF Urges Prioritisation Of Children

With 99 days to go before Myanmar elections, UNICEF urges candidates make children the clear winner More>>

Liberia Thousands Of Unregistered Children Born During Ebola Crisis

Thousands of unregistered children born in Liberia during Ebola crisis at risk of exploitation – UNICEF More>>

UN Refugee Agency Envoy Angelina Jolie Visits Myanmar

UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie Pitt (left) in Myitkyina township, Kachin State, Myanmar, meeting with some of the 100,000 displaced people who currently live there. Photo: UNHCR/T.Stoddart More>>

As Health Needs Rise In Somalia, Funding Hits New Low

As health needs rise in Somalia, funding hits new low, cutting off 1.5 million from care – UN More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news