Cablegate: Talking Points for January 6 Open Debate On Unama


DE RUEHC #0413 0042345
O P 042339Z JAN 10



E.O. 12958: N/A

1. (U) USUN is instructed to pursue the objectives in
paragraph 2 and draw from the points in paragraph 3 during
the January 6 Security Council open debate on the UN
Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

2. (U) Objectives:

-- Highlight the results of the U.S. Afghanistan-Pakistan
strategic review
-- Discuss the need for improved civilian assistance
-- Stress the need for increasing "Afghanization" of efforts

3. (U) Begin points:

Thank you, Mr. President.

Let me begin by thanking Special Representative Kai Eide, not
only for his briefing today, but for his tireless work over
the past two years at the helm of UNAMA. Your leadership has
been essential to the international community's efforts in
Afghanistan during this period.

Mr. President, this is a crucial moment in Afghanistan.
Following President Karzai's inauguration, the international
community must move quickly to support the Government of
Afghanistan as it, together with the Afghan people, presses
forward on a bold agenda to halt the worrisome negative
momentum of the past several years. The situation in
Afghanistan has deteriorated for too long, and now we must
move with deliberate, urgent action to help the Afghans
themselves turn things around.

President Obama announced the completion of our own policy
review on Afghanistan just over a month ago. Our commitment
to Afghanistan is enduring, and our objective remains
unchanged: to disrupt, dismantle, and eventually defeat
al-Qa'ida and to prevent their return to either Afghanistan
or Pakistan. In order to achieve this goal, the President
has ordered an additional 30,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan.
They will target the insurgency, secure population centers,
and train Afghan security forces. Many of the 43 other
members of ISAF have also announced troop increases.
Together, we will partner with Afghan forces so that we can
begin transferring security responsibility to the Government
of Afghanistan by the summer of 2011.

the highest priority on protecting civilian populations and
avoiding injury and loss of life among Afghan civilians
during operations against insurgents and terrorists. To this
end, we and our ISAF partners will continue coordinating as
closely as possible with the Afghan National Security Forces.
We hope the ANSF will be able to take the lead on security
matters throughout the country, as they have already done in
parts of Afghanistan, as soon as possible.

Our military efforts in Afghanistan must be joined by a
corresponding intensification of our civilian programs. Our
civilian efforts will emphasize development of more
responsive, visible, and accountable Afghan institutions at
the provincial, district, and local levels, where Afghans
have the most contact their government. We will also
encourage and support the Government of Afghanistan's
reinvigorated plans to fight corruption by using concrete
measures of progress toward greater accountability.

In order to achieve this, the United States is substantially
increasing the numbers of civilian experts in Afghanistan,
and we are on track to triple our civilian presence. At the
end of January 2009, we had 320 civilians on the ground in
Afghanistan. We expect that number to reach 920 by January
2010 and we will achieve our target of just under 1,000
civilians shortly thereafter. Our civilians are partnering
with Afghans over the long term to enhance the capacity of
national and sub-national government institutions and to help
rehabilitate Afghanistan's key economic sectors so that
Afghans themselves can defeat the insurgents, who promise
only more violence.

Economic growth is critical for undermining extremists'
appeal in the short term and for sustainable economic
development in the long term. Our top reconstruction priority
is implementing a civilian-military agriculture redevelopment
strategy to restore Afghanistan's once vibrant agriculture

A key element of our political strategy will also be
supporting Afghan-led efforts to reintegrate Taliban who
renounce al-Qa'ida, lay down their arms, and engage in the
constitutional political process.

Mr. President, UNAMA plays a key role in the international
community's civilian efforts in Afghanistan. Its work on
institution building and governance, security sector reform,
and donor coordination are all central to our goal of
empowering the Government of Afghanistan. However, on one
aspect of UNAMA's mandate, civilian coordination, there is
broad consensus within the international community that our
efforts need to be enhanced. As the Secretary-General notes
in his report, coordinating such a large array of national
assistance programs with goals identified by the Government
of Afghanistan is a substantial undertaking, for which UNAMA
needs increased resources and support from member states. We
strongly echo his call for strengthened coordination, and
support his proposal to bolster UNAMA with experienced staff
from key donor countries. The United States stands ready to
support such a request with appropriate U.S. personnel.

The success of UNAMA's mission also depends on its presence
throughout the country. In this regard, we note with
satisfaction the continued progress in opening UNAMA's
regional and provincial offices. We are pleased that the
Secretary-General's report affirms that, despite the brutal
October 28 attack on the Kabul guesthouse, the UN remains
committed to opening additional offices throughout
Afghanistan in 2010. We reiterate our full support for
UNAMA's efforts to strengthen the security of UN personnel in
Afghanistan. We are open to working creatively with UNAMA to
support these efforts.

I also want to comment on elections, given the fact that
Afghanistan's Constitution requires elections to be held this
spring. While we recognize the importance of adhering to the
Constitution, we agree with the Secretary-General's
observation that the 2009 Afghan presidential and provincial
council elections exposed serious flaws in the Afghan
electoral process. We are committed to working with the
Government of Afghanistan and the international community to
address these shortcomings before future elections are held
in Afghanistan.

Looking ahead, the upcoming conference in London, co-chaired
by Afghanistan, the UK, and the UN, will be an opportunity
for the international community to demonstrate its support
for the Government of Afghanistan's agenda, as outlined in
President Karzai's inaugural address. We also look forward
to a spring conference in Kabul where the Government of
Afghanistan will have the opportunity to present its more
detailed plans and programs for achieving its ambitious

Mr. President, ultimately, success in our efforts in
Afghanistan will require a shared understanding between the
Government of Afghanistan and the international community on
the need for dramatic action. President Karzai's inaugural
speech sent the right message about moving in a new
direction, including his commitment to reintegration and
reconciliation, improving relations with Afghanistan's
regional partners, and steadily increasing the security
responsibilities of Afghan security forces. We must see
action and progress. We will be clear about our
expectations. We will encourage and reinforce Afghan
Ministries, Governors, and local leaders who deliver for the
people and combat corruption. However, we will not reinforce
those government and political leaders who are neither
accountable nor acting in the service of the Afghan people
and the state. Furthermore, we will also focus our
assistance in areas -- such as agriculture -- that can make
an immediate impact in the lives of the Afghan people.

Thank you, Mr. President.

End points.

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