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Cablegate: Srsg Kai Eide Briefing and Unama Open Debate

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FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7986
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD PRIORITY 2675
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL PRIORITY 0345
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS USUN NEW YORK 000011

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

C O R R E C T E D COPY CAPTION
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV NATO AF PK
SUBJECT: SRSG KAI EIDE BRIEFING AND UNAMA OPEN DEBATE

REF: STATE 000413


1. (U) Summary: On January 6, the Security Council held a
quarterly debate on the UN Assistance Mission for Afghanistan
(UNAMA). SYG Ban, SRSG Eide and Afghan PermRep Tanin
addressed the Council. Ban called Afghanistan an on-going
"main priority" for the UN in 2010, and focused on the need
to strengthen the role of the Afghan Government and the need
to increase coordination of international civilian efforts
under the UN umbrella. SRSG Eide focused on the need for
agreement between the Afghan government and international
community on a non-military political strategy. He reminded
Council members that the Afghan conflict cannot be solved by
military means alone, noting that "the political strategy is
too often shaped as an appendix to military thinking." The
Afghan PermRep underscored the need to hold constitutionally
required elections in May, characterizing any suggestion to
postpone as ignoring the Afghan constitution. Tanin also
relayed the Afghan government's commitment to reconciliation
and integration of former combatants and asked the Council to
conduct a review of the consolidated list established under
resolution 1267 and to remove those Taliban who renounce
violence and join the peace process. All Security Council
members spoke afterwards, as did Australia, Canada, New
Zealand, Norway, Pakistan and the EU. The U.S. delegation
reiterated President Obama's announcement of the U.S.
government policy review on Afghanistan, the additional
30,000 troops committed, and the corresponding
intensification of civilian programming. With the exception
of a strongly worded statement from Brazil, there was little
discussion of civilian casualties resulting from
pro-government or ISAF forces. This Council session marked
the first time the representative of the EU delegation to the
UN addressed the Council (rather than the PermRep of the
country holding the rotating presidency) following the
ratification of the Lisbon treaty. End summary.


BRIEFING BY SYG BAN AND SRSG EIDE

2. (U) Secretary General Ban opened the January 6 quarterly
Security Council debate on the UN Assistance Mission for
Afghanistan (UNAMA), calling Afghanistan an on-going "main
priority" for the UN in 2010. Ban focused on the need to
strengthen the role of the Afghan Government and the need to
increase coordination of international civilian efforts under
the UN umbrella. While Ban highlighted SRSG Eide's
suggestions for a dedicated civilian coordination structure,
he noted that the main obstacle in coordination is not a lack
of structures but a problem of political will in donor
countries. He remarked that the UN is ready to support
elections in Afghanistan in 2010 if the Afghan Government
asks for UN assistance, and if the Security Council agrees,
signaling the UN's anticipation of an addition to the UNAMA
mandate to assist with parliamentary elections. Ban called
insecurity in Afghanistan as the "single biggest impediment
to progress," and underscored the continued vulnerability of
Afghan civilians. Ban labeled the January 28 conference in
London an "important opportunity for fresh impetus." (Note:
Ban did not detail the role that the UN will play, nor call
the UN a "co-chair" of the conference. End note.)

3. (U) SRSG Kai Eide briefed the Council next, focusing on
the need for agreement between the Afghan government and
international community on a non-military political strategy.
He reminded Council members that the Afghan conflict cannot
be solved by military means alone, noting that "the political
strategy is too often shaped as an appendix to military
thinking." Eide cautioned that the military surge should not
be allowed to undermine important civilian objectives and
must not lead to increased pressure for quick results in
governance and economic development efforts which would
divert long-term institution building and economic growth.

4. (U) Eide outlined five components of his recommended
political strategy: build civilian institutions, balance
education opportunities, fund the agricultural sector, build
infrastructure, and launch a peace and reconciliation
process. Eide noted that a systematic approach to building
civilian institutions that are not corrupt and that are
filled with trained staff in adequate infrastructures is
necessary. He highlighted the need for those who are trained
by the government to also work for the government; and that
those who come from the provinces return to their provinces.
He detailed the imbalance of the education system which has
more than 7 million students in primary and secondary school

yet only 60,000 students in universities and 20,000 in
vocational schools. Eide called the agriculture sector
"seriously underfunded" despite the vast majority of the
population dependent upon the sector, and the infrastructure
as "neglected", noting the transportation network and energy
supplies as top priorities for starting mining projects which
could yield economic growth. Eide called for peace and
reconciliation efforts to be Afghan-led and owned and offered
UN support.

5. (U) Eide elaborated on his recommendations, created in
collaboration with the Minister of Finance, for further
improved donor coordination mechanisms. He recommended that
the UN remain the "coordination umbrella" with integration of
officials from key donor countries into UNAMA, while ISAF
should bring PRTs in line with Afghan strategic plans, noting
that the military should gradually transfer civilian projects
to civilian institutions.

6. (U) Eide cautioned that the surge of military activities
expected in 2010, which could lead to more civilian
casualties, house searches and detentions, can serve as a
continued and possibly increased source of recruitment for
the insurgency. He implored the international community to
redouble efforts to understand Afghan society - the Afghan
religion, culture and values - to decrease the perception of
disrespect, which is a key fuel for the insurgents.

7. (U) Expressing concern for the future of the UNAMA
mission, Eide explained that UNAMA currently faces a crisis
in recruitment. More than fifty members of UNAMA left in the
last six months, mostly due to security concerns, with only
five new staff members being recruited during this same time
period. He bluntly noted that the new recruitment system put
in place in July 2009 is not working, calling it a "major
systemic flaw in the United Nations" that will "threaten the
effectiveness, possibly even the survival, of many UN
missions."


AFGHAN INTERVENTION

8. (U) Afghan PermRep Tanin took the floor next, calling the
conclusion of the Presidential elections an "important but
difficult milestone." He reiterated points from President
Karzai's inaugural address and underscored the importance of
forming a new government without a delay which could cause a
"vacuum of management." Tanin relayed the Afghan
government's commitment to reconciliation and integration of
former combatants and asked the Council to conduct a review
of the consolidated list established under resolution 1267
and to remove those Taliban who renounce violence and join
the peace process. Echoing SRSG Eide, Tanin cautioned the
international community about creating additional or new
coordination structures which would form parallel governance
structures. On elections, Tanin underscored the need to hold
constitutionally required elections in May, characterizing
any suggestion to postpone as ignoring the Afghan
constitution. He briefly mentioned the January conference in
London as an opportunity for Afghanistan and the
international community to "coordinate development and
capacity-building efforts so that Afghanistan may eventually
mobilize its resources, generate income and jobs for its
people, and begin to support its institutions."


INTERVENTIONS BY SECURITY COUNCIL MEMBERS, OTHER MEMBER
STATES AND THE EU

9. (SBU) All Security Council members spoke, followed by
Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan and the EU
delegation. The U.S. delegation delivered remarks, as
directed in REFTEL. This Council session marked the first
time the EU delegation spoke on behalf of the Union rather
than the EU member state holding the rotating presidency
following the ratification of the Lisbon treaty. France
attempted at the last minute to slot the EU in the first
non-Council member speaking position. This would have set a
precedent, as regional organizations normally speak after
member states. A compromise was reached, which slotted the
EU after other UN member states but before EU members.
However, at the last minute Germany and Italy - the two
non-Security Council EU members slated to speak - opted not
to speak at all. The UK did not appear to support the last
minute French initiative to secure enhanced status for the EU
in Council proceedings.

10. (U) Delegations highlighted the deteriorating security
situation in the country and the related challenges faced by
the Afghan government to deliver basic services and
international humanitarian actors - including the UN - to
deliver much needed assistance. Many delegations, including
the U.S., referenced the October attack in Kabul which killed
five UN staff and the resulting difficulties the UN faces in
keeping its staff secure, and suggested support for
additional security measures would be available when
requested. The U.S. delegation reiterated support for
UNAMA's efforts to strengthen the security of UN personnel in
Afghanistan and our continued willingness to work with UNAMA
to support these efforts. Understanding that this would be
SRSG Eide's last briefing to the Security Council before
stepping down in February, members expressed appreciation for
SRSG Eide's leadership of UNAMA over the past two years.

11. (U) Most delegations highlighted the need for increased
civilian coordination. The U.S. delegation underscored that
increased USG military efforts will be joined by a
corresponding intensification of civilian programming and
that we are on track to triple the USG civilian presence in
Afghanistan. Most delegations - including the U.S. -
welcomed SRSG Eide's proposal for strengthening UNAMA's
civilian coordination role, and some called for the ISAF
coordination role to also be increased, especially in
relation to coordination of PRTs. The U.S. delegation gave
support to Eide's proposal to bolster UNAMA with experienced
staff from key donor countries, stating the "United States
stands ready to support such a request with appropriate U.S.
personnel."

12. (U) The majority of delegations, including the U.S.,
referenced the fraud and controversy of the 2009 elections,
noting that the result was generally considered acceptable to
Afghans and within the confines of Afghan laws and
institutions. Many called for needed electoral reforms prior
to 2010 elections; however, few specific reforms were
mentioned. France spoke most clearly in support of an
election delay, taking note of "the wish of the Afghan
authorities" to hold elections in May, but suggested that
electoral reforms must be carried out prior to elections
being held so that "the fraud witnessed during the
presidential elections must not be repeated."

13. (U) Austria, Brazil, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Gabon,
Lebanon and Uganda all made references to the need for
increased focus on the rights of women, specifically noting
the Parliament's need to review and pass the law prohibiting
violence against women. With the exception of a strongly
worded statement from Brazil, there was little discussion of
civilian casualties resulting from pro-government or ISAF
forces.

14. (U) A number of delegations mentioned their bilateral
assistance measures: Japan noted its USD 5 billion five year
assistance plan; Russia discussed its recent reconstruction
of the Polytechnic University of Kabul and a shipment of 52
Kamaz trucks; Turkey announced it will host the fourth
trilateral summit in January 24, a regional summit on January
26, and a regional economic cooperation conference in 2010;
New Zealand announced the establishment of an Embassy in
Kabul and the continuation of their PRT in Bamyan province;
and Australia recommitted to training the Afghan National
Army in Uruzgan province.
RICE

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