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Statement by Ambassador Christoph Heusgen at the Security Council meeting on UNAMA

15.03.2019 - Speech

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The result that we just witnessed, 15 votes in favour, was actually the objective that the co-chairs Indonesia and Germany had from the very beginning. It was key for us to demonstrate today that the Council is unanimous in its decision on UNAMA, and send this united message to the people of Afghanistan that the Council remains by their side in this moment. But I also have to say that the vote that we had today, the resolution that we just adopted is not the kind of UNAMA Resolution that we worked towards as co-penholder during the last six weeks and it’s not the kind of UNAMA Resolution that we had for the last 17 years. When Indonesia – and I would like to pay tribute to the good cooperation– when we negotiated this, we arrived at the very strong consensus on the main, substantial issues including perhaps the most important one on the urgency of progress in regard to  an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process.

Unfortunately, issues that have nothing to do with UNAMA and are not related to the excellent work and the mandate of UNAMA made it impossible to achieve the resolution we originally aimed for. I really regret that we were not able to overcome these differences. We very much regret that topics as the upcoming elections, the participation of women in the Afghan peace process, the situation of children in armed conflict, and the nexus between climate change and security are no longer reflected in this resolution.

So we have before us a text that can really satisfy none of us. But it has UNAMA's mandate at its heart. So again, we remain united in our commitment to Afghanistan and this is the most important message. The mandate duration is only six months. This should be a reminder of the fact that our engagement for Afghanistan is much broader than what we have. If we also revert to this in the fall, we also have the chance to reflect the dynamics in the country with regard to the peace process and the elections. We hope we can refocus the resolution.

As I turn to the Afghan ambassador who was asking for an extension of one year, there is one very important message: these additional six months do not mean that the UN is not united in support for the Afghan people. The commitment remains and the fifteen votes today demonstrate that. I think this is a very important message that we want to send today. When we return to this sooner than we thought we would, I would urge colleagues that we focus on our agreement to leave marginal issues to the side so that we can give UNAMA the guidance and the tools necessary to accomplish its crucial and challenging mission when we adopt the resolution next time. Thank you very much.

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