Let me first express our sincere support to Special Representative de Mistura and his efforts to implement UNAMAs newly re-focused mandate, and his commitments to Afghan ownership. In a time of transition towards such ownership, the role of UNAMA is critically needed, in particular as the international guarantor for the integrity of the transition to greater Afghan leadership.
The Kabul Conference was an important step towards greater Afghan ownership. It mobilised broad international support and demonstrated clear commitments by the Afghan Government towards its own people. However, concrete implementation of the commitments at the Conference is a key, and donors should start aligning their support with Afghan priorities. Norway is already contributing its part towards alignment and coherence. Furthermore, a successful Kabul process requires a more robust Afghan leadership. The new national programmes presented at the Conference need to be implemented shortly in a sequenced way through clear targets and priority areas.
Afghan leadership and accountability are paramount for the Kabul process to succeed. Such leadership, to be true, must enable political processes which are inclusive and truly national in their nature. If not, public support for Afghan ownership will decrease. The recent renewed attention on corruption and administrative misruling also highlight the need for the Afghanistan Government to show stronger political will to combat corruption and to reform state-institutions. Both are pre-requisites for a sustainable state-building agenda based on a contract between the Afghan people and its Government.
Furthermore, the Kabul process can only be successful if it really delivers at the provincial and district level, countrywide. Efforts towards transition, as well as bringing the ANDS to bear throughout the country, point to a more urgent need to enact a viable Afghan sub-national governance policy.
As we have emphasised several times before in this Chamber, peace and reintegration in Afghanistan should not only be Afghan-led but must be based on the principle of inclusiveness and conducted in conformity with the Constitution and international human rights. Norway supports an Afghan led reconciliation process, including talks with the armed opposition who have renounced violence and resumed a civilian life, as parts of a viable broader Afghan political settlement. But this process has to be inclusive, transparent and truly national. Reconciliation requires broad representation of religious, ethnic and civil society groups, including women.
In this regard we are concerned about the narrow composition of the High Council for Peace, which was announced by President Karzai yesterday. Many relevant groups from the Afghan community have been left out, including civil society. We are in particular concerned about the limited number of female members of the Council. The participation of women is a key to any durable peace process. As next month marks the 10th anniversary of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security, we reiterate the importance of implementation in this regard.
Furthermore, it is important throughout reintegration and reconciliation efforts not to preclude transitional justice. Addressing issues of transitional justice and human rights in a context of ongoing conflict is challenging, but the Afghan people need to be included in a meaningful way and have their rights protected in the context of a peace process. Injustice is no less a strategic concern than corruption or weak governance. Norway welcomes the establishment today of the Human Rights Unit in the Ministry of Justice and has high expectations to its role in advancing the capacity of the Afghan Government to fulfill its international human rights obligations in a coordinated manner.
It is still too early to judge the outcome of the recent parliamentary elections, where preliminary results are expected early next month. The real test will be if the electoral institutions (IEC and ECC) are able to address complaints and irregularities systematically and impartially. It is not too early, however, to conclude on the need for long-term electoral reform and increased capacity building of the Afghan electoral institutions. Recommendations from Afghan and international observer missions are keys in this respect. Such a process must include expanding and strengthening civic education efforts on elections with a particular view to include women and civil society groups in the political process.
Thank you Mr. President.