“Afghanisation” is increasingly the mantra of our support for Afghanistan. Rather than being a euphemism for exit it underlines the importance of an Afghan-led process which is responsible, inclusive and transparent and which promotes the fundamental rights of the Afghan people.
This is of great importance for the three key issues being raised in today’s debate; the follow-up after the London Conference, President Karzai’s political agenda, and reconciliation. Furthermore, it has implications for what we should expect from UNAMA in Afghanistan.
First, we join other countries in welcoming the conclusions from the London Conference. It stated the need for a transition towards greater Afghan leadership, supported by the international community under the leadership of the UN.
At the Kabul Conference in June we must be clear about our readiness to transfer authorities to Afghan ownership. And the Afghan Government should present concrete national programs with tangible planning. Norway provides almost 60 per cent of our 140 million dollars annual aid through Afghan budgets and programs. We support UNAMAs plans for enhancing civil coordination while ensuring strong Afghan leadership.
Second, we should expect real progress from President Karzai and his government when it comes to reform and delivery on the pledges made in London regarding good governance, measures against corruption, improvement of the electoral laws, and other commitments relating to reform of the political system.
The Afghan authorities must also move forward with reform in a way that addresses the rights and interests of women, they must bring civil society on board and they need to address the national call for justice, including transitional justice, adequately.
Norway is particularly concerned about laws and decrees with far-reaching implications which have recently been adopted without a wide and inclusive consultation process. Both the process and the content of the adopted Amnesty Law give reasons for grave concerns. Amnesty is one way of healing the wounds of the country but those wounds cannot be healed if there is no accountability and if impunity prevails.
It is also important that the recent amendments of the Election Law do not hamper constructive efforts to reform the Afghan electoral institutions by ensuring enhanced consultations across the political spectrum and a credible and transparent process. The election process this year must be conducted in a way that is seen as a step forward in comparison with the 2009 election. UNAMA should be allowed to play an active role in this regard.
Third, a process of reintegration and reconciliation is necessary to achieve political stability and peace in Afghanistan. In London we agreed to the broad principles of this process. Yet, we see the complexities both when it comes to design and the implementation of a robust reconciliation process.
The upcoming Advisory Peace Jirga announced by Karzai is an important step in the consensus building to back up such a reconciliation process. The process must be shaped and led by Afghan authorities but only if there is buy-in to the process from representatives among the Afghan society can we avoid national polarization and reach sustainable national reconciliation. One cannot build a country on just 50 per cent of the population. Women – and what women represent – must be taken into account, as agreed upon by this Council in the resolutions 1325 and 1888. Furthermore, the involvement of neighboring countries cannot be neglected.
UNAMA should play a facilitating role using its good offices and confidence building measures in assisting with the Advisory Peace Jirga and the larger peace and reconciliation process. UNAMA should also encourage closer regional cooperation, economically, socially as well as politically.
We welcome the extension of UNAMA’s mandate and the proposed amendments in Secretary General’s latest report. It is important to protect what has been UNAMA’s strengths; its legitimacy, political outreach, field presence and as being the guarantor for the integrity of the overall political process. We need UNAMA to ensure unity among the international partners. But we also need UNAMA to position itself both close enough to the Government and far enough to be able to speak out and to voice concerns of the Afghan society.
Norway would like to welcome the appointment of Staffan De Mistura as the new SRSG to Afghanistan and look forward to cooperate with him, and his new team in Kabul. We pay tribute to the men and women of UNAMA and will continue to support their vital mission especially with regard to the budget, recruitment and indeed security. Without certain resources UNAMA will not be able to implement its mandate and our expectations.