Statement by H.E Salahuddin Rabbani Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan at the High-Level Conference "International and Regional Cooperation on Countering Terrorism and its Finance through Illicit Drug Trafficking & OC
بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم
Your Excellency, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Tajikistan Brother Sirojiddin Muhriddin,
Excellencies, Distinguished delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the outset, I would like to thank our good neighbor the Republic of Tajikistan for the kind invitation and hosting this important meeting on a very pressing issue in a crucial moment for our region.
Despite international investment, terrorism and organized crime are growing and bringing instability and disruption to the region and beyond.
As a country suffered massively over the past four decades in fighting terrorism, Afghanistan attaches high value to such initiatives aiming to take collective and integrated approach to defeat this menace as the enemy of our civilization.
There is deep linkage and interaction between terrorism, organized crime and drug trafficking, and therefore, we need to develop a multidimensional regional strategy for countering narcotics and establishment of coordinated structures.
It is an undeniable fact that our region has the highest concentration of the terrorist networks anywhere. They are not just regional, but also international, such as Al-Qaeda and Daesh.
The main goal of these terrorist groups is to create a network of cooperation with criminal syndicates, and to destabilize the national security of the countries.
They obtain funds by extorting the population, kidnapping, illegal extraction of minerals, human and drug trafficking.
The mounting pressure on Daesh in Iraq and Syria, may lead to the relocation of this group to some other parts of the world, including our region.
This is the issue that remains a source of great concern and history must not be repeated elsewhere.
The disrupting of terrorists funds by using financial investigation can be an effective method for the regional countries to better respond to this challenge.
As part of our commitment in fighting terrorism and organized crime, since 2006, we have established the Financial Transaction and Reports Analysis Center of Afghanistan (FinTRACA).
The main mission of this center is to deny the use of the Afghan Financial institutions to those who have obtained funds as the results of illegal activities, and to those who would use it to support terrorist activities and other crimes.
At the international level, FinTRACA has signed 18 Memorandums of Understandings, including with the five Central Asian states and the Russian Federation.
We share long borders with three Central Asian states, namely Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
Therefore the security, stability and prosperity of our countries and the region are deeply inter-connected with each other.
To this end, we need to further increase information sharing, enhance border security and management, develop our legal regimes and exchange the best experiences on countering financing of terrorism.
From our perspective, the network of financing terrorism has regional and global dimensions, and not a single country can solve this problem alone.
It is imperative to develop a common and coordinated strategy to address all aspects of terrorism and organized crime, including financial flows.
We need regional cooperation to establish a mechanism of verification and coordination for eliminating the existing threats, and to take practical steps in implementing the United Nations Global Strategy on countering terrorism and its financing, and the UN Security Council relevant resolutions in this regard.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In conclusion, I would like to assure the international community that Afghanistan will continue to be a reliable partner in fighting terrorism and organized crime.
At the same time, to achieve a durable peace is our highest national priority and fundamental demand of our people.
To this end, during recent months, efforts have been increased nationally and internationally, and we are hopeful that these efforts will create a favorite environment leading to direct talks between the Government of Afghanistan and the Taliban. It is also necessary that any engagement should be based on the Afghan owned and Afghan led peace process.
We strongly believe that a stable and peaceful Afghanistan would be in the interest of the entire region and beyond.