Statement by H.E. Salahuddin Rabbani Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan at the Annual Coordination Meeting of the Non-Alignment Movement
It is a pleasure to address this year’s annual coordination meeting of the Non-Alignment Movement.
On behalf of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, I thank the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, as Chair of our Coordinating Bureau, for convening this meeting.
We also welcome the theme designated for our discussion today: “Upholding the UN Charter and the Purposes and Principles of NAM, Towards a Culture of Peace.”
We live in a day and age in which the nature and scope of global challenges have grown more complex.
Threats to international peace and security are no longer seen from the viewpoint of armed conflicts, military confrontations and terrorism alone.
Rather, calamites such as climate change, rampant poverty and the mass displacement of peoples around the world also undermine the peace and stability of societies.
NAM’s founding principles of multilateralism, respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty of States and peaceful co-existence still represent the most viable approach for our common prosperity.
They are also fundamental preconditions to consolidating the rule of law and promoting a “culture of peace.”
Afghanistan’s foreign policy is guided by a firm commitment to upholding the principles of the UN Charter, with which NAM principles are closely linked.
We have always advocated through words and deeds international cooperation and solidarity to advance peace and stability in our region and the world at-large.
This is manifested by our strategic partnerships with a wide nexus of regional and international partners, which have steadily grown and expanded since 2001.
Promoting and consolidating the culture of peace requires decisive action by various stakeholders - beyond just States alone.
This was highlighted during the high-level meeting on Sustaining Peace in April, which emphasized a more cohesive UN approach to build and sustain peace in societies worldwide.
In this context, we also welcome the Secretary General’s reform measures across the peace, security and development pillars.
We must not forget that up-holding the UN Charter and the principles of NAM; and embedding a culture of peace is also dependent on a reformed Security Council that responds more effectively to threats confronting international peace and security.
The inter-governmental negotiation process on Security Council reform must progress beyond the current stalemate and achieve the intended outcome to help save current and future generations from the scourges of conflict, strife, and humanitarian tragedies.
On this occasion, we underscore once again the importance of the peaceful settlement of disputes.
Initiating such an approach provides the surest guarantee for resolving bilateral, regional and international tensions, as well as addressing current conflicts and preventing new ones from occurring in the first place.
More broadly, this principle is critical for cultivating and consolidating a culture of peace.
International terrorism is a phenomenon that violates fundamental human rights and other core tenets of both the UN Charter and NAM’s founding principles.
Our group shares responsibility to ensure that the international response to this threat achieves more tangible result, under the 4 Pillars of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and relevant General Assembly and Security Council resolutions.
In that regard, passivity on the part of any State in meeting their obligations hinders broader counter-terrorism efforts.
Terrorism will only be defeated with a “zero tolerance approach” against all shades and forms of terror groups, with due focus on addressing all forms of material and logistical aid that enable them to continue their reign of terror against the civilized world.
We hope the creation of the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism and other important developments related to the UN’s CT architecture leads to more tangible progress in the fight against terrorism.
This year, again, our people have continued their resilience in the face of terrorism to achieve peace and stability.
Our National Defense and Security Forces continued to fend off various attacks throughout Afghanistan, which resulted in the enemy’s failure to capture and control of any of the provincial capitals.
The security efforts also include a vigorous fight against elements of international terrorist groups, including Daesh, which also have suffered major setbacks.
Moreover, we presented an unprecedented peace offer to the Taliban within the framework of the Kabul Process Conference in February.
In June we witnessed a 3-day mutual ceasefire, which marked an important development.
That said, we still await the Taliban’s overall commitment to a durable peace.
We welcome all support being provided for our peace efforts by regional and international partners, and reaffirm the importance of their conformity with the principle of Afghan ownership and leadership.
We are also working to ensure successful parliamentary and presidential elections, scheduled for October this year, and April 2019.
Inclusive, transparent and credible electoral processes remain an ultimate demand of our people, on which we must deliver.
We also look forward to the up-coming International Geneva Conference on Afghanistan in November, where a new phase of our partnership with the international community will commence.
Overall, in spite of current challenges, Afghanistan’s progress towards stability continues in a positive trajectory.
I thank our group as a whole, and the many individual NAM member-states for their steadfast support for our security and prosperity.
The UN Charter provides the corner-stone of our rules-based international order, and the principles of NAM lay at the core of that historic text.
At this time of ever-evolving global landscape, we must reinforce those vital principles as an imperative to ensuring a more peaceful and prosperous world order.