19 December 2012 – Security Council – Afghanistan / UNAMA – Statement by Mr. Martin Briens, Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

(UN translation)

I thank the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for his
briefing and his work at the head of the United Nations
Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), as well
as Ambassador Tanin for his statement. I align myself with the statement to be delivered by the observer of the
European Union.

In my national capacity, I will address only three
subjects: the transition, the elections and reconciliation.
First, the transition is continuing and now involves
75 per cent of the Afghan population. We have seen
no deterioration in the situation since the transfer of
responsibility for security in Surobi and Kapisa, where
we have seen the third Afghan Army brigade reveal its
combat capacity in the field.

The Secretary-General notes the important drop in
incidents, as compared to figures from 2011, and we
welcome that. However, we share his concern about
the increase in civilian victims in the last quarter,
80 per cent of whom were targeted by the insurgents.
It is essential that UNAMA continue to carry out its
impartial work of counting the civilian casualties,
without any threats or interference.

In accordance with the announcement of the
President of the French Republic in May at the
Chicago Summit, our last combat forces withdrew on
15 December. We must now move towards another sort
of long-term commitment. France will remain engaged
in supporting and training the International Security
Assistance Force until the end of the transition, on the
understanding that this participation will involve no
further combat.

Beyond its military presence, France will continue
to stand with the Afghans, including after the
transition period, in accordance with the international
community’s commitment, as stated at the Bonn
and Tokyo Conferences. A treaty of friendship and
cooperation was signed and ratified between our two
countries. It establishes the long-term relations between
France and Afghanistan over the next 20 years, on the
basis of our 10 years of military engagement. On 8 July,
the French Minister for Foreign Affairs announced at
the Tokyo Conference a 50 per cent increase in our
cooperation with Afghanistan over the next five years,
totalling €308 million for the period from 2012 to 2016.
Secondly, the presidential elections of 2014 will
mark an important moment for Afghanistan. They
will mark a political transition after the two terms of
President Hâmid Karzai and will therefore be a test of
the strength of democracy in the country. They will
be a milestone for the international community and its
long-term support of Afghanistan, in accordance with
the framework agreed in Tokyo.

From our point of view, it is vital that the Afghans be
able to organize credible, free and transparent elections
that will endow the leaders to be elected by the Afghans
with a strong democratic legitimacy. We therefore call
upon the country’s authorities to ensure that they have
the tools necessary to carry out the polling, count the
results and follow up on possible complaints. That
will require, in particular, revising and modernizing
electoral lists.

We welcome the fact that the Independent Election
Commission has decided upon a date, 5 April 2014, for
holding the next presidential elections. The Commission
has asked for help from the United Nations. We are
obviously in favour of that, given that support for the
electoral process is one of the priorities established by
the Council for UNAMA. The international community
must be duly informed about the electoral process on a
regular basis.

Thirdly, only a genuine intra-Afghan reconciliation
will make it possible to see the emergence of a stable and
peaceful Afghanistan after 2014. In Bonn in December
2011, the international community announced its
support for an inclusive, Afghan-led peace process
open to the insurgents willing to forswear violence,
sever all ties with international terrorism and respect
the Constitution of Afghanistan, particularly with
regard to women’s rights.

This reconciliation process must be supported
by the States of the region, and I welcome the most
recent contacts and statements of the Afghan and
Pakistani authorities on bilateral relations. However,
the reconciliation process must, above all, be led by the
Afghans, together with all the components of Afghan

It is in this context that the Security Council has
renewed its sanctions regime against all persons and
groups associated with the Taliban that constitute a
threat to peace, security and stability in Afghanistan.
Together with the delisting and listing decisions, the
establishment of a more f lexible travel ban exemption
procedure should facilitate contacts in Afghanistan
while observing Security Council rules.

Allow me to conclude by paying tribute to the
men and women serving in Afghanistan under the
United Nations f lag, who today, under the leadership
of the Special Representative, are doing excellent
work in sometimes difficult conditions in the service
of the Afghans and at the invitation of the Afghan

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Dernière modification : 26/02/2015

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