6 July 2011 - Security Council - Afghanistan - Statement by Mr Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations
I should of course like, Sir, to congratulate you on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council
and to thank the representative of Gabon for his skilful conduct of the work of the Council during the month of
June. I wish also to thank Mr. De Mistura for his presentation on the situation in Afghanistan and would
like to associate myself with the statement to be made later by the representative of the European Union. In
addition, I should like to thank Ambassador Tanin for his statement.
I should like at the outset to start by paying tribute to all United Nations staff working in
Afghanistan. The Security Council reacted in the aftermath of the 1 April attack against United Nations
Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) headquarters in Mazar-e-Sharif, an attack that was all
the more revolting given that the men and women who were murdered there were working for the
stabilization, security and development of Afghanistan.
The attack should not make us deviate from our main goal, which is to help the Afghan Government
move ahead on the path towards full sovereignty.
In that regard, the transition process has begun. This new phase of our commitment is leading, as of this year, to
the gradual and orderly transfer of security responsibilities to the Afghan authorities. France will
remain committed, along with its allies, alongside the Afghan people so as to ensure that the transition
process is completed, as scheduled, at the end of 2014, be it in our area of deployment or with respect to the
training of the Afghan security forces. Our commitment in Afghanistan is long-term and will be
adapted so as to take account of the new context of transition. The planned redeployment of French troops
will take place in close cooperation with our allies and the Afghan authorities.
However, we must be careful to ensure that that the transition process also leads to the
assumption of responsibility by the Afghan Government for both governance and development.
Much remains to be done, and time is of the essence. We must ensure greater involvement of the
Afghan people in the planning and implementation of development projects. For its part, the Afghan
Government must wage a more resolute combat against corruption and nepotism, as evidenced by the Kabul
Bank situation. Progress has also been noted in the area of budget performance through the decentralization of public expenditures and the further strengthening of capacities in the planning and implementation of development projects in the provinces and districts.
Turning to the issue of security, we have resumed the military initiative and thereby made it possible for
the Government of Afghanistan to regain a foothold in several areas. The country’s army and police force are
growing stronger with our support — financially and in terms of training, making it possible for the allies to
envision a gradual withdrawal of some of the combat forces in Afghanistan.
Our military and training efforts are starting to bear fruit, at the cost, however, of very arduous
Military gains will be short-lived if they do not take place in a context that reinforces the
legitimacy of the Afghan authorities and that makes it possible to envisage a political solution to the conflict.
Unfortunately, the court-created uncertainty that affects the legislative powers is detrimental to the proper
functioning of democratic institutions and is distracting them from the real concerns of the Afghan voters. We
call on all Afghan institutions to work in the context of their respective competencies, as set out in the
Constitution and on the basis of the principle of the separation of powers. The Special Representative of
the Secretary-General must continue to monitor the situation and electoral reform, which the country
We have, however, also noted the progress made on the path to inter-Afghan reconciliation. We continue
to support the efforts of President Karzai and the High Peace Council to develop a peace process involving all
segments of Afghan society. Such a process must be supported by regional efforts that take into account the
security interests of Afghanistan’s neighbours while respecting its sovereignty. The United Nations can
from that point of view play a useful role.
By separating the sanctions regime of the United Nations for Al-Qaida and the Taliban, the Security
Council took a very significant decision which, we hope, will motivate the Afghan people to turn their
backs on international terrorism, undertake direct dialogue and look to the future together.
France would like to conclude by reaffirming its full support for the efforts of Special Representative of
the Secretary-General Staffan de Mistura.
The Security Council, through its resolution 1974 (2011), renewed the mandate of UNAMA and confirmed that the priorities it outlined two years ago were the right ones. The Council also requested that a full review of the
activities of UNAMA and of the United Nations in Afghanistan be carried out by the end of 2011. This
will represent an opportunity to reflect on the evolution of the commitment of the United Nations in that
country. The review must take place in a context of full transparency, working with the Afghan authorities.
That process, the second Bonn Conference and the renewal of UNAMA’s mandate in 2012 all represent
opportunities to reiterate our commitment to the common goal of a democratic, independent and
prosperous Afghanistan that has definitively turned its back on violence and instability.