I thank the Secretary-General and the Permanent Representative of Afghanistan for their remarks. I also welcome the presence of Mr. Kubiš, Special Representative of the Secretary-General, and of Mr. Ušackas, Special Representative of the European Union for Afghanistan, and I associate myself with the latter’s statement.
With the end of the withdrawal of our combat troops from Afghanistan, a new phase is beginning in the relations between France and that country, a different sort of relations based on strengthened military and civilian cooperation. Since 2008, in Kapisa and Surobi, the French army had the responsibility of training the Afghan Security Forces and ensuring the transition with the local authorities. That task has been carried out successfully. French soldiers still present in Afghanistan are focusing now on the withdrawal of military equipment, on training and on the management of the military hospital in Kabul and of the airport. They are therefore in the service of the allied forces and of the population. A treaty of friendship and cooperation between our two countries has been signed and ratified. Financial assistance to Afghanistan has been distributed. Amounting to about €300 million, it will help the country to move from a wartime economy to a peacetime economy.
Afghanistan is on its way to regaining full exercise of its sovereignty at the end of the transition process. The international community is committed to maintaining its support during the transformation decade. In that context, I would like to underscore three challenges that Afghanistan must face.
First, with regard to the fight against drug production and trafficking, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, in its latest report, paints a worrisome picture of that situation and of the current trends. I will not revisit the numbers or the devastating effects of that scourge in Afghanistan and beyond its borders. It is clearly a matter of concern for the Afghan Government and the international community, which are mobilized together in the framework of the Paris Pact and the Istanbul Process. The impact of this issue on the future of Afghanistan is clear. We therefore feel that the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan could legitimately integrate it if not into the heart of its current mandate, at least into its ref lection on its future in Afghanistan, in full respect for the remit of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and, it goes without saying, in support of the efforts of the Afghan Government.
Secondly, the presidential elections of 5 April 2014 and the legislative elections of 2015 will be an important landmark for the international community and its long- term support for Afghanistan, as agreed in the Tokyo Framework. We call on the Afghan authorities to organize credible, inclusive, transparent and peaceful elections by establishing a reliable electoral census, an appropriate legislative framework and robust anti-fraud measures, and by guaranteeing the independence of the Independent Election Commission. We back the supporting role of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General’s and the United Nations Development Programme.
Thirdly, as to reconciliation, only a genuine and inclusive inter-Afghan political process will ensure the emergence of a stable and peaceful Afghanistan. France supports the reconciliation efforts in that country and is prepared to contribute to them, of course in agreement with the Afghan authorities. In Chantilly last December, we welcomed a dialogue session that included different strata of Afghan society, organized in full transparency with the Afghan Government and in full respect for Security Council sanctions. Through the adoption of resolution 1988 (2011) and 2082 (2012), we also contributed to reorienting the sanctions regime in order to make it more conducive to reconciliation.
I conclude by welcoming the adoption of resolution
2096 (2013). We thank Australia for its role as facilitator.
We also hope that what has not proved feasible this
year — agreeing on a shorter and clearer text and a
mandate focused on the realities on the ground and the
priorities of the Afghan Government — will do so in
the next. That should bolster the consistency of United
Nations activities on the ground.
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