I wish to thank Mr. Hervé Ladsous, Mr. Yuri Fedotov and Ambassador Tanin for their presentations. I align myself with the statement to be made later on by the observer of the European Union.
The NATO Summit that was just held this past month in Chicago set a timetable for the development of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) as well as objectives for a professional, credible and sustainable Afghan security force. It endorsed the principle of creating a new NATO mission that will, starting 2015, be mandated to provide training, advice and assistance to the Afghan armed forces. I am pleased that Mr. Evans, of the NATO International Secretariat, will present his results to the Council today.
The regional process launched in Istanbul last November has been boosted by the ministerial meeting on 14 June in Kabul. At that time, France stated its interest in participating in the development of confidence-building measures aimed at the fight against drugs and terrorism as well as natural disaster mitigation. We are also ready to participate in a new meeting on the margins of the General Assembly in New York, if the Afghan authorities believe that will be useful. Regional cooperation remains one of the keys to Afghanistan’s future and, as a result, a priority for us all.
We thank Mr. Kubiš for his commitment in preparing the economic conference to be held on 8 July in Tokyo. The adoption of five new national priority programmes will help to advance the formulation of Afghan priorities. We hope that the conference will also define mutual commitments for the transformation decade, in particular with respect to the need for the Afghans to define a timetable and modalities for the next national elections. We hope that an agreement can be reached in establishing a cross-cutting anti-drug trafficking mechanism, which is one of the main challenges for Afghanistan, its neighbours and the international community as a whole.
France’s actions are based on the framework defined by NATO in Lisbon and Chicago. Surobi and Kapisa, where our troops are deployed, form part of the second and third tranches of the transition process, which is now a reality for 75 per cent of the Afghans. We will progressively scale down our military presence. Our combat mission will conclude at the end of the year, leaving on the front line the third brigade of the Afghan army, which has already shown its combat capabilities.
We will continue to help train the Afghan police and army as part of ISAF, until 2014. In addition, our actions will be based on the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation signed by the President of France and President Karzai in Paris on 27 January. The 2012- 2016 action plan that is part of that agreement will be given substance by a significant increase in our civilian engagement in the areas of health care, education, agriculture, cultural exchange, mining resources and infrastructure. Naturally, we are committed to harmonizing such action with the priorities of the Afghan Government.
In Chicago, the Secretary-General reaffirmed that the United Nations would continue to support the Afghan Government. The United Nations will therefore play an important role in the context of the transition. The United Nations sanctions regime must continue to be used as a confidence-building measure in intra-Afghan reconciliation, rewarding those who have made the choice of peace and punishing those who want to pursue the path of violence.
We will consider, in that respect, requests for de-listing, listing and exemptions conveyed to the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1988 (2011) by the Afghan Government. It is important, however, for the Government to take ownership of that instrument by proposing new entities for listing. The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan will be increasingly at the heart of the efforts of the international community as it develops and moves towards a civilian-supported presence.
France endorses the three poles recently identified by the Secretariat as being at the heart of the Mission’s work beyond 2014: political good offices; human rights, particularly the rights of women; and consistency of international aid. Proper cooperation with the funds and programmes remains key in terms of electoral reform, countering drug trafficking, supporting the Afghan police, the reintegration of insurgents and aid to refugees. On all these fronts, we are pleased to continue working with the United Nations as the central actor for the future of Afghanistan.