UN Security Council urges Afghans, international partners to avoid recrimination, redouble efforts

A visiting United Nations Security Council delegation, today urged Afghans and their international partners to redouble their collaborative efforts and said that despite the serious problems of recent months there were new grounds for cautious optimism for Afghanistan.

Speaking at a press conference, delegation leader Ambassador Giulio Terzi of Italy said Afghanistan was faced with a difficult security situation, but not a security crisis. “We should avoid any inclination to disillusion and frustration, “he said. “This is instead time for Afghans and their international partners to redouble their joint efforts.”

Ambassador Terzi said the delegation was sensitive to Afghanistan’s difficulties, but had noted a number of recent positives including the marked improvement in relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan, new energy in Government following a Cabinet reshuffle, a significant drop in opium cultivation, and increased impetus behind efforts at improving sub-national governance.

Ambassador Giulio Terzi in a press conference in Kabul

The Security Council delegation has spent three days in Afghanistan, mainly in Kabul but also traveling to Herat. They met President Hamid Karzai, Government leaders, parliamentarians, civil society representatives, and members of the international community, including the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan and the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force.

The delegation’s discussions covered areas including governance, regional cooperation, elections, human rights and humanitarian issues, reconciliation, security, civilian casualties, socio and economic development, media, the situation for women, and the UN’s role in assisting Afghanistan.

The delegation is due to depart Afghanistan later on Thursday. Over the next days it will compile and publish a report outlining its findings. This week’s visit was the first to Afghanistan by a Security Council delegation since November 2006.