In a veiled but scathing attack against Pakistan for providing safe havens to terror groups, Afghanistan called on the UN Security Council to take measures against “state institutions” that facilitate extremism to advance their foreign policy agenda. “The cycle of violence and insecurity in Afghanistan, and our part of the world is inextricably linked to the presence of sanctuaries and safe-havens in the region, from which extremist groups are sustained and enjoy an incessant flow of political, financial, material and logistical support for the continuation of their malicious activities,” Afghanistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Mahmoud Saikal said.
Addressing a Security Council debate on Conflict Prevention and Sustaining Peace yesterday, Saikal, without naming Pakistan, said elements in “some state institutions” facilitate violence to advance their foreign policy agenda.
“The UN must also afford greater attention to some of the external drivers of these phenomenon. In this light, the UN, and this Council in particular, can devise a viable approach to identify situations where elements in some ‘State institutions’ facilitate violence and extremist activities by non-state proxies as a means to advance their foreign policy agenda,” he said.
The Afghan envoy stressed that the UN is “well positioned” to help address trust deficit associated with “negative state rivalries” which often leads to conflict, and where “some actors go at all lengths, including the use of violent proxy forces in pursuit of political, security and economic objectives. This phenomenon is predominant in our region.”
Saikal also told the Council that Afghanistan has expressed “strong reservations” in regards to open declarations by “some in our region of their contacts with armed opposition groups active in Afghanistan, conducted without the consent of the Afghan Government.
“Let me reassert, any kind of talks on the situation in my country has neither any value nor legitimacy without the participation and approval of our Government which is the most democratically elected administration in the history of our nation,” he said.
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UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, in his first formal briefing to the Security Council, said while millions of people in crisis look to the 15-nation Council to preserve global stability, far more time and resources are spent responding to crises rather than preventing them.
“People are paying too high a price. Member States are paying too high a price. We need a whole new approach. Noting that UN’s response to contemporary conflicts remains fragmented, Guterres highlighted that changes needed to be made to rebalance the approach to peace and security.
“Together, we need to demonstrate leadership, and strengthen the credibility and authority of the United Nations, by putting peace first. Ending the boundless human suffering and the wanton waste of resources generated by conflict is in everyone’s interests,” he said.
Guterres, whose five-year term as UN Chief began on January 1, said the Security Council, working with the Peacebuilding Commission, all other parts of the United Nations system, and regional organizations, can enable faster preventive action when the warning signs are there.
“The cost of inaction is simply too high. War is never inevitable. It is always a matter of choice: the choice to exclude, to discriminate, to marginalize, to resort to violence. By restoring trust between governments and their citizens and amongst Member States, we can prevent and avoid conflict,” he said.