Statement at Arria formula meeting: “Partners for Afghanistan: Linking Security, Development and Peace in the Central Asian region”

Statement by H.E. Lise Gregoire-van Haaren,
Deputy Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations

New York, 27 November 2017

Mr. Chair, distinguished delegates,

Please allow me to voice my appreciation to Kazakhstan, Germany and Afghanistan for organizing this meeting.

I would like to highlight three points:

  • The importance of the Afghan-led Kabul Process
  • The need for regional cooperation
  • The necessity of an integrated approach

Mr. Chair,

First, let me focus on the Kabul Process. The Kingdom of the Netherlands greatly welcomes the initiation of the Kabul Process for Peace and Security by the Afghan government. We also welcome the Strategic Plan for Peace and Reconciliation that was presented by the High Peace Council of Afghanistan. We fully support these Afghan-led and Afghan-owned processes. Under the leadership of the government of Afghanistan and with the necessary support of the international community, sustainable peace can be achieved in Afghanistan.

Mr. Chair,

Second, I want to mention the value of regional cooperation. The situation in Afghanistan cannot be seen in isolation. Many challenges ánd opportunities do not end at the Afghan border. Strengthened economic cooperation and connectivity initiatives in Central-Asia will boost trade and bring economic opportunities that have a positive impact on regional peace and stability. As a member of the Security Council in 2018, we are looking forward to work closely with regional partners and Afghanistan on the challenging situation in the country, with a cross border view.

Also, we need to discuss continuously how the UN can support regional efforts most effectively. For this reason, and together with other EU member states, we decided to co-sponsor the General Assembly-resolution on the role of the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia.

Mr. Chair,

Third, the importance of the integrated approach. The value of an integrated approach is not contested. However, putting the theory into practice is more challenging. The Kingdom of the Netherlands works on improving this practice where possible. We will continue to do so during our Security Council membership in 2018.

One way to strengthen the integration of international efforts is to further improve donor coordination. This can be achieved if donors complement their support to Afghanistan. For example, the Kingdom of the Netherlands focuses on security, rule of law, women’s rights and gender equality. In addition, we support UNAMA’s efforts to strengthen coordination, in order to ensure international efforts are complementary.

In conclusion, Mr. Chair, I wish to conclude by stressing once again our support for Afghanistan. I commend Kazakhstan for its efforts to keep Central-Asian affairs and a focus on long-term peace, security and prosperity in the region on the international agenda.

Thank you.

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