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  • Faithful to my Homeland, the Republic of Poland

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  • REMARKS, SPEECHES & STATEMENTS

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    New York, 19 January 2018

     

    Mister President,

    Distinguished Members of the Council,

    Excellencies,

    Ladies and Gentlemen,

     

    I shall start by congratulating you Mister President, and your country Kazakhstan, on your successful presidency in the Council and commend Astana’s initiative to organize this timely debate on building regional partnership in Afghanistan and Central Asia. I also highly commend your leadership in convening the recent Security Council’s visiting mission to Afghanistan that contributes greatly to this debate.

    I would also like to thank Secretary General for his briefing and his continuous commitment to conflict prevention and sustaining peace.

    First, I would like to stress the importance of regional cooperation as an effective means not only to promote economic and social development of Afghanistan, but also to promote peace and stability.

    From my country’s perspective, the diversification of economic ties of Central Asian countries serves well both their sovereignty and interests. The location of Central Asia, and Afghanistan, presents a unique opportunity to enhance direct and multinational cooperation aimed at constructing transport and logistic infrastructure that will interconnect Europe and Asia. Those valuable links will facilitate not only the exchange of goods, but also ideas and people-to-people contacts, as well as mutual understanding.

    We are glad to note the recent developments in the region in the field of connectivity. Projects such as TAPI pipeline, CASA 1000, the railway to Herat or the air cargo corridor between Afghanistan and India are excellent examples of diverse benefits that regional cooperation can bring. We believe that these investments will contribute not only to the region’s prosperity, but will also build trust between neighbors. In this context, we would like to commend the governments of Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey for signing the Lapis Lazuli corridor agreement. We believe that this vital document will facilitate one of the most effective ways of linking Afghanistan to the European markets, as well as help diminish its dependence on the neighboring countries in terms of transit and transportation.

     

    Mr. President,

     

    We must remember that even the most ambitious agenda with regard to regional economic connectivity may fail due to unstable security situation. A secure, stable, and prosperous Afghanistan is a prerequisite to peace and stability of the whole region. We are alarmed by the continuous high level of violence in numerous Afghani cities and the resulting number of civilian casualties. Regarding the improvement of security, we welcome the Afghan Government’s four-year security sector reform plan, hoping it will strengthen the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces. However, the military success is only a means to an end, which is to achieve peace. We deeply believe that an inclusive, Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process is the only viable, long-term solution to ending the conflict. We hope that the Kabul Process brings the much needed progress, but we would like to underline the importance of inclusiveness of the negotiations.

     

    Mr. President,

     

    On January 1st, 2015, NATO launched the Resolute Support Mission (RSM), a non-combat mission. Its purpose is to help Afghan security forces and institutions develop capacities needed to defend Afghanistan and protect its citizens in a sustainable manner. In other words, this mission seeks to provide environment for the future successful development of the country. Poland has been actively engaged in NATO’s Resolute Support Mission since the onset and is consistently increasing its contribution.

    We are proud to have been participating in this operation since 2002. The Polish military contingent in ISAF was one of the biggest and most successful. I would like to emphasize that our military efforts have always been complemented by our development assistance to Afghanistan, mostly through contributions to the mechanisms of multilateral assistance of the United Nations system and the World Bank.

     

    Mr. President,

     

    Another serious threat, not only to Afghanistan’s, but also to the wider region’s security, is narcotics production. Despite the Afghan government’s efforts, drugs remain one of the biggest sources of terrorist income. It is therefore crucial to intensify and coordinate both international and regional efforts to tackle this problem. We would like to thank the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA), the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy in Central Asia (UNRCCA) and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) for their hard work in addressing the issue of narcotics production, and we invite other regional organizations to coordinate their endeavors with these actors. 

    At this point, I would like to emphasize that we support UNRCCA’s multidimensional approach to regional security in Afghanistan and Central Asia, including transport, environment, food and energy security, and its focus on new threats to peace and security. Poland also values greatly the work of UNAMA and the comprehensive support given to Afghanistan and its people.

     

    Mr. President,

     

    Together with our partners in the EU we identified four priority areas critical to achieving progress in Afghanistan. They include: promoting peace, stability and regional security; reinforcing democracy, the rule of law and human rights and promoting good governance and women empowerment; supporting economic and human development and, last but not least, addressing challenges related to migration. These priorities became the pillars of the new EU strategy for Afghanistan that shows our engagement and commitment to the country. We hope that the Afghani government will work with us toward the implementation of this vital strategy. 

    To conclude, Mr. President, I would like to underline that Poland has been a long-term partner of Afghanistan and the region. We remain committed to further strengthening peace, stability and development of Afghanistan and Central Asia – as a UN Security Council member – and will act to this end.

    Thank you.

     

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