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Discorso pronunciato dall’Ambasciatore Inigo Lambertini, Vice Rappresentante Permanente dell’Italia presso le Nazioni Unite, al dibattito in Consiglio di Sicurezza sulla situazione in Afghanistan

Mr. President,

Italy aligns itself with the statement (to be) made by the European Union, and supports the statement (to be) made by the Netherlands as part of our cooperation related to the upcoming split term in the Security Council. We are currently defining our cooperation around shared goals and values in the firm belief that this agreement sends a positive political message of cooperation to tackle common challenges.

I would like to begin by thanking the Secretary-General for his thorough report on the situation in Afghanistan and by expressing our appreciation for UNAMA’s action in this complex scenario.

The challenges Afghanistan is facing remain daunting. On the security front, the persistent increase in the number of civilian victims of the conflict is cause for great concern and the data on children who have died or been injured is particularly alarming. The already serious humanitarian situation has further deteriorated due to the increase in Internally Displaced Persons.

We condemn most firmly the terrorist attacks that continue to plague the Country, such as those in Kabul in recent weeks. In the face of such unjustifiable and indiscriminate acts of violence, Italy reiterates its full support for and recognition of the efforts of the Afghan Government to combat terrorism and the actions of violent armed groups and to ensure peace and stability for the Country.

Against this background, on the occasion of the NATO Summit in Warsaw in July, together with its partners in the Alliance, Italy has decided to continue its active engagement in the Resolute Support Mission as a “framework nation”, assisting the Afghan defense and security forces to enhance their capabilities.

Mr. President,

Recent months have not seen encouraging developments toward a possible peace process, which nonetheless remains the main objective to bring an end to the violence in the Country. The efforts to establish the conditions that may lead to an Afghan-led peace process must therefore be renewed.

To this end, close and constructive cooperation among the Countries of the Region is essential. We hope that this cooperation be based on the understanding that fighting terrorism and those who aim to violently destabilize Afghanistan is in the common interest, as a peaceful and stable Afghanistan is essential for the stability of the entire region.

Another basic challenge for Afghanistan is strengthening its institutions and consolidating economic and social development. The upcoming Brussels Conference is a key moment in the Country’s journey to self-sufficiency and to lower its dependency on international aid; to expand the progress achieved in the past fifteen years in consolidating democracy, social development, access to healthcare, the promotion of the rights of women and girls; to address the underlying causes of Afghan migration flows, in particular toward Europe, while helping to improve security conditions.

We are aware that in order to achieve these ambitious goals, the financial support of the international community is decisive. Likewise, the achievement of these goals requires the utmost determination from Afghanistan in pursuing the domestic reforms already initiated in this direction.

Mr. President,

We appreciate the commitment of the Afghan authorities in this regard as well as the action programs that relate to the Afghan National Peace and Development Framework and the updated goals of the Self Reliance through Accountability Framework, which will be presented in Brussels. In the spirit of the principles of mutual commitment and mutual accountability that support the partnership between Afghanistan and the international community, it is important that these reform plans be implemented concretely and effectively.

This is what the donor Countries are asking in order to confirm their assistance, but it is above all also what the Afghan people are asking for.

In the wake of positive results achieved so far, it is essential that further concrete and measurable progress be reached in crucial sectors such as the fight against corruption, human rights, the promotion of the rights of women and their full empowerment throughout society.

To this end, close internal cohesion within the government and effective teamwork are absolute prerequisites. We therefore hope that the differences that have recently emerged within the government be overcome, renewing the spirit of national unity at its foundation, in the greater interests of the Country and its people.

I thank you, Mr. President.