Discorso pronunciato dall’Ambasciatore Inigo Lambertini, Vice Rappresentante Permanente d’Italia presso le Nazioni Unite, al Meeting del Consiglio di Sicurezza sulla situazione in Afghanistan —
Italy aligns itself with the statement to be made on behalf of the European Union.
I want to thank SRSG Yamamoto for his presence here today and for his briefing.
My Country joins other Council members in strongly condemning the recent terrorist attacks in Kabul and in other parts of the country. We extend our condolences to the victims and their families and express our full solidarity with the Afghan people and government. These despicable acts strengthen our determination to support Afghanistan and its institutions in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism, which continue to pose a grave threat to peace and stability.
We welcome the successful outcome of the first meeting of the ‘Kabul Process’ for peace and security cooperation. By taking this initiative, our Afghan partners have signaled their willingness to pursue the peace and reconciliation process with renewed vigor. We commend their leadership on this issue, which further reinforces the principle that this process should be Afghan-led and Afghan-owned.
Through its participation in the ‘Kabul Process”, Italy seeks to express its full support to this initiative. We believe this is a starting point, not an end point, and we also hope that broad international backing can provide a solid foundation for positive outcomes in this area.
The Kabul Process also confirms the crucial importance of cooperation between regional stakeholders. Afghanistan’s terrorist and violent extremist phenomenon, which undoubtedly has a transnational dimension, cannot be tackled effectively without close cooperation and unity of purpose among neighboring and regional countries. Terrorism and violent extremism are a concrete threat to their stability as well. There is a clear convergence of interests; however, tangible measures to strengthen cooperation, especially at the regional level, must be adopted. Italy supports all initiatives geared towards this goal.
The need for a credible and broad-based reconciliation process underscores the fact that peace in Afghanistan can only be achieved through political means. There is no military solution to this conflict, as we are all reminded by UNAMA’s latest report on protection of civilians, which demonstrates how the most vulnerable categories, especially women and children, are increasingly at risk.
The focus on a broad-based and inclusive consensus as the foundation for a successful reconciliation process is key, and we welcome the decision by the Afghan Government to make it the centerpiece of its strategy.
In this context, it will be essential to ensure women’s active inclusion and participation, and we renew our hope that the Afghan Government’s and the High Peace Council’s commitments in this area may find further tangible application, for instance through the full implementation of Afghanistan’s National Action Plan for UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. This goal is all the more important in the framework of safeguarding and further building upon the progress made on women’s rights in Afghanistan over the course of the last sixteen years.
The continued violent acts by hostile insurgent groups remind us of the fundamental importance of strengthening Afghanistan’s institutions, specifically those which have the task of ensuring the security and defense of the country and its population. Italy supports and encourages the Afghan Government to continue to enhance its efforts to improve the capabilities of the Afghan National Security and Defense Forces. To be successful, these efforts will also require a determined fight against all forms of corruption, which Italy will continue to support through its training and advising activities in the framework of the ‘Resolute Support’ NATO-led mission.
The challenges facing Afghanistan continue to be enormously complex, and one cannot imagine a successful path for the future of the country in the absence of unity and internal cohesion within the Government and all Afghan institutions, to which we renew our call for a constructive and inclusive approach aimed at resolving outstanding disputes, which are not compatible with the urgent needs of the country.
This is also an essential pre-requisite for the implementation of those indispensable reforms, as agreed with the International Community, which are necessary to consolidate Afghan institutions and generate self-sustaining growth, in order to meet the legitimate needs and expectations of its people.
In this context, we hope that the long-awaited electoral reform agenda may soon be completed, allowing the relevant institutions to rapidly set an electoral calendar and ensure a credible, inclusive and transparent process.
I wish to conclude by renewing our appreciation for the crucial work that UNAMA carries out in many areas and under very difficult conditions. Italy looks forward to engaging within the Council on the outcomes of the strategic review mandated by Resolution 2344 last March, in order to further strengthen the mission and enhance its overall effectiveness.