Discorso pronunciato dall’Ambasciatore Inigo Lambertini, Vice Rappresentante Permanente dell’Italia presso le Nazioni Unite, al briefing in Consiglio di Sicurezza sulla situazione in Afghanistan:
First, We thank the Secretary General for his report and we strongly welcome the strategic review. Thank you SRSG Yamamoto for your comprehensive briefing.
Italy joins others in expressing its appreciation for UNAMA’s tireless efforts in promoting peace and coordinating assistance from the International Community in an extremely challenging environment.
Italy welcomes the presence of his excellency Salahudin Rabbani, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan. Thank you for your briefing Sir.
We continue to witness the constant escalation in the intensity of the conflict in Afghanistan, and the terrible consequences which it brings, starting with civilian casualties, particularly among those who are most vulnerable, such as women and children.
Terrorism remains a grave and dangerous threat to the country’s stability, as we have seen from the devastating, heinous attacks carried out in recent months.
This situation requires us to renew our collective support to the National Unity Government’s efforts to bring peace and stability to the country.
Faced with relentless violence from the Taliban and from terrorist groups, the Afghan National Security and Defence Forces continue to play a pivotal role in defending the substantial progress made in Afghanistan since 2001, and we pay tribute to their courage and dedication. Italy renews its active commitment to continue training, advising and assisting the Afghan security forces, in the framework of the NATO-led ‘Resolute Support’ mission.
But in order to bring lasting peace and security to Afghanistan, the solution must ultimately be a political one, to be achieved through negotiations between the Government and armed opposition groups, in the framework of an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned peace process which respects the Constitution. This process will require full and concrete support from Afghanistan’s partners. We therefore welcome the new United States strategy for the country, which confirms the intention to work towards achieving this ultimate outcome, as well as the renewed US commitment in the broader fight against terrorism.
In this context, the role of regional actors will be crucial. We need genuine and constructive cooperation from all regional stakeholders, in a common and resolute fight against terrorism and in promoting the conditions for peace and stability in Afghanistan.
Italy supports all diplomatic initiatives, such as the Kabul Process, aimed at improving this cooperation. We also share the goal of fostering a national consensus around peace and reconciliation. This will require the active and inclusive participation of all sectors of Afghan society, including women, whose role is of particular significance in this regard. To this end, we encourage the full implementation of the National Action Plan on UNSCR Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.
Equally important, in order achieve lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan, is for the Government and its institutions to gain the full confidence of its citizens by exercising good governance and by meeting the development needs of the country. This is all the more critical given the alarming levels of poverty and unemployment, especially among young people.
This will require full and comprehensive implementation of internal reforms. We acknowledge the substantial progress made in the electoral process, but several important issues still need to be resolved in order to ensure that upcoming elections are fully transparent and credible.
The fight against corruption must be carried forward with steadfast determination. We acknowledge that positive results are beginning to emerge in this regard, through the actions of such institutions as the Attorney General’s Office and the Anti-Corruption Justice Center.
Promoting and defending women’s rights will continue to be a top priority, as well as their full empowerment within Afghan society. Further efforts are required in order to ensure that there is no risk of reversals in this area.
The upcoming Senior Officials’ Meeting in Kabul will provide an important opportunity to measure progress against reform benchmarks, in the framework of the partnership between Afghanistan and its donors, which was reaffirmed at the Brussels Conference last year.
The International Community’s commitment to help in bringing peace, stability and self-reliance to Afghanistan and its people remains steadfast, and Italy is determined to continue playing an integral part in this process.
Thank you very much.