Civilian casualties must end in Afghanistan, UNSC told
“Our moral obligations place a heavy burden on us to ensure protection to civilian lives as priority number one. Additional measures must be taken to prevent harm to civilians,” Zahir Tannin told the 15-membered body at a special meeting on Afghanistan.
“We must end the war and violence in Afghanistan. The time has come to ensure that Afghans have the chance to live in peace, free from the threat of violence and sufferings,” he said.
He linked winning the war to winning the people's trust, blaming most of civilian casualties on Taliban and Al Qaeda, and military operations by foreign and Afghan forces.
Earlier, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, Staffan de Mistura, in his address said that the beginning of the transition this year meant an end to “business as usual”.
The transition to the Afghan lead is expected to commence with next week’s announcement by President Hamid Karzai of areas, where the process will start.
As provinces came under full Afghan governance and security during the transition, they must be rewarded with adequate development assistance and not be abandoned, he said. Noting that sovereignty came with increased responsibility and accountability, he maintained that institutional progress had been made towards that end, the top UN diplomat said.
Speaking on the occasion, other members of the Security Council strongly supported a transition to full Afghan responsibility, as well as related aspects of the so-called “ Kabul process”. In that effort, most prioritized capacity-building of Afghan institutions, particularly those related to security and rule of law, as well as to other services for the Afghan people. Some said that their countries would funnel more aid through Afghan institutions.
The Pak Ambassador to the UN, Abdullah Hussain Haroon, informed the Security Coucnil that Pakistan is extending the fullest security and intelligence cooperation to Afghanistan, with the number of its military and paramilitary personnel deployed along the border greater than all international troops in the country.
“We do not want Afghanistan to become a theatre of proxy wars or descend into chaos and instability,” he stressed.
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