Remarks for Ambassador Rosemary DiCarlo to the United Nations General Assembly Plenary Session on the Situation in Afghanistan

Rosemary A. DiCarlo
Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations 
New York, NY
November 27, 2012




AS DELIVERED

The United States is pleased to join other Member States in co-sponsoring the General Assembly’s draft resolution on the situation in Afghanistan. The draft resolution reflects that the international community remains committed to supporting the Afghan people in building a secure, stable, and prosperous Afghanistan, through the 2014 security and political transition and beyond.

We recognize the continued service of the United Nations in Afghanistan. We also commend the brave and dedicated work of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), and UN personnel who are helping to build a more secure Afghanistan.

Since we met last year, the Afghan people and international community have continued on the path for a responsible security transition and an enduring commitment to Afghanistan. The meetings in Bonn, Chicago, Kabul and Tokyo clarified the path ahead. The transition is on track and the international community’s long-term commitment to Afghanistan is resolute.

Afghanistan and international partners have charted a responsible road for the transfer of full responsibility for security back to the Afghans. The Afghan National Security Forces continues to grow in size and capability and should reach their goal of 352,000 strong this year. The Afghan army is fighting in over 90 percent of all operations and leading nearly half of them. Through tranche three of the security transition, 75 percent of the Afghan population, including every provincial capital, will be part of the transition process. The NATO Summit in May confirmed that this progress will be supported by the international community beyond 2014. NATO and its potential operational partners will continue to provide training, assistance and advisory capacity as Afghanistan moves into the Transformation Decade.

Afghanistan’s future will be realized not only by a strong, capable security force, but also by the Afghan people’s access to economic opportunity and a government that meets their needs. The international community’s total pledges in Tokyo of $16 billion in economic assistance through 2015 meet the World Bank’s estimate of Afghanistan’s requirements, just as the Chicago Summit met its security requirements. This assistance will help Afghanistan attract private sector investment and help usher in a Transformation Decade marked less by aid and more by trade – all in a framework of mutual accountability, regional economic integration, and shared responsibility.

The security and economic progress will further be bolstered by a region that sees value in peace. Afghanistan's neighbors and near-neighbors have spoken in one voice to assure Afghanistan of their support for an Afghan-led reconciliation process. They endorsed the principles that need to guide peace and reconciliation at the Kabul Conference that was held over the summer in support of the Istanbul process.

Accompanying the security transition in 2014 will be a political transition. We welcome President Karzai’s recent decision that elections will be held in April of 2014 and also note the strong commitments made by the Afghan government to strengthen and improve its electoral processes. This constitutional transfer of power through a credible and inclusive presidential election will be critical to maintaining stability and preserving support from international donors.

Afghanistan today shows the tangible effects of the efforts we have all made over the last decade. Kabul is now a commercial center of over five million people. Schooling and primary health care have been transformed. According to UNICEF, ten years ago, fewer than a million Afghan children attended school and today more than 8.2 million children will receive an education; three million of whom are girls. Child mortality rates have fallen in half and the number of health facilities has tripled.

The UN role in this process remains indispensible. From supporting regional diplomacy and the UN’s development and humanitarian assistance role in Afghanistan, the UN continues to make a difference in lives of the lives of the Afghan people. Countries of the region, together with the broader international community, have come together with the Afghan people in support of Afghanistan’s future. In Bonn, Chicago, Kabul and Tokyo we make the necessary commitments to realize that future. We applaud these efforts and support the Afghan people in this process.

The UN role in this process remains indispensible. From supporting regional diplomacy and the UN’s development and humanitarian assistance role in Afghanistan, the UN continues to make a difference in lives of the lives of the Afghan people. Countries of the region, together with the broader international community, have come together with the Afghan people in support of Afghanistan’s future. In Bonn, Chicago, Kabul and Tokyo we make the necessary commitments to realize that future. We applaud these efforts and support the Afghan people in this process.

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PRN: 2012/267