7 May 2003

Press Statement by President of Security Council on Afghanistan

NEW YORK, 6 May (UN Headquarters) -- Following is today's press statement on Afghanistan by Security Council President Munir Akram (Pakistan):

Members of the Council reiterated their support for the efforts of the Afghan Transitional Administration and United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) to implement the Bonn process.

Council members expressed their serious concern at the deterioration of security in many areas of Afghanistan, and at the recent attacks on United Nations and other personnel of aid organizations.

Members of the Council underscored the importance of maintaining peace and stability in Afghanistan and called on all actors in Afghanistan to work together with the international community to ensure the success of the peace process.

The members of the Council underscored that the Afghan Transitional Authority must receive adequate support from the international community in this regard.

In this regard, Members of the Council noted that there are a number of important tasks which are part of the Government's agenda this year that need to be supported and completed successfully, in particular:

-- reforms in the security sector, starting with the Ministry of Defence and of the intelligence institutions;

-- the extension of central government authority to all parts of Afghanistan;

-- the building of the new National Army and National Police, which should be supported by all Afghan actors, along with the beginning of a national disarmament, demobilization and reintegration campaign;

-- the constitutional process, which should culminate with the holding of the Constitutional Loya Jirga in October and the adoption of the constitution which will be the basis for a new Afghan state; and

-- the registration of voters in advance of the holding of national elections in 2004.

Members of the Council called on the neighbours of Afghanistan and all other Member States to support effectively the peace process in Afghanistan.

Council members also called on donors to support generously the reconstruction programmes, as well as the work of the Judicial Commission, the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, the Constitutional Commission and the electoral process.

Members of the Council also support the objective of enhancing Afghanistan's economy, including the implementation of various projects agreed with neighbouring countries.

Members of the Council noted that human rights abuses continued to take place in Afghanistan and appealed to all actors in Afghanistan to promote national reconciliation and respect for human rights, as called for by the Bonn agreement.

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