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UN / AFGHANISTAN

The United Nations (UN) Security Council today (19 March) extended the mandate of the UN mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) for another year, after Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and other speakers urged for continued UN support to the Afghan government as it assumes full responsibility in most areas by 2014, including elections. UNTV
U130319b
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00:03:38
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U130319b
Description

STORY: UN / AFGHANISTAN
TRT: 3.38
SOURCE: UNTV
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 19 MARCH 2013, NEW YORK

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Shotlist

FILE – 2012, UNITED NATIONS HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, exterior United Nations Headquarters

19 MARCH 2013, NEW YORK

2. Wide shot, Security Council
3. Cutaway, delegates
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“Let me stress that the elections are Afghan-led and Afghan-managed. Now is the time to take critical decisions. The Government has committed to making this an inclusive, consultative and transparent process. I welcome the active and responsible participation by all stakeholders in building a widely accepted electoral framework.”
5. Cutaway, delegates
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“The Government favours an electronic national identity card project. This is an important initiative with wide-ranging applications. It should be used to the extent possible in the 2014 and 2015 elections. At the same time, it is important to understand that there may be few improvements in voter identification for elections during those two years. This makes other checks and balances, including widely agreed ‘rules of the game’ and anti-fraud measures, all the more essential.”
7. Cutaway, delegates
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Ambassador Zahir Tanin, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations:
“The economic transition is also about improving aid effectiveness, ensuring alignment with national priorities, and accountability and transparency of aid spending. Aid delivery and efficiency are particularly important at a time in which we not only face economic instability as a result of conflict, but unemployment and poverty remain significant problems.”
9. Wide shot, Security Council votes on extension of UNAMA
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Ambassador Susan Rice, Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations:
“As a part of the outcome of any process, the Taliban and other armed opposition groups must end violence, break ties with Al-Qaeda, and accept Afghanistan's Constitution. The outcomes of peace and reconciliation must respect the historic achievements that a unified and sovereign Afghanistan has made over the past decade, including protecting the rights of all citizens of Afghanistan – women and men – as guaranteed under the Constitution.”
11. Cutaway, Delegates
12. SOUNDBITE (English) Ambassador Susan Rice, Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations:
“Since 2002, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan has played an indispensible role in the country’s progress. As Afghanistan continues its transition, UNAMA needs to remain a committed partner and we as a Council need to sustain our support during this crucial time. UNAMA has weathered significant budget reductions over the last two years, and we believe these cuts have gone as far as they reasonably can. UNAMA’s resources should be stabilized now and a mission allowed to carry out its mandate with its core functions intact..”
13. Cutaway, delegates
14. SOUNDBITE (English) Ambassador, Philip Parhan, Deputy Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the United Nations:
“The Afghan Government, with the support of the international community, should continue to make further progress on the areas that underpin sustained economic growth and development. This includes, in particular, areas such as education, health and other basic services for women and girls, as well as strengthened respect for human rights so that all can play a full part in the collective life of a stable and prosperous Afghanistan.”
15. Wide shot, Security Council

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Storyline

The United Nations (UN) Security Council today (19 March) extended the mandate of the UN mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) for another year, after Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and other speakers urged for continued UN support to the Afghan government as it assumes full responsibility in most areas by 2014, including elections.

Opening the meeting, and commenting on the upcoming 2014 elections in the country, Ban Ki-moon stressed that the elections were “Afghan-led and Afghan-managed”. And while noting that now was the time to take “critical decisions”, he welcomed the active and responsible participation by all stakeholders in building a widely accepted electoral framework.

While noting that the electoral commission together with the Ministry of Finance and donors would have to engage on electoral modalities, Ban announced that the Afghan Government favoured an “electronic national identity card project”.

He said “this makes other checks and balances, including widely agreed ‘rules of the game’ and anti-fraud measures, all the more essential.”

Also attending the meeting, Afghan Ambassador Zahir Tanin noted that a successful transition would be about “improving aid effectiveness, ensuring alignment with national priorities, and accountability and transparency of aid spending.”

He said that “aid delivery and efficiency are particularly important at a time in which we not only face economic instability as a result of conflict, but unemployment and poverty remain significant problems.”

The council then unanimously adopted a resolution extending the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) until 19 March 2014.

Following the vote, and while recognizing that an Afghan-led reconciliation process was the best way to end conflict and bring lasting peace to Afghanistan and the region, US Ambassador Susan Rice said that as a part of the outcome of any process, “the Taliban and other armed opposition groups must end violence, break ties with Al-Qaeda, and accept Afghanistan's Constitution.”

And commeting on UNAMA’s future transition Rice said that the mission’s resources “should be stabilized now and a mission allowed to carry out its mandate with its core functions intact.”

British Ambassador Philip Parham noted that the Government in Afghanistan should continue making “further progress on the areas that underpin sustained economic growth and development”. This included areas such as education, health, and other basic services for women and girls, “as well as strengthened respect for human rights so that all can play a full part in the collective life of a stable and prosperous Afghanistan.”

The withdrawal of the bulk of United States and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) troops from Afghanistan is set to be completed by the end of 2014, while a transition of responsibility for security in the country from the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to Afghan forces is already underway.

In its resolution, the Council said it “stresses the critical importance of a continued presence of UNAMA and other United Nations agencies, funds and programmes in the provinces, consistent with the transition process, in support of and in cooperation with the Afghan Government.”

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