The UN Secretary General's report to the Security Council released on 5 March 2013 provides an update of UNAMA activities, including in the area of regional cooperation, since 6 December 2012, listed below. For a full copy of the report, click here.
C. Regional cooperation
21. On 6 February, the fourth meeting of senior officials of the Istanbul Process on Regional Security and Cooperation for a Secure and Stable Afghanistan was held in Baku. Implementation plans were endorsed for the six confidence-building measures set out in the Process: counter-narcotics; counter-terrorism; trade, commerce and investment opportunities (merged from two measures in November 2012); regional infrastructure; education; and disaster management. Some fine-tuning remains, however. The need to maintain the political dimension of the Istanbul Process was emphasized by participants, with the next ministerial meeting scheduled for 26 April in Almaty.
22. On 11 and 12 December, the seventh trilateral summit meeting of the Presidents of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkey took place in Ankara. The participants reiterated their commitment to intensified cooperation among the three countries in support of Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation efforts and the need to address regional security challenges. On 6 and 7 February, the President of Afghanistan participated in the twelfth session of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Summit, held in Cairo. He urged the members of the Organization to condemn acts of terrorism committed in the name of religion and the use of mosques and madrassas to propagate extremism. In its final communiqué, the Organization expressed support for an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace process.
23. The Government of Pakistan has provided specific support for Afghan peace and reconciliation efforts. On 18 January, following a tripartite meeting between Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United States, it was announced that all Afghan Taliban detainees in Pakistan would shortly be released as a confidence-building measure. On 14 February, a spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan said that Pakistan had released 26 Afghan Taliban. There has been no information on further releases. While supported by the Government of Afghanistan, prisoner releases have been the subject of some controversy among civil society actors, given a lack of follow-up information on the location and activities of former detainees. At the trilateral meeting held in February between Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United Kingdom, it was agreed that the High Peace Council would be consulted before future releases.
24. My Special Representative continued to emphasize support for regional cooperation. On 18 and 19 January, he participated in a regional political dialogue in Abu Dhabi that was hosted by the Governments of Afghanistan and the United Arab Emirates with the support of Norway. The participants exchanged views on stability in Afghanistan from a regional perspective, focusing on transition, peace and reconciliation, elections and counter-terrorism efforts.