Media stakeout following SRSG Tadamichi Yamamoto's briefing to the Security Council

14 Sep 2016

Media stakeout following SRSG Tadamichi Yamamoto's briefing to the Security Council

NEW YORK - Media stakeout following the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, Tadamichi Yamamoto's briefing to the Security Council.




New York – 14 September 2016

(near verbatim; lightly edited for clarity)



  • UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, Tadamichi Yamamoto

Tadamichi Yamamoto: Today’s Security Council meeting, the debate, was quite constructive. I think you had already seen that there was a presidential statement agreed which gives unanimous support of the Security Council, and therefore of the international community, to Afghanistan and to the Government. It is a very important time for Afghanistan.

People talked about the need for the stability of the Government, which is now required, and also of the opportunity that they have for the Brussels meetings. And of course we discussed the long-term need for the peace process.

So I think overall we had a very comprehensive meeting with good messaging, and a very clear message of support from the international community, which I think Afghanistan deserves.

They also acknowledged that the security situation, although very severe, has been well held by the Afghan forces. Any questions?

Unidentified Journalist: We haven’t seen or heard much about peace for a long time, so do you have any new initiative or breakthrough or new idea to start the peace talks?

Yamamoto: No. Not for the moment. The last very salient effort was the quadrilateral coordination efforts of the four countries. And there is nothing scheduled. But what we discussed was that without peace efforts -- given the amount of financial resources necessary to sustain the counter-insurgency efforts -- the country will be very hard-pressed for development and therefore the peace process is a necessity that has to be instituted.

A negotiated settlement is the only way forward for Afghanistan in order for the country to prosper in the long term and bring welfare for the people.

It was not really discussed in this context, but the sense was that all countries should be helping with the peace efforts, to create the environment and the conditions which would help the peace process go through. I anticipate that there shall be efforts down the road, particularly toward the end of this year and early next year, to see if further efforts cannot be made to bring about even greater regional cooperation on these issues.

Unidentified Journalist: During the session you mentioned the success of the Brussels Conference is quite important. What would you expect from the conference?

Yamamoto: The main substance is development assistance, and the anticipation is that Afghanistan might be able to obtain the commitment of the international community in terms of development assistance at or near the current level until 2020, which would be critical in having the time and space necessary to improve the situation and go through reform. But that is not all. The substance may be development, but the message is political.

That the international community shall continue to assist Afghanistan in its efforts to put the country on track for making its way to more self-reliance, to really start the reform process, which the Afghans have started, particularly for instance, on anti-corruption efforts.

President Ghani and his Government have really started seriously to tackle corruption, so they have created what they call Anti-Corruption Justice Centre, where high-level personnel will be prosecuted, and this effort will hopefully provide confidence among the Afghan public.

So these efforts have now started to take root. Within the next four years which, along with assistance given to them from the Warsaw conference in terms of security, Afghanistan will earn this period of four years where they will be able to demonstrate their resolve and also to bring about outcomes. So this will be a very critical period that they are going to have.

So the biggest message from Brussels is that they will have these four years of space where they will have the opportunity to really improve themselves and to create the foundation necessary for self-reliance.

There are also two other issues in Brussels, one is on gender -- empowerment -- and the other on regional cooperation, both which are critical for this country.

Unidentified Journalist: Did you talk about the peace talks between the Afghan Government and the Taliban?

Yamamoto: No. We talked about the necessity, not in concrete terms.