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

10 Mar 2017

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 – 10 March 2017

(near verbatim)

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

Tadamichi Yamamoto: Good afternoon. We just had a Security Council meeting on Afghanistan. The meeting took place of course immediately after this egregious attack on the hospital in Kabul, so people are especially concerned about the security situation.

But my focus was on two things, first to say that under the current situation, where not only the security situation but generally the economic and social conditions are showing some signs of downturn. We should try to focus our efforts to bring about results through the efforts of the Afghan Government where the programme is already in place and with international cooperation. So getting the results out in terms of growth, development and social services was the first message that I had to send.

The second message that we tried to send was that -- given the deteriorating security situation -- we really have to address the peace issue. This is a continuation from my message in the December Council meeting. I have travelled the region, and I tried to convey that the efforts to garner support from regional countries are going to be extremely important in creating an environment that would help the peace process move forward.

This was echoed by a number of countries -- actually a large number of countries -- who focused on the need for the countries in the neighbourhood, in the region, to engage more in the peace efforts. So that was the main thrust.

Thank you very much. 

Inner City Press: The mandate has to be extended. Do you have any recommendations of any modifications? And also, there was a press conference here recently by a group called Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict. They’re recommending that the Secretary-General put the Afghan national forces on the list they say for not paying sufficient -- I understand there is a huge attack by the Taliban -- but they’re saying that the national forces as well are not sufficiently careful in terms of not hitting medical facilities, and they talked about some circumstances where maybe the Taliban hide in them but they still get shelled. Do you work on that issue? And is the provision of medical service across the country done even-handedly even in areas not controlled by the Government?

Yamamoto: Well thanks for that question because that’s a very important issue that many people pick up. First of all, civilian casualties are preventable, and there are codes of conduct that the Afghan Government itself is about to adopt. We hope that they shall be adopted and implemented very soon. Particularly in regard to hospitals and medical institutions, extra care has to be taken. And there are, of course, as you know, resolutions and many other sorts of criteria which they have to observe. And we, of course, talk to all parties -- the insurgents, the Afghan Government, the international forces -- to make sure that all of them pay heed to these standards. We hope that they will really implement, not just to speak about the issue.

Inner City Press: Does the office of the special advisor on Children in Armed Conflict, do they speak to SRSGs like yourself to ask either what’s happening in the country or what the political implications of a listing or non-listing would be? I know Ms Zerrougui is leaving but I just wondered what the interaction is.

Yamamoto: We naturally do. She visited Afghanistan last year, and we have very close coordination, and also with the international community.

Thank you.