Thank you Mr Chairman,
It is my honor to join the previous speakers in warmly welcoming His Excellency Ban Ki-moon the Secretary-General of the United Nations, back to Vienna.
Afghanistan, since 2001 has started its new journey to rebuild the country from the ruins of more than two decades of wars and conflict. Thanks to the commitment, efforts and sacrifices of the Afghan people, supported by the continued friendship and sacrifices of our partners in the international community, has made tremendous progress and now we are on the eve of transition to the Decade of Transformation 2015-2024. As a result of democratic elections and peaceful transfer of power to the new President–for the first time in the history of Afghanistan–the new Government of National Unity has been established and it will make every effort to address the remaining challenges for the successful transformation of Afghanistan for the coming decade.
The United Nations has played an instrumental and central coordinating role of international community’s civilian efforts in this stabilization, democratization and transition process, to help Afghanistan for a better future. Taking this opportunity, I wish to express on behalf of the Government and people of Afghanistan, my gratitude to the United Nations and in particular to you Mr. Secretary-General for your personal commitment, as a good friend of Afghanistan. We are grateful for the excellent work of UNAMA in Afghanistan, which has been done so far under the leadership of Ambassador Ján Kubiš. We thank him and wish him every success for his future endeavours.
The role of the United Nations in Afghanistan after the drawdown of the international community’s military presence in the country by the end of this year will remain vital to accomplish our goals, for a stable, democratic and prosperous Afghanistan. Clearly, Afghanistan has come a long way over the past thirteen years and has reached a point of no return — we will never go back to the dark ages of the Taliban era. Our constitution, institutions, and security forces are strong, but even stronger is the will of the Afghan people to establish a free, democratic, stable and peaceful country, as they have so overwhelmingly demonstrated during the latest democratic elections, earlier this year.
We are grateful for the continued support of our friends and partners in the international community and we will never forget their sacrifices and friendship for supporting Afghanistan for a better future.