UN / AFGHANISTAN

19-Sep-2013 00:02:14
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan, Jan Kubiš, told the Security Council today (19 September) that despite improvements in the country “a campaign of bloodshed by anti-Government elements” has targeted Afghans civilians and police, including female officers. UNTV
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STORY: UN / AFGHANISTAN
TRT: 2.14
SOURCE: UNTV
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 19 SEPTEMBER 2013, NEW YORK CITY / FILE
SHOTLIST
FILE – RECENT, NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, exterior United Nations headquarters

19 SEPTEMBER 2013, NEW YORK CITY

2. Zoom in, Security Council
3. Med shot, delegate
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Jan Kubiš, Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA):
“A campaign of bloodshed by anti-Government elements has targeted mostly Afghans – both in uniform and civilians – including in previously calmer districts. They have however failed to achieve a significant military victory. The majority of violence takes place away from populated areas. The Afghan army and police have shown courage and increased capability in rising to the challenge of security transition. They increasingly trust themselves and work to earn the trust of the population despite heavy casualties in their ranks.”
5. Med shot, delegate
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Zahir Tanin, Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the United Nations:
“As Afghanistan looks towards a bright future, enemies of Afghanistan, enemies of peace, continue their violent campaign against civilians, soldiers, civil servants, men, women, children, and foreign forces. If they see brutality as the measure of their power, they are wrong; it is a measure of their weakness. It is not brave to kill a police officer, particularly if she is a woman protecting and serving her country. It’s time for the Taliban to stop the killing, renounce the violence and heed the call to peace.”
7. Zoom out, Kubiš
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Samantha Power, Permanent Ambassador of the United States to the United Nations:
“As we progress through the transition period and beyond, it’s imperative that human rights, particularly the rights of women and girls are protected and promoted. The improvements in human rights, especially the rights of women, made since 2001 must not be reversed. We are deeply disturbed, as others have indicated as well, by recent reports of targeted and in some cases deadly attacks on Afghan female police, civil servants, government officials, as well as on others. Afghan women have a tremendous contribution to make to the future of their country and they must be a part of Afghanistan’s civic life as leaders and decision makers.”
9. Med shot, Ambassador Tanin
10. Wide shot, Council
STORYLINE
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan, Jan Kubiš, told the Security Council today (19 September) that despite improvements in the country “a campaign of bloodshed by anti-Government elements” has targeted Afghans civilians and police, including female officers.

Citing Afghans’ display of national unity and pride at the war-wracked country’s victory in a regional football championship as a welcome sign on the gradual path to normalcy, the top United Nations envoy there today also pointed to other recent political and security gains despite major challenges.

Kubiš was briefing the Council on the work of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) set up in 2002 to help the country on the road to peace and development following decades of war and factional fighting.

Turning to the challenges ahead, he said Afghan security forces capabilities are not yet fully developed nor completely sustainable, even though the army and police have shown “courage and increased capability in rising to the challenge of security transition.”

He added that officers “increasingly trust themselves and work to earn the trust of the population despite heavy casualties in their ranks.”


He cited estimates by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), due to leave at the end of next year, that international support will be required for at least the next five years in enabling entirely independent operations.

Ambassador Zahir Tanin of Afghanistan, in his address to the Council, said that “as Afghanistan looks towards a bright future, enemies of Afghanistan, enemies of peace, continue their violent campaign against civilians, soldiers, civil servants, men, women, children, and foreign forces.”

Tanin said that “if they see brutality as the measure of their power, they are wrong; it is a measure of their weakness. It is not brave to kill a police officer, particularly if she is a woman protecting and serving her country.”

He added that “it is time for the Taliban to stop the killing, renounce the violence and heed the call to peace.”


Ambassador Samantha Power of the United States also expressed concern over the targeted killing of female police officers. She said that "it’s imperative that human rights, particularly the rights of women and girls are protected and promoted in Afghanistan.”

Power said “the improvements in human rights, especially the rights of women, made since 2001 must not be reversed.”

The US Ambassador said “Afghan women have a tremendous contribution to make to the future of their country and they must be a part of Afghanistan’s civic life as leaders and decision makers.”

Security incidents in Afghanistan have, according to the Secretary-General’s report, increased over the past year, although not to the record levels of 2011, with a campaign of bloodshed by anti-Government elements targeting Afghans – both in uniform and civilians – including in previously calmer districts. They have however failed to achieve a significant military victory.

Elections are slated for 5 April, 2014, to choose a new leader to replace President Hamid Karzai, who will not be seeking re-election due to term limits.

The election will mark a transfer of power from one elected Government to another for the first time in Afghanistan’s history, and elections for the National Assembly will be held in 2015.
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