UN / AFGHANISTAN

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15-Mar-2019 00:02:14
The Security Council unanimously adopted a technical rollover resolution to extend the mandate of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) for six months. UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / AFGHANISTAN
TRT: 02:14
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / CHINESE / NATS

DATELINE: 15 MARCH 2019, NEW YORK CITY / FILE

SHOTLIST:

FILE – RECENT, NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, exterior United Nations headquarters

15 MARCH 2019

2. Pan left, Security Council vote
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Jonathan Cohen, Deputy Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations:
“We reiterate our steadfast commitment to advancing the prospects for peace in Afghanistan. This is reflected by our intense diplomatic engagement led by our Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, to build momentum towards intra-Afghanistan dialogue to end the long-standing conflict. We are however deeply disappointed that the Council was not able to come to a consensus on a resolution renewing the Mission’s mandate for a full year. China held the resolution hostage and insisted making it about Chinese national political priorities rather than the people of Afghanistan. As a result, the Council had no choice but to accept the short-term technical rollover.”
4. Med shot, delegates
5. SOUNDBITE (Chinese) Wu Haitao, Deputy Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations:
“The Council failed to reach agreement on the extension of the substantive content of the draft resolution because differences still persist. One of them is that one member has persistently refused accepting constructive opinions put forward by other members, which has poisoned the atmosphere for consultation. This is obvious and cannot be denied.”
6. Med shot, delegates
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Adela Raz, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations:
“We regret that the nature of negotiations on this year’s draft was such that the divergence of use among some Council members led to a situation where UNAMA’s mandate is extended for six months, as opposed to the usual 12 months renewal period. However, we understand that the Council’s commitment to a forthcoming 12 months extension of UNAMA’s mandate and we will utilize the coming six months to develop a more comprehensive and an effective mandate and resolution to serve the people of Afghanistan.”
8. Wide shot, Council

STORYLINE:

The Security Council today (15 Mar) unanimously adopted a technical rollover resolution to extend the mandate of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) for six months.
Addressing the Council after the vote, United States’ Ambassador Jonathan Cohen expressed disappointment “that the Council was not able to come to a consensus on a resolution renewing the Mission’s mandate for a full year.”

Cohen said, “China held the resolution hostage and insisted making it about Chinese national political priorities rather than the people of Afghanistan,” and as a result, “the Council had no choice but to accept the short-term technical rollover.”

For his part, China’s Ambassador Wu Haitao said, “the Council failed to reach agreement on the extension of the substantive content of the draft resolution because differences still persist,” and added that “one member has persistently refused accepting constructive opinions put forward by other members, which has poisoned the atmosphere for consultation.”
In her address to the Council, Afghanistan’s Ambassador Adela Raz expressed regret that “the nature of negotiations on this year’s draft was such that the divergence of use among some Council members led to a situation where UNAMA’s mandate is extended for six months, as opposed to the usual 12 months renewal period.”

The decision on a technical rollover was reportedly taken after differences between China and the United States over references to the Belt and Road Initiative in the draft resolutions.
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