UN / AFGHANISTAN

26-Jun-2018 00:03:17
Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan, Tadamichi Yamamoto, told the Security Council that “an extraordinary series of events” recently took place in the country, which led to a three-day ceasefire honoured by both sides “for the first time in the past 17 years of conflict.” UNIFEED
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STORY: UN / AFGHANISTAN
TRT: 03:17
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 26 JUNE 2018, NEW YORK CITY / FILE
SHOTLIST
FILE – RECENT, NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, exterior United Nations headquarters

26 JUNE 2018, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, Security Council
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Tadamichi Yamamoto, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan:
“Ten days ago, we witnessed an extraordinary series of events in Afghanistan which demonstrated both the possibilities for peace and the enduring structural obstacles. On 7 June President Ghani declared a unilateral ceasefire for the period of 12-19 June to commemorate the Eid festivities which conclude the month of Ramadan. Two days later, the Taliban announced their own unilateral ceasefire covering 15-17 June. During these overlapping three days, both sides honoured their respective ceasefires for the first time in the past 17 years of conflict.”
4. Med shot, delegates
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Tadamichi Yamamoto, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan:
“President Ghani then proposed to extend its ceasefire—a proposal endorsed by UNAMA and many members of the international community. The Taliban, unfortunately, recommitted themselves to battle. I regret deeply that the Taliban did not take up the opportunity to cease fighting and reduce violence. Their decision to fight will only increase the suffering of civilians.”
6. Med shot, delegates
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Yuri Fedotov, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime:
“Total global opium production was up 65 percent last year, to 10,500 tonnes, and that is the highest number recorded by UNODC since we started monitoring. Most of this opium originate in Afghanistan, where opium poppy cultivation and production, as you are well aware, have reach unprecedented highs. This situation obviously has a high destabilizing potential to the country, the wider region and the international community.”
8. Med shot, Afghanistan Ambassador
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Vladimir Ivanovich Voronkov Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Office:
“Unfortunately, the deadly violence continues across Afghanistan. According to UNAMA, there were 5,675, 5,675 security incidents between 15 of February and 15 of May. The use of improvised explosive devices caused 1,018 civilian casualties.”
10. Med shot, delegates
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Mahmoud Saikal, Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the United Nations
“The Taliban's so-called spring offensive, yet again, caused more deaths and injuries throughout the country. But their attacks faced prompt, and at times, preemptive action from our national security forces and hence were futile in achieving their objectives. In contrast, we reiterated our commitment to peace and ending violence, offering the Taliban a historic chance to prove their willingness to choose a path away from conflict and destruction.”
12. Wide shot, Council
STORYLINE
Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan, Tadamichi Yamamoto, told the Security Council today (26 Jun) that “an extraordinary series of events recently took place in the country, which led to a three-day ceasefire honoured by both sides “for the first time in the past 17 years of conflict.”

Yamamoto explained that on 7 June Afghan President Ashraf Ghani “declared a unilateral ceasefire for the period of 12-19 June to commemorate the Eid festivities which conclude the month of Ramadan.” Two days later, he said, “the Taliban announced their own unilateral ceasefire covering 15-17 June.”

During these overlapping three days, both sides honoured their respective ceasefires.

President Ghani, Yamamoto continued, “then proposed to extend its ceasefire—a proposal endorsed by UNAMA and many members of the international community.”

The Taliban, he said, “unfortunately, recommitted themselves to battle,” a decision that “will only increase the suffering of civilians.”

The Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC,) Yuri Fedotov informed the Council that “total global opium production was up 65 percent last year, to 10,500 tonnes, and that is the highest number recorded by UNODC since we started monitoring. Most of this opium originate in Afghanistan, where opium poppy cultivation and production, as you are well aware, have reach unprecedented highs.”

He said, “this situation obviously has a high destabilizing potential to the country, the wider region and the international community.”

The Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Office, Vladimir Ivanovich Voronkov, said “unfortunately, the deadly violence continues across Afghanistan. According to UNAMA, there were 5,675, 5,675 security incidents between 15 of February and 15 of May. The use of improvised explosive devices caused 1,018 civilian casualties.”

For his part, Afghan Ambassador Mahmoud Saikal told the Council that “the Taliban's so-called spring offensive, yet again, caused more deaths and injuries throughout the country. But their attacks faced prompt, and at times, preemptive action from our national security forces and hence were futile in achieving their objectives. In contrast, we reiterated our commitment to peace and ending violence, offering the Taliban a historic chance to prove their willingness to choose a path away from conflict and destruction.”
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