Statement delivered by 

Ms Farzana Zahir, Deputy Permanent Representative 

on the Situation in Afghanistan 

6 December 2018 

Thank you Mr President,  

The Maldives is encouraged to see the positive developments that Afghanistan is making towards peace and development, despite the terrorist attacks and continued threats of such attacks. The people and the Government of Maldives support and share the vision of a prosperous Afghanistan that is Afghan-led and Afghan-owned.  

Mr President,  

The people of Afghanistan have shown extraordinary resilience and determination in rebuilding their country. President Ashraf Ghani has shown extraordinary leadership and courage in promoting democratic values in the country. The General Elections held in October this year was one of the most important steps in this “Afghanistan Transformation Decade”. Through the ballot box, the people of Afghanistan have always chosen the path to peace, the path of tolerance over extremism, and the path of cooperation over confrontation.   

We especially welcome the continued implementation of overlapping ceasefires of the Afghan Government with the Taliban, which also help to maintain the peace process in the country. It is further encouraging that the process is supported by the increasingly active engagement of civil society and religious leaders. Such engagement of civil society has shown signs of flexibility among the main parties to the conflict.   

The Maldives Government congratulates President Ghani who announced a unilateral cessation of hostilities with the Taliban which was followed by the Taliban issuing their own ceasefire declaration.   

These positive developments need the support of the international community. The Maldives therefore reiterates its call to the un and the Member States, to support Afghanistan, in rebuilding the country, in consolidating the authority of the State and its institutions, and in helping the Government to maintain law and order.   

Mr President,  

Afghanistan is making quite remarkable progress in promoting human rights values in the country, especially for women and girls. With an increased focus on reducing sexual and gender-based violence, the people of Afghanistan can achieve an even more stable, secure and equal society. The relatively high-level participation of women in the October General Election was an encouraging sign. We would like to see the upward trajectory to continue. We also would like to see more participation of women in peace negotiations, peacebuilding, and conflict prevention for sustaining peace in the country.   

Being almost in the fifth year of the “Afghanistan Transformation Decade”, the Maldives recognises the progress that are being made, by successfully implementing some of the key components of the action plan, and hopes that it continues to tackle the significant and complex challenges in relation to insecurity, poverty, and corruption.   

With a greater economic integration in the region, Afghanistan will be able to ensure economic safety and welfare to its people. That requires the full commitment of all regional partners, including saarc. The Maldives acknowledges the important steps taken by Afghanistan towards enhancing regional cooperation.

A stable, safe, peaceful, and prosperous Afghanistan would not only benefit the hard-working people of Afghanistan, but is of interest to the whole region, its economic partners as well as the whole international community. Therefore, we call once again: let us strengthen our efforts to support Afghanistan and make it the place it deserves to be. 

I thank you.