NEW YORK, DECEMBER 19 – The UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan Tadamichi Yamamoto, who is also the head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), called upon the international community and all Afghans, including the Taliban, to back the peace process to end the suffering of the Afghan people.
“In 2016, thousands and thousands of Afghans have been killed in the conflict, and tens of thousands more were wounded,” he said, noting that an unprecedented number of Afghans have been displaced this year, and that Afghan citizens are returning home in record numbers, including hundreds of thousands of people from both Pakistan and Iran in the past six months alone.
To confront such flows, “Italy is proud to support UNHCR with a voluntary contribution of 1 million Euro in order to meet the humanitarian needs of IDP’s and returnees”, the Deputy Permanent Representative of Italy to the UN Inigo Lambertini said at the UNSC Debate on UNAMA, urging Afghanistan to “complement this support from the International Community with an unwavering commitment to carry out the reform agenda”. Such approach include setting an agreed electoral timeline, persevere in the fight against corruption, and women’s empowerment”. Facing daunting challenges in the security arena, confronting a wide range of violent extremist groups, “Italy continues its support in this area as a framework nation in the ‘Resolute Support’ mission, which provides crucial training, advising and assistance so that the Afghan security forces can continue to make important progress in their ability to counter these threat”.
Italian Defense Chief of Staff Gen. Claudio Graziano, who yesterday visited Herat and Kabul, today met with Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and other authorities, including the Minister of Defense Habibi Khan and the Chief of Staff Shah Shahim. “We still have many challenges to face together to stabilize and reconstruct the country and in this sense Italy is ready, as it has shown so far, to assume its responsibilities and to strengthen the already excellent cooperation with the Afghans friends”, Graziano reiterated. Engaging in the talks, it was highlighted the progress made by the Afghan security forces, while the Italian Armed Forces were thanked for their crucial support.
To read Amb. Lambertini full statement, click here. (@annaaserafini)