I join other Council members in thanking Special Representative Nicholas Haysom and Ambassador Tanin for their respective briefings. My delegation also takes this opportunity expresses appreciation to the leadership and staff members of UNAMA for their unstinting assistance to the government and people of Afghanistan.
2. Malaysia deplores and condemns the heinous attack against the Afghan parliament building earlier today, responsibility for which was claimed by the Taliban. We offer our condolences and deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones of those killed. Malaysia underscores that the only way forward is through peaceful political negotiations.
3. Despite the attack, we hope that Afghanistan’s will stay the course in finalizing the formation of National Unity Government based on power-sharing framework. From our own experiences of nation-building through power-sharing and social transformation, we understand very well the significance of mutual respect and inclusiveness in such matters.
4. Malaysia looks forward to support from all parties in the realization of the agenda set by President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah. It is therefore our hope that these efforts will demonstrate the strong testament of the Afghan people and Government towards an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned Decade of Transformation.
5. Malaysia reiterates our support for the efforts of the Afghan Government towards the peace and reconciliation process, and we are heartened by the extensive engagements between President Ghani and his local and regional interlocutors. We further welcome the progress made instituting electoral reforms and urge the Government to remain steadfast in making this and other reforms.
6. In our view, the sustained positive atmosphere in the region has become a catalyst for a more open and constructive discourse, and we call on all parties to continue to support this vital process. Key stakeholders in the region should also intensify their efforts to support and assist Afghanistan, including through more substantive dialogues in regional and multilateral cooperation forums, such as the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process.
7. While encouraged by the significant progress on the political front, Malaysia notes that the security situation remains precarious as seen earlier today. Malaysia joins other Council members in expressing concern at the high number of civilian casualties in armed conflicts, and we too strongly condemn the deliberate targeting of civilians.
8. It is deeply deplorable that Afghan children continue to bear the brunt of violent conflict in the country whether through being caught in crossfire, through improvised explosive devices attacks as well as through explosive remnants of war.
9. We call on all parties undertaking ground engagements to comply with international humanitarian law and to commit to the protection of civilians, including women and children. In this regard, my delegation takes note of the progress report by the Afghan Government to comply with the action plan it had adopted pursuant to resolution 1612 (2005).
10. We are also concerned on the large presence of foreign fighters across Afghanistan, including those associated with terrorist groups. My delegation further notes that this has been a matter of great interest for countries in the region, particularly in Central Asia. While there may be an absence of hard evidence to prove that certain terrorist and extremists groups are operating in Afghanistan, this should not prevent us from addressing the root causes which enable such groups to gain support.
11. In conclusion, I would like to underscore that the United Nations, the Security Council, and the rest of the international community should continue to lend their support, encouragement and assistance to Afghanistan through reconstruction and redevelopment efforts for rebuilding the country.
12. As a friend and partner to Afghanistan, Malaysia remains committed to support the Afghan Government in its efforts to achieve peace, security and stability.
I thank you for your kind attention.