Security Council welcomes recent initiatives to support Afghanistan

17 July 2007Condemning recent attacks against civilians in Afghanistan, the Security Council today affirmed its support for recent initiatives aimed at enhancing security, stability and development in the war-torn nation. In a statement read out by Ambassador Wang Guangya of China, which holds the Council’s rotating presidency this month, the 15-member body referred to a recent rule of law conference held in Rome as well as Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s visit to Kabul, saying these developments “reinforce the progress made in pursuing a comprehensive approach to the security, governance and development of Afghanistan.”The Council’s action followed a briefing from Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hédi Annabi on recent developments on the ground, as well as the Rome conference.In today’s statement, the Council also reiterated its support for the continuing endeavours by the Afghan Government, with the assistance of the international community, to further improve the security situation and to continue to address the threat posed by the Taliban, Al-Qaida and other extremist groups.In addition, Council members condemned “in the strongest terms” all suicide attacks against civilians and Afghan and international forces and their destabilizing effects on the country’s security and stability, as well as the use by the Taliban and other extremist groups of civilians as human shields. Expressing its concern about all civilian casualties, the Council reiterated its call “for all feasible steps to be taken to ensure the protection of civilian life and for international humanitarian and human rights law to be upheld.”