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Reuters AlertNet 8/17/07

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At the UN, Afghanistan and Ships from Japan in Abe's Wake Debated in the Shadows

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN: News Muse

UNITED NATIONS, September 19 -- On the UN Security Council's margins Wednesday morning, there was oblique talk of Japanese ships offering refueling for Operation Enduring Freedom, "the OEF coalition including its maritime interdiction component," in the words of draft resolution S/2007/548. On his way into the Council, Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said clarification of the phrase was needed. Japan's refueling role was pushed by the now-resigned Shinzo Abe, over opposition both substantive and legal, that this component was not authorized by the Security Council. Now the phrase has been put forward, not by Japan but the U.S..

    The question is, who is running Japan's strategy right now? If the opposition is actually opposed to continuing refueling, would they want the belated oblique authorization now being considered by the Council?

            The draft Afghanistan resolution, put "in blue" last night, is below; the paragraph at issue is PP18.

            Side dishes for the Council this morning include Sierra Leone -- a press statement may result, a hassled Permanent Five diplomat let drop -- and, in the afternoon, Chad and Central African Republic. Developing.

Shinzo Abe and Kofi Annan, ships in the night


The Security Council,

PP1 Reaffirming its previous resolutions on Afghanistan, in particular its resolutions 1386 (2001), 1510 (2003), 1707 (2006) and 1746 (2007),

PP2 Reaffirming also its resolutions 1267 (1999), 1368 (2001) and 1373 (2001), and reiterating its support for international efforts to root out terrorism in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations,

PP3 Recalling its resolutions 1265 (1999), 1296 (2000), 1674 (2006), 1738 (2006) on the protection of civilians in armed conflict and its resolution 1325 (2000) on women and peace and security,

PP4 Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Afghanistan,

PP5 Recognizing that the responsibility for providing security and law and order throughout the country resides with the Afghan Authorities and welcoming the cooperation of the Afghan Government with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF),

PP6 Recognizing the multi-faceted and interconnected nature of the challenges in Afghanistan, reaffirming that sustainable progress on security, governance and development, as well as the cross-cutting issue of counter-narcotics is mutually reinforcing and welcoming the continuing efforts of the Afghan Government and the international community to address these challenges in a coherent manner through the comprehensive framework provided by the Afghanistan Compact,

PP7 Stressing the central role that the United Nations continues to play in promoting peace and stability in Afghanistan, noting, in the context of a comprehensive approach, the synergies in the objectives of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and of ISAF, and stressing the need for further sustained cooperation, coordination and mutual support, taking due account of their respective designated responsibilities,

PP8 Reiterating its concern about the security situation in Afghanistan, in particular the increased violent and terrorist activities by the Taliban, Al-Qaida, illegally armed groups and those involved in the narcotics trade, and the links between terrorism activities and illicit drugs, resulting in threats to the local population, national security forces and international military and civilian personnel,

PP9 Expressing also its concern over the harmful consequences of violent and terrorist activities by the Taliban, Al-Qaida, and other extremist groups on the capacity of the Afghan Government to guarantee the rule of law, to provide basic services to the Afghan people, and to ensure the full enjoyment of their human rights and fundamental freedoms,

PP10 Reiterating its support for the continuing endeavors by the Afghan Government, with the assistance of the international community, including ISAF and the Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) coalition, to improve the security situation and to continue to address the threat posed by the Taliban, Al-Qaida and other extremist groups, and stressing in this context the need for sustained international efforts, including those of ISAF and the OEF coalition,

PP11 Condemning in the strongest terms all attacks, including Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attacks, suicide attacks and abductions, targeting civilians and Afghan and international forces and their deleterious effect on the stabilization, reconstruction and development efforts in Afghanistan, and condemning further the use by the Taliban and other extremist group of civilians as human shields,

PP12 Expressing its concern about all civilian casualties, and reiterating 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,

PP13 Recognizing the robust efforts taken by ISAF and other international forces to minimize the risk of civilian casualties, notably the continuous review of tactics and procedures and the conduct of after-action reviews in cooperation with the Afghan Government in cases where civilian casualties have reportedly occurred,

PP14 Stressing the need for further progress in security sector reform, including further strengthening of the Afghan National Army and Police, disbandment of illegal armed groups, justice sector reform and counter narcotics,

PP14bis Stressing in this context the importance of further progress in the reconstruction and reform of the Afghan prison sector, in order to improve the respect for the rule of law and human rights therein,

PP15 Reiterating its call on all Afghan parties and groups to engage constructively in peaceful political dialogue within the framework of the Afghan Constitution and in the socio-economic development of the country, and to avoid resorting to violence including through the use of illegal armed groups,

PP16 Recognizing the importance of the contribution of neighbouring and regional partners for the stabilization of Afghanistan, and stressing the crucial importance of advancing regional cooperation as an effective means to promote security, governance and development in Afghanistan,

PP17 Welcoming the completion of ISAF’s expansion throughout Afghanistan, the continued coordination between ISAF and the OEF coalition, and the cooperation established between ISAF and the European Union presence in Afghanistan, in particular its police mission (EUPOL Afghanistan),

PP18 Expressing its appreciation for the leadership provided by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and for the contributions of many nations to ISAF and to the OEF coalition, including its maritime interdiction component,

PP19 Determining that the situation in Afghanistan still constitutes a threat to international peace and security,

PP20 Determined to ensure the full implementation of the mandate of ISAF, in coordination with the Afghan Government,

PP21 Acting for these reasons under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,

1. Decides to extend the authorization of the International Security Assistance Force, as defined in resolution 1386 (2001) and 1510 (2003), for a period of twelve months beyond 13 October 2007;

2. Authorizes the Member States participating in ISAF to take all necessary measures to fulfill its mandate;

3. Recognizes the need to further strengthen ISAF to meet all its operational requirements, and in this regard calls upon Member States to contribute personnel, equipment and other resources to ISAF, and to make contributions to the Trust Fund established pursuant to resolution 1386 (2001);

4. Stresses the importance of increasing the effective functionality, professionalism and accountability of the Afghan security sector in order to provide long term solutions to security in Afghanistan, and encourages ISAF and other partners to sustain their efforts, as resources permit, to train, mentor and empower the Afghan national security forces, in particular the Afghan National Police;
5. Calls upon ISAF to continue to work in close consultation with the Afghan Government and the Special Representative of the Secretary General as well as with the OEF coalition in the implementation of the force mandate;

6. Requests the leadership of ISAF to keep the Security Council regularly informed, through the Secretary-General, on the implementation of its mandate, including through the provision of quarterly reports;

7. Decides to remain actively seized of this matter.

* * *

  Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

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